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.
Tuesday 16 February 2016
The opportunity offered today for a shore excursion was eagerly taken up by most voyage crew and supers, and several professional crew as well. By c.1015 Eddie and Rachel had chosen a landing point and the first shore party was away. Once on dry land most took the opportunity to go walking, or just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet of an isolated beach. Only our hardy bosun, Matt, ventured a swim. Sandwiches were brought ashore for a picnic lunch on the beach. In the early afternoon the tender began taking return passengers; by 1600 all were back on board. Soon afterwards, a lone fairy penguin swam by the ship, a sighting that was widely enjoyed.
After tea we weighed anchor and put to sea again for our next engagement — an early morning appearance off Victor Harbour for the town’s celebration of the encounter between Flinders and Baudin. Unfortunately, the celebration will not be the re-enactment originally planned, as the One and All withdrew. However, we will be doing our best to add some flair to the occasion with some good cannon fire close to shore.
Now for today’s historical fact: It was in Wapping in June 1755 that the young James Cook joined the navy. By then he had been working on Whitby colliers for some 10 years, and had been offered his first command — which he declined. To have stayed in the coal trade would have given him a comfortable living, but it was in the navy that he established himself as an honest, reliable seaman with a talent for navigation and mapping. It was these qualities that were noticed by some influential individuals in the Admiralty and led to him being chosen to command the Endeavour expedition.
Today’s question: Where and how did James Cook die?
– Bill Ellemor, Steward