A blog series by Steward John Cowie from on board the Australian National Maritime Museum’s HMB Endeavour replica as it sails from Port Lincoln to Portland. See our Sail the Endeavour page to learn more about joining voyages like this.
Day 8, 17 March, 2016
Guess where the wind’s from, south west and sail is set. We’re now rolling along at about 6knots and it’s in the right direction. Well almost the right direction as the captain has decided to beam reach and wear ship as we travel east for our Friday arrival. Everyone is smiling and Endeavour herself is happy.
One of the hazards over the last few days has been lobsterpots and although we’ve avoided most of them, we’ve twice had to clear one that fouled the starboard propeller. The crew are becoming very efficient at doing that.
Every silver lining has a bit of dark and we’re expecting a blow tonight. The captain did say ‘we’re coming home with a wet sail’. How did he know?
Cook’s Journal. Daily Entries
17 March 1770
Continued our course along shore having in the PM the advantage of a fresh gale at SW. At 2 oClock past by the point above mentioned which is of a moderate height with steep red clifts down which falls four small streams of water on which account it is named Cascades Point ——— Latde 44°..0′ So Longitude 2°..20′ East from Cape West. From this point the land at first trends N 76° E but afterwards more to the northward, ENE 8 Leagues from the point and near the shore lies a small low Island which I have named bore from us SBE distant 11/2 Leage at 7 oClock, at which time we shortend sail & brought too under the topsails with her head off shore having 33 fath. water a fine sandy bottom At 10 had 50 fathom and at 12 were in 65 fathom haveing drove about 5 Miles NNW sence we brought too two hours after this had no ground with 140 fathom which shews that the soundings extend but a little way from the land. from 2 to 8 AM had it calm and hazey with drizling rain, at which time a breeze sprung up at
SW with which we steer’d along shore NEBE1/4E keeping about 3 Leagues from the land At noon had no observation being hazey weather with rain our run sence yesterday at noon is NEBE 55 Miles. Longitude from Cape West 3°..12′ East —
Friday 18 March 2016, Day 9/ Saturday 19 March 2016, Day 10
At 0100 this morning, the wind did come in with a vengeance and quickly rose to Force 8 or 9. We were well prepared and Endeavour ran across the breeze with only the fore course and fore topmast stay sail set, clocking 7.5 knots. The old girl clearly loved it and the loom of Portland climbed over the horizon dramatically. What a way to finish the cruise.
At sunrise, the ship was only about five miles off the Portland breakwater when shortly afterwards, the captain altered course to the east and called the voyage crew and supernumeraries to the 20th century deck. With little preamble he explained that entering harbour would be too dangerous in the current sea state and wind and he had decided to remain at sea at least until tonight. In the event, the delay grew to 24 hours during which the ship climbed back to windward and clear of Portland Bay. It was definitely rough but Endeavour proved again why she had been chosen for Cook’s great voyage. Like all weather, it passed quickly and at 1000 Saturday 19 March, the ship’s guns announced our arrival as we slipped in alongside the Trawler Wharf.
Cook’s Journal. Daily Entries
18 March 1770
In the PM had a fresh breeze at SWBW attended with drizzling rain. At 8 oClock being about 3 Leagues from the land shortend sail and brought too having run 10 Leagues NEBE sence noon. at this time had 44 fathom water and 2 hours before had 17 fathom a fine sandy bottom being than about 1 League from the shore had it calm the most part of the night and untill 10 oClock AM when a light breeze sprung up at SWBW and we made sail along shore NEBN having a large swell from the WSW which had risen in the night At Noon Latitude in per Obsern 43°..4′ So Course and distance saild sence yesterday is No 54° East 54 Miles Longitude made from Cape West 4°..12′ East. The mountains and some of the Vallies we observed this morning were wholy coverd with snow, part of which we suppos’d to have fallen in the PM and forepart of the night at the time that we had rain, and yet the weather is not cold.
19 March 1770
In the PM had a fresh breeze at SWBW and WSW which we made the most of untill 6 oClock when we shortend sail and at 10 brought too and sounded and had 115 fathom water judging our selves to
be about 5 Leagues from the land. At midnight it fell little wind on which accout we made sail at 8AM the wind veer’d to the NWBN with which we stood to the NE close upon a wind untill noon at which time we tack’ d being were about 3 Leagues from the land and by observation in the Latitude of 42°..8′ and Longitude from Cape West 5°..5′ Et Course and distance run sence yesterday at Noon No 35° Et 68 Ms depth of Water 65 fathoms, the land extending from NEBN to SSW
— John Cowie, Steward