Watch out, seagulls, I’m on your case! An update from Bailey

You can see by the mess on the wharves that my job here is not yet done. Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM.

You can see by the mess on the wharves that my job here is not yet done. Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM.

Hi there!

After six weeks here, I’m settling into the job nicely but still learning and discovering new things.

My enemies, the seagulls, have started to notice that I’m here to stay, and there aren’t as many as there used to be. When I started we had seagulls everywhere on the wharves, but now we have maybe five at a time. Those birds who’ve decided to stay have learnt to sit up on the vessels, out of my reach. Sooo frustrating!

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Endeavour: Sydney to Hobart voyage, days 5 – 8

Magnificent Mizzenmast watch (2)A blog series from on board the Endeavour ship as she sails to Tasmania. See our Sail the Endeavour page to learn more about joining voyages like this.

We began day five with clouds, wind and rain again. It’s amazing how quickly and completely the weather can change.

Thanks to the uncooperative seas and wind, a spritsail yard has broken, forcing most of the professional crew on deck to repair it. The professional crew are truly an inspiration: they are calm, brave, disciplined, organized and good-humoured through everything. The voyage crew are pretty amazing also – we are all joking that after this, no-one can call us “fair weather sailors”, and we’re laughing admiring the muscle tone we’re all developing.

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International Fleet Review voyage – Day 8

On Day 8 of our voyage, the crew woke up refreshed after being at anchor all night and enjoying a motionless deck. Overnight the breeze had been from the north and by this morning it was quite fresh. Many of the voyage crew were on deck simply to enjoy the picturesque foreshore of the bay.

Crew from the Young Endeavour boarding HMB Endeavour

Crew from the Young Endeavour boarding HMB Endeavour

At the morning brief the Captain explained he wished to weigh anchor and be underway by noon, He added that everyone on-board would probably enjoy a play with the other tall ships in the bay before making our way north to Sydney. First of course was ‘happy hour’ which this time involved a deep clean of the lower decks.

The day mainly went to plan with a few distractions, the rescue boat being sent ashore for an errand and some of Young Endeavour’s crew being brought on board for a look around and to help weight our bower anchor.   The anchor party closed up as briefed and the evolution had hardly begun before the wind swung dramatically from north-north-west to southwest. Within a few minutes it was blowing at 35 to 40 knots. Great work by the chief mate and bosun had the anchor aweigh in quick time allowing the ship to move off a lee shore and up into the body of the bay.

While loitering with intent off Huskisson to recover the sea boat, the ship was joined by the barque James Craig and the training ship Young Endeavour. It was interesting that at this time there were three ‘Endeavours’ in the bay, ourselves, Young Endeavour and the Singaporean landing ship RSS Endeavour.

The sea boat back on deck and Young Endeavour visitors back in their vessel, the three sailing ships began getting sail into its gear and within 15 minutes, our own local tall ships’ race was underway. As if that was not exciting enough, we found ourselves passing through various formations of warships entering the bay as we sailed out. Many passed down the ship at two or three hundred metres. No complaints from the crew on board for it gave some amazing opportunities for photos.

james craig with Point Perpendicular in the background

Once under Point Perpendicular the race was on with the James Craig

Once under Point Perpendicular, the race was on in earnest with ourselves and James Craig abeam. Our smaller competitor was not far behind. Had we had time but to load the cannon.

The James Craig

Racing against the James Craig

With the ships beam reaching in the strong gusts, sailing was again perfect and the collier from old England was picking up her skirts. Showing their approval, two humpbacks breached nearby and waved their petrel fins as they swam within 20 feet of the ship’s side.

All is well.

International Fleet Review voyage – Day 7

All was well on the bright and sunny morning, with most of the hands on board waking up to a call from the Captain, announcing that the barque James Craig was in sight and that our port and starboard cannons were loaded and primed. Into the chase, more and more ships started to appear with six warships on the horizon and James Craig in close proximity.

After breakfast, all hands were again called on deck as Endeavour began playing “cat and mouse” with the Craig. With the ships in close proximity, both began a tacking duel when, at about 1030 and with 5 tacks under our belt, another ship was sighted in the distance. After a couple of guesses as to who it might be,  it was finally confirmed by the AIS (Automatic Identification System) on-board that the ship in question was the Young Endeavour, slowly making her way up the coast.

Once the ship was identified, HMB Endeavour began making her way up the coast but slow enough to let the Young Endeavour catch up. At about 1345 Cody the Bosuns mate was ordered to fire the port cannon beginning a friendly “war at sea”. Young Endeavour retaliated, and replied with two slightly smaller cannon.

The Young endeavour

The Young Endeavour

The gun action being declared a draw, both Endeavours made their way past the Point Perpendicular lighthouse and into Jervis Bay to anchor. Before we could do so, the port bower anchor, one of two large Admiralty anchors on the bows, had to be made ready to drop. These anchors are rarely used and it took almost two hours to get ready. According to the Captain, time well spent for the sense of security these anchors give.

crw working on the port bower anchor

Getting the port bower anchor made ready to drop

Hardly had the flukes buried themselves into the seabed when the professional crew were called to the 20th century deck to start the preparations for the mess dinner, pulling out all the tableware that had been tucked away since the circumnavigation. The professional crew hung the lanterns and set up the lighting while all the voyage crew looked on, excited about the night to come.

With the tables set, the voyage crew took their seats and the delicious meal, prepared and cooked by our Galley team, was brought up and served by the crew. During the dinner many toasts were made, laughs were had and stories were told, clearly showing that the voyage had definitely been what everyone had hoped…. the voyage of a lifetime!!

Dinner was followed with a speech and many thanks again from the Captain and crew, before rolling straight into the SODS Opera. With all of the voyage crew pitching in on an act, there were harmonica players, poems, songs and sea shanties throughout the performances.

The crew assembled for speeches and the SODS Opera

The crew assembled for speeches and the SODS Opera

After the performances and laughs, many continued to chatter late into the evening whilst the smart ones rushed to their hammocks to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

All is well.

International Fleet Review voyage – Day 5

After a good night’s sleep, many of the crew came up on deck refreshed and ready to get to work with the conditions being bright, sunny and light. Many of the crew also came up on deck this morning with tales of a small piece of space junk or a meteorite that passed over their watch the night before, lighting up the deck as they watched it pass by. This was said to have been flying across the sky for a good 20 seconds or so… creating small memorable moment, not only for our voyage crew but the professional crew as well.

The morning started with a call for all hands to brace the yards and set the spritsail and mizzen course. The manoeuvre was watched by a pod of dolphins playing off both sides of the ship and a lone seal. Later, with the ship about three miles off the coastal town of Ulladulla and the Captain pointing out to the voyage crew those features named by Cook, a call from the Bosun’s mate in the rigging alerted the crew to a mother humpback whale and calf a mere 10 metres off the starboard bow. The pair swam gently down the side before crossing the ship’s wake. It took a little effort for the Captain to regain the attention of his audience.

seal and dolphin playing

The lone seal and dolphins playing

The morning’s sail plan had been developed around an expected southwest change and the 30 knots arrived on queue. With little choice but to put the wind on the beam, Endeavour was once more driven north and offshore. For everyone on board the sailing in all conditions has been brilliant although the opportunities to closely follow Cook’s passage inshore have been few.

the voyage crew sheltering from yesterday afternoons gusty weather

The voyage crew sheltering from yesterday afternoons gusty weather

This morning we were informed that the 19th century barque, James Craig, had sailed from Sydney and was on her way south. The other tall ships have all left their respective ports and the fleet should begin gathering over the next few days. Having passed a number of warships during the day, it’s obvious that they are getting ready to meet in much the same area of ocean.

The plan for the next few days is to sail south again when the wind allows and then to anchor in Jervis Bay, probably on Monday night. We’ll be watching the weather closely for the final dash back up to Sydney. For the record gathers amongst you, we have sailed in everything from light airs to winds above 45 knots, operated at ranges from 3 to 90 miles offshore and sailed at a maximum speed of 12 knots.

the voyage crew furling the main course

The voyage crew furling the main course

With skill and confidence developing amongst the voyage crew, the days are growing more relaxed and the laughter coming up from the 20th century deck is a great omen. We’re all sharing our experiences and getting to know each other like family.

All is well

HMB Endeavour stripped bare

On 3 June HMB Endeavour headed to dry-dock for scheduled maintenance, and now as we have reached the halfway point in her docking, all is proceeding well. For the last week or so, a team of contractors have been removing the antifouling paint from the ship’s bottom and after nearly 20 years, we are back to bare timber.

HMB Endeavour replica (front) and James Craig (background) in the Captain Cook Graving Dock at Garden Island, Sydney.

HMB Endeavour replica (front) and James Craig (background) in the Captain Cook Graving Dock at Garden Island, Sydney.

A bi-product of the stripping has been dust and grit and the poor old ship looks a little under the weather. Over the next four or five days the topsides will be sanded and oiled and the underwater areas will be primed and repainted. Continue reading

Meet John Dikkenberg, captain of HMB Endeavour

John Dikkenberg on board Endeavour.

John Dikkenberg on board Endeavour.

Meet John Dikkenberg, the new captain of HMB Endeavour, replica. John joined the museum about three weeks ago and it’s fantastic to have him on board. We caught up with John to find out more about his experience sailing tall ships and his new role as captain. If you have any questions for John, add them in the comments section of this blog and we’ll have them answered for you.

It’s great to have you on board as the new captain of Endeavour. Can you tell us about your experience at sea and on tall ships?

Most of my experience in tall ships comes from James Craig. I’ve been with that ship for about seven years, and been with her as master for about five years. I’ve been going to sea since the late 60s and in a previous life I was the captain of two Oberon class submarines and a River class destroyer. Continue reading

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival kicks off this weekend in Sydney

We’ve been busy this week at ANMM preparing for this weekend’s festivities at our Classic & Wooden Boat Festival. Our harbourside festival site here looks amazing and is testament to the hard work our wonderful team have put in over the last few months.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival kicks off this weekend in Sydney

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival kicks off this weekend in Sydney

Our theme this year is ‘Old is New – recycle, restore, reuse’ and the star guest undoubtedly capturing the spirit of the festival will be the visiting Gaiasdream, a two-hulled fossil-fuel free vessel that runs on vegetable oil and solar power.

There’ll no doubt be something here at Darling Harbour for everyone – with the spotlight shining brightly on our collection of tall ships, HMB Endeavour, James Craig, Southern Swan and Soren Larsen who will be joined by over 100 gleaming classic boats from all over the country.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival stallholders

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival stallholders

For those who are more interested in fabulous fashions, there’ll be a parade of sophisticated (and outrageous) nautical-inspired outfits that will be judged and awarded on the Sunday afternoon in our Fashions Afloat event.

Even dedicated foodies are catered for, with a wide variety of cuisines available to sample, from fresh grill wraps and Turkish delicacies to crowd-pleaser dutch mini pancakes. Shopoholic? You can buy anything from a boat to a book at our nautical marketplace.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival - something for everyone!

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival - something for everyone!

We’re also proud to be hosting specialists in nautical crafts, who will be demonstrating age-old traditional skills like woodturning, rope making and the art of restoration throughout the festival.

Internationally-renowned tall ship ‘Soren Larsen’ to visit ANMM for Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

One of the Pacific Ocean’s most glamorous tall ships will sail up Sydney Harbour on Thursday, 14 October, to take the spotlight at our Classic & Wooden Boat Festival for 2010.

The 145 ft (44.2 m) two-masted brigantine Soren Larsen, arriving from New Caledonia, will berth in Cockle Bay (Darling Harbour) where it will be open for inspection through the festival Saturday and Sunday, 16-17 October.

Soren Larsen will be just one of four tall ships on show over the weekend. The others moored here for the festival will be the HM Bark Endeavour replica,  James Craig and Southern Swan.

Soren Larsen to visit Sydney for the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

Soren Larsen to visit Sydney for the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

Soren Larsen is looking splendid after major restoration and re-rigging as a brigantine (square-rigged foremast, fore-and-aft rigged mainmast) and in the late 1970s it embarked on a new ‘acting’ career – first starring in the BBC TV series The Onedin Line and appearing in movies The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Count of Monte Cristo and Shackleton.

In 1988 Soren Larsen sailed as flagship in the re-enactment of the First Fleet’s 36,000 km voyage from England to Port Jackson.

Based in Auckland, the vessel these days spends most of its time adventure cruising around New Zealand and the South Pacific.  This will be its first Sydney visit since 1998.

We’re looking forward to welcoming her next week, along with all the visitors to our popular weekend festival.

HMB Endeavour: Sydney to Jervis Bay Voyage – Day Two

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Noon position Lat 33º48.7’S  Long 151º21.7’E
Leaving Port Jackson
Day’s run 8nm

Numerous boats, launches and pleasure craft drift past us on our mooring in Athol Bight as the Taronga Zoo ferry comes and goes like clockwork. Our voyage crew are busy learning their bracing stations and foremast topman Tom runs his watch ragged as he changes his mind on what they will brace first.

Voyage crew being 'shown the ropes'

Everyone gets involved with ‘up and overs’ as all our voyage crew and supernumeraries get out on to the shrouds even if not all of them make it up to the fighting top.

Meal times are frantic on board. It is a race to scoff down food before the galley staff shoo you out in order to prepare for the second sitting. These are not times to relax, they are merely refuelling stops! Garry, our ship’s carpenter, is a serial offender for loitering in the 20th century mess and spends quite some time in the afternoon sharpening the galley knives in recompense for his misdemeanours. 

As the sun fades and the sky turns a bruised shade of purple the voyage crew are seen on deck cramming information and trying to learn as much as they can from their topmen before we venture into open seas.

The Heritage Fleet steamboat Waratah gives us a friendly toot as she does a lap of the ship for her passengers before disappearing into the dusk.

Night watches on the mooring are quiet, it is another chance for voyage crew to learn. Their topmen and upperyardies continue their inductions, showing them how to carry out rounds – checking the bilges, the heads and even the temperatures of the fridge and freezer.

Everyone wakes to a still and beautiful morning, some more rested than others, and just after 0930hrs we leave the safety of our mooring and begin our journey toward the heads. Our voyage crew are sent aloft and look like flies scampering up the shrouds and out onto the yards as they begin to unfurl our sails.

Unfurling ready to set sail!

As we leave the heads we can see James Craig in hot pursuit and it is a race to see who can get their sails set first. In no time at all we are in blue water watching the city skyline diminish on the horizon behind us.

All’s well.

HMB Endeavour: Sydney to Jervis Bay Voyage – Day One

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Noon position Lat 33º51.03’S Long 151º14.33’E
Port Jackson, Athol Bight mooring
Day’s run 3nm

The crew, after a very short turn around, was once again ready for another voyage. Our eager voyage crew began to gather around the museum as early as 0730hrs when the crew had just ‘turned to’ (begin their work for the day).

Our voyage crew is again a varied group, with many travelling long distances to join us. We also have many ‘repeat offenders’ – voyage crew who have sailed with us many times in the past – due to the voyage being the longest of our 2010 sailing program.

We departed on schedule following the James Craig out of Darling Harbour and down towards our mooring at Athol Bight.

Voyage crew learn to don lifejackets

As the voyage crew began to absorb the copious amounts of information they will need for the rest of the voyage, James Craig dropped anchor between Endeavour on her mooring and Taronga Zoo and Southern Swan sailed elegantly in amongst both of us.

James Craig and Southern Swan

A rare moment with three of Sydney’s tall ships together.

All’s well.