Voyage Log: Coffs Harbour – Port Macquarie day 2

Friday, 19th September 2008

Noon position: Lat 30°21.6’S Long 153°15.2’E
Day’s run: 6.6 nm

After lunch the watches continue their induction aboard Bark Endeavour. Mizzenmast watch under their topman Tegan and upperyardie Amy, are on the foredeck learning the ropes, closely followed by mainmast lead by Tom and Amanda, their topman and yardie.

Matt the boatswain’s mate complains about cleaning up his office: the boatswain’s store. The mates, Toby and Ben, and Matt’s mentor Ant, the sailing master/boatswain, have no sympathy for him. “It’s everyone else chucking stuff in there … they mess it up!” Matt decrees that there’ll be no more of it, and looks forward to having something to say in the professional crew meeting. Toby, an efficient task master as chief officer replies simply: “The quicker you work the quicker it will get done.” Can’t argue with that.

Early in the afternoon and Ben and Abi, the second mate and catering officer, have cause for celebration, the survey report for their new boat has come through, and Ben makes the call to put the cheque in the post! It’s exciting news for everyone with a love of boats. Huzzah!

Soon after, looking for any excuse to include yours truly in the log, Mischa, the steward, bites into some chocolate and then crunches on something strange, a large cap from a front tooth has come off; finally, I have the jagged grin of a real pirate. It’s not to last for long though as Dirk the ship’s navigator and medical officer,and Ant, whisk me to shore where it is promptly glued back on. “Could have done that in the chippy’s store” the boys comment upon collecting me.

At 1700 hours the voyage crew have been through the bulk of their induction, and are ready for the best part, the “up and overs”: heading aloft up the shrouds to the fighting top of a mast, and climbing down the other side. After a day of safety familiarisation and touring the ship they are raring to go.

For the first night’s dinner Abi and her cook’s mate, Darbey, set a high standard for themselves, serving an exquisite meal of lamb tenderloin and roast vegetables with a sprinkling of sea salt, followed by chocolate pudding. All are encouraged to eat up the delicious fare, especially if they are prone to seasickness – in case it’s the last they eat for a couple of days. The first night’s sleep at anchor is, for some voyage crew, better than they usually get on land – the gentle rocking of the ship just right.

At 0700 hours Toby gets the voyage crew up, inviting them to “another exciting day.” They will not be disappointed, only 20 minutes later and Tom has his mainmast watch learning how to man the helm. At 0840 there is the first morning briefing of the voyage crew by Captain Ross and immediately after all crew are preparing for sail handling and for heading out to sea. Ben and Ally, the foremast topman, go through bracing stations with the voyage crew, showing them where they need to be when bracing the sails for a wear or tack ship. Then it’s time to haul anchor.


Bark Endeavour makes her way out of Coffs’ outer harbour under motor and staysails, past the breakwater, waving farewells to the locals who had welcomed her so warmly. Getting out into the swell and mainmast watch take a surprise sea shower, as a wave washes the waist (the middle section) of the ship. Coffs Harbour and the surrounding mountains make a beautiful sight behind her as Endeavour pulls away from land with fore and main courses set. Then the iron staysails are shut down … 56 souls travel under wind power alone …


All is well.

Contributed by ship’s steward Mischa Chaleyer-Kynaston

Voyage Log: Coffs Harbour – Port Macquarie 18-23 September day 1


Thursday, 18th September 2008
Coffs Harbour, outer harbour anchorage

The day kicks off with many keen and eager voyage crew arriving early, Paula, Endeavour’s shore manager, greets them with the news that their bags are embarking, but they are not. Endeavour‘s sailing away with their luggage! Never fear, Paula reassures them, once Endeavour‘s safely out of the precarious narrow passage of the inner harbour, they will join the ship.

The voyage crew gather on the wharf and watch the final preparations for casting off. The gangway is dismantled and removed, and Craig, aka Drifty, the shore shipkeeper, meticulously lashes it down in his truck, along with the platform and marquees that accompany Bark Endeavour when she is alongside.

Conditions are calm, with a north westerly breeze, and Ross, the captain, gives the order to cast off the lines. The forward spring go first, so that the aft lines act as a spring, and bring the heading of the ship around to move away from the wharf. She gets underway smoothly and heads for the mouth of the inner harbour. The mouth has been dredged at great effort to ensure that the silt build up is removed, and there is enough depth to get Bark Endeavour out easily.

Before long Endeavour is in position in the outer harbour and the pick (the anchor) is dropped. She is ready to receive her voyage crew. With the invaluable assistance of the Coffs Harbour Water Police and local NSW Maritime Authority, the voyage crew are ferried out to Endeavour in their watches. Foremast watch is the first to board, and gets off to a dramatic start with a voyage crew member taking a plunge in the drink. The professional crew are impressed at her enthusiasm, usually swimming is saved for later in the voyage as a reward, but this crew member couldn’t wait! It is a warm day after all. Some suspect Tom, the mainmast topman, of getting the watch rivalry started properly and early, though he is very apologetic. The voyage crew member is happy to receive her Endeavour t-shirt upon boarding – something dry to put on.


It is a beautiful morning aboard the ship, the voyage crew stow their luggage and have a tour with their topman and upperyardies – their keepers and carers for the duration of the voyage – then muster on the deck for introductions in the sunlight. The captain introduces all of the professional crew, then the voyage crew spend some time with Toby, the chief officer, briefing them about general ship operations. Afterwards they return to their watches to go through their full induction, turning theory into practice.

Amongst the professional crew there is an extra little buzz of excitement in the air, as the second mate and the catering officer, Ben and Abi, are awaiting final confirmation on the condition of their new potential home – a yacht! The only worry is whether Davey, their budgie, will be happy to make it his own as he has Endeavour.

All is well.

Voyage Log: Coffs Harbour day 9


Friday, 12 September 2008

Endeavour arrived safely at her berth in the Coffs’ Inner Harbour after negotiating the narrow Inner Harbour entrance at approximately 0600 hours on Friday, 12 September 2008.  Coffs Harbour will be Endeavour‘s home for the next week, where the ship is open to the public from Saturday, 13 September through to Tuesday, 16 September.  The new voyage crew will be signed onto the ship on Thursday, 18 September and Endeavour will depart for Port Macquarie on Friday, 19 September, at approximately 0800 hours (weather permitting).


Coffs Harbour Visit 

The captain and crew of His Majesty’s Bark Endeavour would like to express their thanks to the people of Coffs Harbour for making our visit so successful.  Over the four days we were open to the public, 4265 visitors came onboard to experience how an 18th-century sailor would have lived on James Cook’s original Endeavour. Many thanks to the Coffs Harbour City Council, the Department of Lands, the Volunteer Coastal Patrol, Coffs Harbour International Marina, the Fisherman’s Co-op and Volunteering Coffs Harbour for welcoming us so warmly and providing the infrastructure and assistance required during our stay.  Huzzah to all our wonderful volunteer guides who generously gave their time to show people around Endeavour – without your support, we would not be able to share this remarkable vessel with the nation.


Voyage Log: Brisbane-Coffs Harbour day 3

Saturday, 6 September 2008
Noon position: Lat 26°30.6´S Long 153°45.8´E
Day’s run: 122nm

With only 5 minutes until their sitting of lunch will be called, the foremast watch, lead by Ally and Josh, are charged with the task of setting the fore topsail. Quickly up the shrouds they go, eager to get down to the meal, and avoid upsetting Abi the catering officer – she’s already been traumatised by her offsider, Darby, who accidentally threw a vegetarian salad over the side – much to the pain of Dirk our navigator. Foremast watch set sail in sharp order and get below to enjoy the hearty soup, Abi – being an expert strategist – has set a menu to soothe the stomachs of those crew turned green by the swell – and they are grateful for it.

Up on deck there is the first of many excited hails: “Whale off the port bow!” Water spouts abound, and a mother with calf breaches slapping her tail, and another breaches off to starboard – but no one on deck is quick enough with a camera – so the skipper offers some inspiration: “a bottle of rum for whoever photographs a whale breaching with the ship in the foreground!” The pod is active around the ship for the rest of the afternoon but no more break the surface, the competition stands open for the rest of the voyage.

SAILING!! At 1800 hours the motors go off, and Endeavour is moving in the fashion designed for her, with the wind and the swell her allies. All in all she has six sails set: the fore, main and mizzen topsails, the main course, the fore topmast staysail, and the main topmast staysail. The billowing canvas is a welcome sight, and the movement of the ship in tune with the seas.

After sunset the chief officer, Marty –”Big M”, speaks fondly of his wife and wee puppy dog, who would have thought a salty sailor could be so sentimental – on only the first night at sea! Come 2200 hours though and there is work to be done, time to wear ship, the first big sailing manoeuvre. In the starlight the mainmast watch and some professional crew are called upon and they wear ship finely.

During the night there is the first hammock to go, and a conk to the head is heard, the voyage mates of the young fellow from foremast watch say he is “much more sensible” as a result. Apparently he was rigging it while dinner was called, and in his haste may not have given the knots the attention they deserved. The first day’s voyage was quiet for Wally, the ship’s engineer, and he says an uneventful day for him equals a “seriously happy” engineer. It turned out to be the hush before the storm, at 0200 hours he is woken to attend to a generator, and then spends the twilight hours cannibalising two ill pumps into one working one, keeping the main fridge-freezer alive.

At sunrise the winds freshen, and the mizzen topsail and main topmast staysail – up through the night – are struck. The remaining sails see out the rest of the morning, Endeavour rolling softly with the breeze and gentle swell.
 All is well.

Voyage Log: Brisbane-Coffs Harbour day 2

Friday, 5th August 2008
Noon position: Lat 26.49S, Long 153.09E
Day’s run: 55 Miles

“Time to sail into a storm” master Ross Mattson says it not without glee, poor forecast or not, departure is nigh, and all on board are keen to get out to sea. We are scheduled to get underway at 0400 hours, on the ebb tide, but there is still much to be done. mainmast watch, under the sharp eye of topman Tom and upperyardie Amanda, are the first put to work. With all the hands of the watch and some professional crew, the gangway and staging are dismantled, then it is time to bring the fizz-boat onboard (the 21st-century rescue speedboat). The rain is still coming down in buckets and Ant, the sailing master/boatswain, supervising the operations, claims he had to “change socks and pants four times!”

Meanwhile, below decks, the other watches finish their induction, donning life jackets, spotting modern safety equipment (fire extinguishers and liferafts), and learning the various escape routes. They are also instructed in line handling and the most useful knots on Endeavour. Ally, the foremast topman, even has time for a quick quiz (the first of many), getting his watch to name the various yards. The induction finishes with the various watches learning how to hang their hammocks, as high as possible and with knots that won’t have them crashing to deck in the night. The night is uneventful, the weather gradually easing, the only moment of note is when Tom sets a terrific example for his watch by demonstrating what can happen if you go down a companionway forwards rather than backwards – you can fall! But he is glad to own up to it with a smile, the bruised behind worthwhile if it gives a few of his shipmates a laugh.

Come 0400 hours and it’s time for a change of watch, so Tegan and Amy, topman and upperyardie, bring their mizzenmast watch up. They have the honour of letting the lines go and pushing off into the cool morning, Brisbane rustles up one last light shower to farewell the ship – but it doesn’t last long, the sun rises on a clear day. On our way down the river Endeavour passes several large cargo ships, but it’s a smooth ride around them. At one point there is concern about the smell of oil, perhaps there is a leak? But then the crew realises they are passing an oil refinery, one of a few fine fragrances in the cool morning air.

Dirk, our navigator, notes that a good sailor always errs on the side of caution, but as it turns out the conditions are better than expected, with the swell and winds easing. However on the south side of the low pressure system there are still gale conditions and storm winds, so the master remains prepared for heavier seas.

On the way out of the river, we set our first sails, the fore topmast staysail and main topmast staysail, to give Endeavour some stability as we makes way under motor. As Endeavour was welcomed to Brisbane a week before, some dolphins come to say goodbye. By noon, we make our way past the heads and have open sea before us.

All is well.

Voyage Log: Brisbane-Coffs Harbour 4-11 September 2008 day 1

Thursday, 4 September
Alongside Hamilton 2, Brisbane

It is time to prepare Bark Endeavour for sea. After a week of perfect weather and a glorious Brisbane reception, the skies have opened giving the voyage crew a taste of a deep eastern-seaboard low pressure system. Everyone is soaked and chilled to the bone, and the ship is still alongside in port! Lucky for them, the catering officer, Abi, has noticed, and changes the first lunch menu to something good and hot, ready to ease the pain.

To start the day the voyage crew give their luggage to the always charming Ben, our second officer, who gives them a big smiling welcome and sends them back to hide in the shelter of the security check-point tent, til the ship is spick and span and ready to take them on – with arrangements made to allow for the weather. Everyone is gathered into their watches and sent to board the ship, as they do so, they are issued a maroon crew t-shirt by Paula, the shore manager – happy and dry in her brand new red jacket, and Matt, the bosun’s mate, who after a morning in the rigging is not so dry. Onboard each watch meets their topman and upperyardie, who will be their guide, mentor, and “hard-tack” for the duration of the voyage to Coffs Harbour.

The first task is to designate each voyage crew with a number within their watch – from 1 to 13, which will be used often by their topman and yardie to ensure all a present and accounted for by sounding off: calling out their individual numbers in turn. But as well as this important safety aspect the number designations are also useful for other things like organising the galley duty for each meal – the lucky few who get to do the dishes for their 50 crewmates. Once this is done they move onto the quick logistical task of being issued a locker and stowing their possessions, then it’s time for introductions and a briefing from the skipper.

Briefing and training for the new crew.

HMB Endeavour briefing and training of the new crew.

Usually the welcome and introduction of the crew is done up on the quarter deck, but with rain pummeling down, Ross, our captain, musters the crew below on the 18th-century deck. His first piece of important news is that due to the conditions ie severe low developing pressure system near south eastern Queensland we won’t be sailing today. Everyone takes the news well, balanced between the disappointment after the excitement and anticipation of departure (felt most strongly by Ross himself!), and the relief of not having to work the ship immediately in the pouring rain. Little did they know that they would soon be on deck regardless, undergoing a safety induction including going aloft into the wind and the wet. But the voyage crew get stuck into it without hesitation, eager to get their first taste of climbing the shrouds and looking down on the deck from on high, a little wind and rain whipping the cheek is a small price to pay for the feeling of being up there for the first time.
All is soggy, and well.
contributed by ship’s steward, Mischa Chaleyer-Kynaston