Take a trip on the Virtual Endeavour

The HMB <em>Endeavour</em> replica docked outside the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia. Image: ANMM.

The HMB Endeavour replica docked outside the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia. Image: ANMM.

A visit to the historically accurate HMB Endeavour replica in Sydney is well worthwhile if you wish to understand the harsh realities of the perilous journey Lieutenant James Cook undertook during his first voyage to Australia, during 1768-1771. Exploring the cramped confines below deck, while imagining what three years aboard this vessel would be like, makes you appreciate the ease of modern travel – especially by sea. Since 2005, the museum has hosted tens of thousands of school students for a visit aboard the HMB Endeavour and now, the Virtual Endeavour program allows you to digitally explore the vessel – even if you are a student sitting in a classroom thousands of kilometres away…

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Murky water, major storms and maritime archaeology: Adventures with the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (2017 Field Season)

James Hunter uses a mapping grid to sketch artefacts and features on the 'Caroline Site' during RIMAP's 2017 field investigations. Image: Greg DeAscentis/© RIMAP 2017.

James Hunter uses a mapping grid to sketch artefacts and features on the ‘Caroline Site’ during RIMAP’s 2017 field investigations. Image: Greg DeAscentis/© RIMAP 2017.

This past September, Kieran Hosty and I travelled to Newport, Rhode Island to assist an ongoing effort to archaeologically document eighteenth-century shipwreck sites in the city’s harbour associated with the American War of Independence (1775-1783). We were invited to Newport by Dr Kathy Abbass, Director of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP), an all-volunteer organisation that has been locating, documenting and investigating the maritime cultural heritage of Newport Harbor and its adjacent waterways since the late 1990s. Maritime archaeologists affiliated with the museum have been working with RIMAP since 1999, and a team comprising Kieran Hosty and the museum’s Head of Research, Dr Nigel Erskine, visited Newport as recently as September of last year to assist with the project.

Our interest in RIMAP’s research stems from the investigation of a fleet of British transports scuttled at Newport during the Battle of Rhode Island in August 1778— a story that has already been chronicled in a previous blog by Kieran and an article by Nigel in the scholarly journal The Great Circle. Among these vessels was the Lord Sandwich, a 368-ton bark that attained international recognition under its previous name, HMB Endeavour. Endeavour, of course, is best known for its voyage of exploration between 1768 and 1771 under the command of Lieutenant James Cook, during which it became the first European vessel to reach Australia’s east coast.

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HMAS WYATT EARP: Australia’s earliest national Antarctic research vessel

Wyatt Earp moored on the edge of Antarctic pack ice, February 1948. The little wooden ship - with a very unlikely name - pioneered Australia’s expeditions into the Antarctic as part of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE). ANMM Collection ANMS1445[076].

Wyatt Earp moored on the edge of Antarctic pack ice, February 1948. The little wooden ship – with a very unlikely name – pioneered Australia’s expeditions into the Antarctic as part of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE). ANMM Collection ANMS1445[076].

Remembering the ‘Twerp

On 26 December 1947, a small, nondescript wooden-hulled motor vessel set off from Hobart, bound for Antarctica. Its silhouette resembled that of an ageing offshore fishing craft, but its weather deck was packed from stem to stern with supplies and equipment – including a single-engine Vought-Sikorsky Kingfisher floatplane. At the helm was Commander Karl E Oom, an officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). He was supported by five naval officers, 22 ratings, a Royal Australian Air Force pilot and air fitter mechanic, and an Australian Department of Information photographer. The complement was rounded out by four civilian scientists who were responsible for conducting a series of experiments, and observing meteorological and other natural phenomena in the Antarctic. Their voyage would be the first to operate under the banner of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE), a series of post-war initiatives to establish Australian scientific research stations in Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic territories of Heard Island and Macquarie Island. ANARE laid the foundation for the establishment of the Australian Antarctic Division, and in later years Australia’s polar research ships could trace their lineage back to the little timber craft then making its way towards the world’s southernmost continent: HMAS Wyatt Earp.

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Keeping HMB Endeavour in ship shape

Endeavour at Sydney City Marine. Image: Jeremy Colville / ANMM.

HMB Endeavour at Sydney City Marine. Image: Jeremy Colville / ANMM.

For those who follow HMB Endeavour regularly, you’ll be aware she is great deal more than a static replica of Cook’s famous ship of science. Endeavour is a ‘Regulated Australian Vessel’ with a survey that allows her to operate at sea, anywhere worldwide. Supporting that survey is a regime of annual certifications and inspections and every second year, the ship is required to be lifted from the water.

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Ships, Clocks and Stars FREE teacher preview this June

Teacher preview of ANMM exhibitions 'Ships, Clocks & Stars' and Endeavour tour.

Teacher preview of ANMM exhibitions ‘Ships, Clocks & Stars’ and Endeavour tour.

Join us for a private viewing of this fascinating and beautiful exhibition on Thursday 16 June 5.00pm – 7.00pm. Hear about our exciting new school programs and board HMB Endeavour to experience what life was really like on an 18th-century vessel. Afterwards, see the museum’s Vivid display – a spectacular rooftop projection viewed from our special vantage point.

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The search for Endeavour – The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project and the Australian National Maritime Museum

The Australian National Maritime Museum's replica of HMB Endeavour. Image: ANMM.

The Australian National Maritime Museum’s replica of HMB Endeavour. Image: ANMM.

 

On 3 May 2016 Dr Kathy Abbass, Project Director from the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP), announced that, aided by a grant provided by the Australian National Maritime Museum and some previous research carried out by the museum’s Head of Research Dr Nigel Erskine, she had located a report by a Lieutenant John Knowles, the Agent for Transports at Newport, dated 12 September 1778 at the National Archives in London.

The Knowles report provided a breakdown of where a small fleet of troop transports had been sunk in Newport in August 1778. One of these transports was a 368-ton bark called the Lord Sandwich and it had been sunk, along with four other transports – the Earl of Orford, Yowart, Peggy and Mayflower – between the northern tip of Goat Island and the North Battery in Newport Harbor. Continue reading

Endeavour: Sailing and Sea Birds

Stephen Radley. Image: ANMM.

Stephen Radley. Image: ANMM.

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

Growing up in Portland the bay was a constant in Stephen Radley’s childhood – swimming in the summer, watching the ships unload their cargo, trawlers returning with their catch and people sailing their yachts. One memory that remains of those days is that of the cray boats returning with their catch, cooking the crays right there on the wharf and then selling them still steaming.

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Endeavour: From Land to Sea

Sam Wilson. Image: ANMM.

Sam Wilson. Image: ANMM.

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

Like his father, Donald, sailing did not play a large part in Sam Wilson’s childhood. However, unlike his father, the sea did play a major part in his childhood. Living in Bunbury a block away from the beach Sam spent a lot of time body boarding or just hanging at the beach with his mates. Watching vessels on the horizon and the yachts sailing up and down the coast became a fascination for him but joining them never entered his mind. It was during this time at the beach that he was unconsciously honing his ability to read the waves and the sea. An ability which would serve him later when the sailing bug took hold.

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Endeavour: Portland to Sydney, day 13

The voyage crew. Image: ANMM.

The voyage crew. Image: ANMM.

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 13, 6th April 2016: Darling Harbour.

Early morning call this morning as we had to weigh anchor early to be at Darling Harbour at 1000. Weighing anchor a complex operation, particularly as the Bower anchor weighed 2.5 tons. Using a Fish davit, cathead and various tackles, the anchor was secured outboard as we motored past Georges Heights. Two and a half months of voyaging came to an end as we passed the first lines ashore on time.

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Endeavour: Portland to Sydney, day 12

Voyage crew heading to the Quarantine station. Image: ANMM.

Voyage crew heading to the Quarantine station. Image: ANMM.

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 12, 5th April 2016: Quarantine Bay

The predicted thunder storms and squalls of 45 knots that were to come in from the NE last night failed to eventuate – the wind was very light and the thunder storms faded well before they hit the coast. Anchored in Quarantine Bay, Endeavour therefore swung with the tide and the each of the watches throughout the night only required one crew member. Morning greeted the ship with the sound of commuter ferries coming and going to Manly.

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Endeavour: Portland to Sydney, day 11

Sydney through the heads. Image: ANMM.

Sydney through the heads. Image: ANMM.

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 11, 4th April 2016: At sea.

We were off Jervis Bay at 2100 last night when the rains came and the wind went further into the nor’east. Reluctantly, we brought the square sails in and motored on. Morning dawned, more rain, and squalls of around 25 knots, a low swell, and the EA Current still pushing us south at 3 knots.

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Endeavour: Portland to Sydney, day 10

Bosun. Image: ANMM.

Bosun. Image: ANMM.

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 10, 3rd April 2016: At sea.

As the day dawned we were 35 miles off Batemans Bay and certainly not as far up the coast as we had hoped. After 6-7 hours of making good a consistent 9 knots, the wind dropped and our speed came back to 6 knots. Owing to our being in the East Australian Current, which flows south at 4 knots, our speed over-ground came back to 2 knots.

Since the current flows south and the wind was coming from the south, the seas overnight become short and steep and worked the helmsmen hard to maintain course.

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Endeavour: Portland to Sydney, day 9

Trio of terns. Image: ANMM.

Trio of terns. Image: ANMM.

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 9, 2nd April 2016: At sea

During night the wind played with us going from N – NW – W so we wore the ship to keep the wind on our beam. By morning we were off Eden and had made 14 miles from where we were yesterday. No change in the sails and the modest winds moved us up the coast slowly adding to the 705 miles that we have already covered under sail.

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Endeavour: Portland to Sydney, day 8

Sunrise with a ship on the horizon. Image: ANMM.

Sunrise with a ship on the horizon. Image: ANMM.

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, 01 April 2016: at sea.

Another sunny day, light winds coming in from the NW-N and a calm sea, no change in the sails and we found ourselves travelling east 30 miles north of Gabo Island and 20 miles east of Eden, and not a film star insight.

We wore the ship around 1100 and at 1300 we were back in sight of Mt Imlay after a brief encounter with a number of lobster pots, none of which we collected.

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Endeavour: A Garage Sale Changed His Life

Donald Wilson. Image: ANMM.

Donald Wilson. Image: ANMM.

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

Born in Perth, Donald Wilson did not have a much involvement in maritime pursuits during his childhood. His interests were more of a land-based variety such as tree climbing, scrambling over rocks, ham radio and photography.

When he completed his schooling his interest in ham radios led him into Electronics at WAIT (West Australian Institute of Technology, now Curtin University). However, when he discovered that the course covered a bit more than his areas in interest he dropped out.

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