Endeavour: Geelong to Adelaide, day 3

Rachel aloft at sunrise

Rachel aloft at sunrise

A blog series by Steward Bill Ellemor from on board the Australian National Maritime Museum’s HMB Endeavour replica as it sails from Geelong to Adelaide. See our Sail the Endeavour page to learn more about joining voyages like this.

Day Three, Thursday 11 February 2016

As the sun rose astern of us the clouds above the rigging glowed gold. Rachael was already aloft casting off the main topsail gasket as sleepy crew began to appear on the deck below. Nearest point of land on the starboard horizon? Just east of Warrnambool. After breakfast and morning briefing we set some more sail taking our speed up to around 3 knots as we continued on our westerly course all day. With the sea benign and the ship sailing well, it was another relaxed afternoon on board, giving crew a further opportunity to catch up on sleep as they adjust to our rotating watch system.



During the afternoon we exchanged pleasantries on VHF radio with Young Endeavour, who is making her way eastwards, on return from her world voyage. She was much closer to the coast, so we were out of sight of one another.

This was of special significance to two of our voyage crew and one professional crew member. Rhianna had sailed the Cape Town to Fremantle leg of the world trip, while Hannah had sailed on her in 2006. Upper Yardsman Rachel’s first tall ship experience was on Young Endeavour in 2007.

And so we sailed into the night, the friendly flash from Cape Nelson on the horizon, glimpses of bio-luminescence in the sea around and above, the endless stars. Going west, always west.

Yesterday’s was a trick question:The last human death was that of Zachary Hicks on 26 May 1771, in the North Atlantic, just over six weeks before the Endeavour reached England. However, only days before they dropped anchor to end the voyage, the very last death on board was of Joseph Banks’ greyhound, Lady — she “died quietly on her favourite stool in the cabin”.

Today’s question: Who or what were the Marquises of Granby and Rockingham?

– Bill Ellemor, Steward