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H.M. Bark Endeavour

Captain James Cook’s H.M. Bark ENDEAVOUR sails again. Sponsored by National Geographic and the H.M. Bark ENDEAVOUR Foundation, this replicated ship is making a tour of various ports of call on the East Coast this year, ending in Halifax, Nova Scotia in October. The tour goes to Bermuda, Tortola and Barbados before proceeding through the Panama Canal. Balboa, the Galapagos Islands, Acapulco, and Cabo San Lucas will also have ports visited by the ENDEAVOUR.


Copyrighted image - used with permission.The Tour Begins

In February 1999, the tour begins on the West Coast at San Diego, California and ends in British Columbia in October. There is no definite information at this time because the various ports must be confirmed with the H.M. Bark ENDEAVOUR Foundation.

An Exact Replica
This functional 1760s sailing vessel, built using methods from the 18th century, was faithfully researched. It replicates almost every detail of the original ship, except where changes were made for modern safety or convenience. Some materials were substituted to prolong the life of the ship. Newer rope making and materials are some of the substitutions. Other substitutions were in the wood used for building the ship.

One particular trunnel (a wooden nail) went to space in its namesake, the Shuttle Endeavour. The captain of the Shuttle Endeavour returned the trunnel to the H.M. Bark ENDEAVOUR replica before she left port in Australia for the United States.

The Royal Navy purchased THE EARL of PEMBROKE, a collier used for transporting coal and other heavy goods around England, in March 1778. Remodeled to hold a crew of 93 sailors and scientists, the ship was renamed H. M. Bark ENDEAVOUR and had James Cook as her captain. Although Captain Cook had not sailed around the world before he undertook this voyage, several of his officers had done so at least once. The previous experiences of these crew members were invaluable to Cook.

Cook believed that a clean ship, a clean crew, and sanitary cooking conditions would lead to a healthy crew. His theories were proven when not one of his crew died from scurvy, a frequent killer aboard other ships.

Copyrighted image - used with permission.First Journey

The original ENDEAVOUR and her crew first sailed to Tahiti to track the transit of Venus across the sun. Supervised by Charles Green, the Royal Society astronomer, this part of the expedition was to provide information scientists needed to tell how far the sun was from the earth. Cook was able to use a recently devised mathematical formula to pinpoint where his ship was in relation to that of known landmasses of the time.

In the South Pacific, Captain Cook and his crew completely charted both the North and South islands of New Zealand and the Eastern Coast of Australia before running aground on the Great Barrier Reef in 1770. They were able to get the ship off the Reef both because she was a flat-bottomed boat and by unloading the ballast.

Mr. Joseph Banks and Dr. Daniel Solander, the botanists on board, helped to categorize the different plants found in New Zealand and Australia. A talented 19-year-old, Mr. Sidney Parkinson, was with the scientists to make a visual record of the voyage. Mr. Parkinson’s ability to draw flowers and plants with great accuracy brought him to the attention of King George III who insisted on Sidney’s presence for the expedition. Many of his works from that original voyage currently reside at Brown University. Captain Cook later used Mr. Parkinson’s illustrations for his book Florilegium, depicting the astonishing botanical discoveries of the voyage.

Copyrighted image - used with permission.The ENDEAVOUR is sailing the world as its predecessor once did, except with a crew of 43 instead of 93. Volunteers who stay overnight on the vessel, augment the crew by standing 2 hour watches while she is in port. At 7 PM volunteers, sleeping bag in hand, are admitted to the ENDEAVOUR. At 7 AM, they are given a hearty breakfast and released from their responsibilities. The modern crew and volunteers are fortunate the cat of nine tails is for display only. This method of marine discipline, a whip consisting of nine knotted cords fastened to a handle, was kept in a red cloth bag. When the cat of nine tails was taken out of its bag, commonly known as ‘letting the cat out of the bag’, the sailors knew someone would be whipped for a transgression he had committed. Well, actually, they were aware that someone would be whipped when the grating was rigged. The unlucky fellow would be tied to the grating for his punishment.

Any individual in good physical condition without a fear of heights, may apply to help sail the ship on short hops from port to port. There is a fee for this adventure ranging from $750 to $3120.

If you’d rather go from port to port in gentlemanly style, you can elect to stay in one of four cabins for supernumeraries. The officers and scientists from the original voyage used these cabins. The rate for these cabins ranges from $1750 to $4750.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the HM Bark ENDEAVOUR Foundation at P.O. Box 1099, Fremantle, 6160, Western Australia; or P. O. Box 19466, Alexandria, VA. 22320-0466. Tel.: 703 519-4556. Fax: 703 519-4557. E-mail: crewman@ibm.net. Website: www.greenwichuk.com/endeavour