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.
I’m Sydney University Museum Studies student Dimity Kasz, and with Courtney, I am completing an internship here at the Maritime Museum. We’re registering the Lake Collection of shipwrights’ tools. Registering a collection includes accessioning, cataloguing, cleaning, and photographing the objects so they can live happily inside the museum with a full catalogue record to their name.
Today the Duyfken team are enjoying the Sydney sun (a rarity these days!) while giving the ship a lick of tar.
The tar is produced by the slow burning of pine to extract its precious sap and commonly referred to as Stockholm tar. In the late 1600s through to the 1800s pine tar production in Stockholm dominated the market, hence the name. Throughout the ages the tar has been used in the preservation for natural products, such as timber housing and traditional rigging on ships.
Miriam (pictured) says, tarring is ongoing job for Duyfken – the tar bucket is out almost every two months. It takes a long time to complete the whole ship, as it is only Miriam and Andrew onboard to keep the ship, well, ship-shape.
Interestingly, Stockholm tar is also used by vets to treat cracked hooves.