A blog series by Steward Bill Ellemor from on board the Australian National Maritime Museum’s HMB Endeavour replica as it sails from Geelong to Adelaide. See our Sail the Endeavour page to learn more about joining voyages like this.
Friday 19 February 2016
In the last few days voyage crew and supers seemed to really come together as a group, not just the individual watches but the group as a whole — perhaps a function of being a smaller crew — so that at voyage end there was much warmth and good humour on board. At the final voyage, crew and supers meeting with the Captain, after certificates and track charts were distributed a moving thank you speech was made by Alan and acclaimed by all.
Dawn found us nicely positioned, with the city on the north east skyline. It wasn’t long before we were being buzzed by the Channel 9 helicopter gathering footage — timing this perfectly to coincide with the professional crew daily briefing on the quarter deck. Heading towards Outer Harbour and the river entrance we were joined by the One and All with a larger number of passengers on deck, to accompany us all the way in to our mooring. Many other small craft came by for a look see until we reached the river mouth. The firing of both cannons announced our arrival as we passed the port authority dock head building, and the long, slow passage up the river had begun.
Cannons were fired a second time as we passed under the raised decking of the Prexy Bridge just before docking at our berth for the next week. In between, most crew had one last climb aloft to furl the remaining sails.
After the long Pacific voyage Cook’s Endeavour was pretty tired, but spent a few years of light service in Britain. Then in 1778 when Britain wished to create a barrage across the entrance to Newport harbour, Rhode Island, five old ships were taken there and scuttled; one of these was Endeavour. For a long time the identity of the other ships was not known, but much later it was learned that another of these was none other than Cook’s other ship, Resolution. It is fitting, that after the tragic circumstances of his own death, Cook’s two ships have their last resting place together.
This brings my blogging to a close; another Steward takes over for the remaining voyages. It has been an honour to have had the position for the first two voyages, one I will always cherish. Thank you to those readers who have taken the trouble to comment — especially those known to me — and to know that the blog has been appreciated. Over and out.
– Bill Ellemor, Steward