In honor of one of the world’s greatest explorers, Captain James Cook, and his ship the HMS Endeavor, a replica was started in 1988 to commemorate the Australian Bicentenary of European Settlement in Australia by the Bond Corporation. Constructed in Fremantle, Western Australia, she was completed in 1993 and commissioned in 1994 as one of the world’s most accurate maritime reproductions ever built. She took funding from various organizations, corporations, government, and private sources as well as labor and support from volunteers in the Fremantle community. She was operated by the HM Bark Endeavor Foundation until 2005. She was taken over by the Australian government through the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) in 2005 to the present day. Her maiden voyage took place in October of 1994 sailing to Sydney Harbour and following Cook’s path from Botany Bay to Cooktown. From 1996-2002 she retraced Cook’s ports of call around the world arriving in Whitby in 2002. She has since circum-navigated the world twice with over 170,000 nautical miles on her clock, visiting over 29 countries, most of the Pacific Islands, a ship museum in 116 ports, and this year of 2011, has embarked upon its first ever circumnavigation of Australia replicating Captain Cook’s original circling of Australia that is expected to take 13 months of sailing with a core professional crew and 40 adventurous voyage crew members learning the ropes of sailing a historic ship and what life was like in the 18th century onboard. The HMB will be docking at various ports every 5-12 days as it makes its way around Australia for visitors to embrace her glory and tour her presence in port of these particular cities as a floating museum. She will be docking in Brisbane (28 April – 8 May 2011), Gladstone (21 – 26 May), Townsville (10 – 14 June), Cairns (24 June – 5 July), Darwin (3 – 14 August), Geraldton (30 September – 4 October), Fremantle (14 October – 1 November), Bunbury (9 – 13 November), Fremantle (20 November – 30 December), Albany (14 – 18 January 2012), Port Lincoln (4 – 8 February), Adelaide (16 – 23 February), Portland (7 – 11 March), Hobart (24 March – 3 April), Melbourne (18 – 29 April), Eden (9 – 13 May) with brief visits to Thursday Island, North Qld (16 – 19 July 2011), Broome, WA (29 August – 1 September 2011) and Exmouth, WA (14 – 17 September 2011) to take on provisions and exchange voyage crew. Voyage crew members will sleep in hammocks and work hard climbing masts and hoisting sails. Four “supernumeraries” will have their own individual cabins and participate in the less arduous tasks on the ship. She has been completely refit for this 2011 voyage. The ship is beautifully crafted in replica-fashion giving the visitor a glimpse of a sailor’s life during the epic 1768-1771 voyage that brought Captain Cook to the shores of Australia. The replica has over 30 kilometers of rope and over 50 wooden blocks and pulleys, masts and spars holding 28 sails that manifest over 10,000 square feet of canvas. Life will be demonstrated during the tours on deck, in the galley where one can view the great firehearth that was state of the art in 1768. One can look over Captain Cook’s Great Cabin where he worked, dined, and shared quarters with the world famous botanist Joseph Banks. The replica is under the command of its regular master aptain Ross Mattson. While every advantage to power her by wind will be used in every respect as Cook’s original vessel could, she also carries engines, generators, an electric galley, showers, and safety equipment hidden in the cargo hold where the historic provisions were originally kept. Her 2011 voyage can be viewed in a daily log/ blog beginning here: http://anmm.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/day-1-%e2%80%93-sydney-to-brisbane-fond-farewells/.
The masts, bowsprit, deck, and topsides are all laminated Douglas fir on the HMB Endeavor. The Original ship, the HMS Endeavor, had spruce or fir as the main wood. The keel, lower hull, and frame of the ship is made from Western Australian hardwood jarrah while the HMS was of oak or elm. The HMB Endeavor’s sails are made from a synthetic canvas called Duradon while the original was of flax canvas. Over 18 miles of rope is used in the rigging. The six anchors with four carried on the bow weighing just under a ton in weight were replicated from those found after being lost from the original Endeavor on the Great Barrier Reef in 1770. The anchors are raised by the catheads and winched up by the windlass, all of which are replicated from the specifics of the original ship. The seats of ease are also replicated that are located by the catheads. The HMB Endeavor strikes the ship’s bell to tell the time of day – struck each half hour. A four hour watch is comprised of 1-8 bells with one hour indicated by two bells struck closely together. The firehearth down below has been replicated as a huge iron stove sitting on a stone hearth set on tin and sand to protect the deck in the best way possible to mimic the HMS Endeavor as a working model. It gained such attention in that it works and cooks 18th century type meals so well, it was featured in the BBC documentary “The Ship” filmed on board in 2001. Various 18th century replicas of kitchen and feasting items are on display. On the hatch are displayed various casks, containers, and sailmaker’s tools. A piece of pig iron ballast from the original ship recovered from the Endeavor Reef in Queensland is lashed to the central pillar representing the only original item on board. Hammocks and swinging cots were replicated and used by the operational crew. Mattresses onboard are handmade following 1760 specifications stuffed with wool and cotton waste. The latticed pantries were used for food storage and the preparation areas where Captain Cook would make plans is now where the navigation equipment is stored. The cabin of Charles Green, the Royal Society appointed astronomer, contains a copy of his original hand-made paper journal he made observations in by quill. The replicated curtains and bedspread are an attempt to match that which his wife originally made for him. The cabin shared by the artists, Sydney Parkinson and Alexander Buchan contain copies of Parkinson’s paintings, clothes, books, and personal effects. A marine was posted in the lobby of the ship day and night to protect the captain. Captain James Cook’s cabin is the largest on board with replicas of his desk, books, charts, and uniform on display. All sheets (linen) and curtains (wool) are hand loomed and hand finished. James Cook and Joseph Banks shared the cabin, replicas of his cloak he traded in New Zealand, shaving gear, and collection of shells from the voyage are in this room.
The heating stove is replicated from the one recovered in the 1984 discovery of the HMS Pandora wreck sunk on the Great Barrier Reef while returning Bounty mutineers in 1791. Corner cupboards and serving table show replicated bottles and pewter. The wooden trunnel in the sternpost surrounded by a brass ring was carrid aboard the US Shutle Endeavour’s maiden flight in 1992. Many gifts from the indigenous community are scattered throughout the Great Cabin including an Australian Aboriginal dalungda (nautilus shell) pendant, maori taiaha war staff, maori manaia of carved whale bone, australian aboriginal dithol, bunch of feathers, sooke indian paddle, french boomerang, South American seed, Australian Aboriginal boomerang and message stick.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PHOTOS, AND HISTORY: