Endeavour: voyaging to Hobart, days 7 – 10

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.

Day 7  Tuesday 17 Feburary

Climbing the mast

Being at anchor overnight meant only a few crew were needed for short night watches. Most of the crew took advantage and headed off to bed for a good stretch of sleep on calm water, with no rolling and rocking. We awoke to a beautiful but misty morning with mist just outlining Tasmania coastline. After a hearty breakfast of pancakes, all hands on deck were called to bring up the anchor. For some of the voyage crew this was a new activity and all put great effort into making what can be a complicated process seemingly easy.

Continue reading

Endeavour: voyaging to Hobart, days 4 – 6

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.

Day four – Saturday 14 February

Supernumerary Bill Morris demonstrating the sextant.

Supernumerary Bill Morris demonstrating the sextant.

Under a clear sky and thousands of stars overnight the sails were handed (clewed up to the yards) as we motored south.

The Main Mast Foremast Crew sat together laughing and chatting on how “hard it is to helm”, when they had been given direction from the Officer of the Watch and the Watch Leader.

Supernumerary Bill gave an interesting talk on sextants in the Great Cabin. Bill explained a little of the history of this navigation instrument and the subtle differences between types. We regularly see Bill out with his own sextant, recording his observations.

Continue reading

Endeavour: voyaging to Hobart, days 1 – 3

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.

Day one – Wednesday 11 February 2015

Today we set sail again for Hobart! Our first Tasmanian voyage was cancelled, and we missed the Australian Wooden Boat Festival but intend to be the star attraction at Elizabeth Street Pier from 20 to 24 February! The voyage crew joined at 0800, 16 in total; twelve sailors and four supernumeraries — a small crew for the trip to Hobart.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

HMB Endeavour: Sydney to Hobart Voyage, Day 3

IMG_3119 cropped

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.

Friday 30 January 2015

With the wind now at our back, we have cut the engines and are enjoying ‘champagne sailing’ back to Sydney. Everyone is appreciating the sunshine and the much calmer seas.

Back in Sydney Harbour, people take advantage of the glorious clear sky to indulge in some photography. We are also finally able to undertake our climbing training: up the shrouds and futtocks of the foremast, onto the fighting top and down the other side. It’s exhilarating to succeed in what many people experience as a significant challenge.  Then up the masts again, this time to lay on the yard and furl sails. Continue reading

HMB Endeavour: Sydney to Hobart Voyage, Day 2

IMG_3096A 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.

Thursday 29 January 2015

The crew are in good spirits even though most are feeling some effects of the big waves.  More than one person has remarked that they would have felt ‘disappointed’ to come on this trip and not experience some challenging weather!

Man lines have been strung around the ship and we make our way carefully, clipped on for safety. There have been sightings of albatross, dolphins, flying fish and shearwaters, and a magic moment when a Caspian Tern kept with the shipwright beside the staysail. Continue reading

HMB Endeavour: Sydney to Hobart Voyage, Day 1

IMG_3071

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.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

A raining start to our grand adventure. By 12.30pm all voyage crew had completed their safety induction and necessary paperwork and after a delicious first lunch aboard of soup and salads, we were ready to depart.

The crews consists of 16 professional crew, 36 voyage crew and 4 supernumeries (for more information on crew types, see our Sail the Endeavour page).  There are a number of family groups aboard, including a group making up most of Foremast Watch, who are helping their father achieve a lifetime dream of sailing to Tasmania. Continue reading

Reliving Tasmania’s maritime heritage on Endeavour

The museum’s replica of Captain Cook’s HMB Endeavour will soon set sail for Tasmania, exploring the state’s convict past and reliving an era of great maritime exploration in Australia. Endeavour‘s professional crew will be joined by passengers who have signed up either as voyage crew—living, eating and sleeping just as pioneering sailors did almost 250 years ago—or for a more leisurely voyage as a supernumerary. Continue reading

Eden to Sydney voyage, day 5

Friday 7 November 2014, 1500 hours

Distance over ground since 1800 Thursday: 60 nautical miles

The HMB Endeavour replica is now back alongside her usual berth at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, concluding the Eden voyages.

Both voyages involved some exciting sailing, some stunning days at sea and the chance to see wildlife including whales and seabirds.

Endeavour sails. Image: EAP.

Endeavour under sail. Image: EAP.

As with the last time we returned to the Museum at the end of a period of voyaging, I’d like to end this series of blog posts with a mention of the family groups on board this trip.

As topman of mizzenmast watch this voyage, there were no less than three family groups in my watch. Couple John and Lesley Rowe were both supernumeraries, while Emily Devine and father Michael were voyage crew in mizzenmast watch. Michael has been on Endeavour before and came back for another voyage with Emily as a present for Emily’s birthday.

My father Jim Macbeth came along as voyage crew, making us the third family group in mizzenmast watch. Several other voyage crew wondered how a parent would go ‘taking orders’ from a daughter, but we managed remarkably well and had a good time!

Father and daughter team Michael and Emily Devine. Image EAP.

Father and daughter team Michael and Emily Devine. Image EAP.

As I mentioned in the blog last time we had a number of family groups on board, it can be a very special experience not only for the families themselves but for others in the watch and on the voyage.

As Jim said: ‘The camaraderie is growing every day as the crew get to know each other and through sharing good, but often challenging, experiences. Sharing an adventure does bring people together, giving us all a sense of friendship and good will.’

IMG_2959edit

Cannon fire on our last night at sea. Image: EAP.

This camaraderie was certainly in evidence during our last night at sea on the Eden to Sydney voyage. Everyone was in high spirits and keen to make the most of the experience. This voyage has been a little unusual in that we’ve been at sea every night – there were no nights at anchor.

At 2000 hours, the portside cannon was fired. It was just after dark and, as always, the explosion created by lighting the charge was a spectacular sight.

Mizzenmast watch had the morning watch (0400-0800) and we emerged on deck at 0400 into brilliant moonlight – so bright it seemed that dawn had arrived early. When dawn really did come, it was with a soft orange in the eastern sky, opposite the final light of the moon setting in the west.

Meanwhile, to our northwest the loom of Sydney had been visible for some time, and with the dawn we were able to see Botany Bay as we passed.

A large cargo ship emerged from the port of Botany as we approached, passing around 1.5 nautical miles ahead of us. 1.5 nautical miles sounds like a long way, but at sea it seems extremely close to a ship of that size!

Image: EAP.

Furling sails  in preparation for arriving in Sydney. Image: EAP.

This morning was busy as the whole crew got to work furling the remaining sails (furling involves rolling the sail up tightly and lashing it firmly with lines called gaskets so that the sail cannot flog in the wind or fill up with rainwater). Some sails had been furled the previous evening but the bulk of the work still remained.

On the calm seas and in the bright sunshine, most of the voyage crew were keen to go aloft and it was a good opportunity to put ‘harbour furls’ in all the sails. ‘Harbour furls’ refer to furls that are neat and tidy, ready for the ship to look presentable alongside the wharf – in contrast to storm furls, when the aim is to get the sail in as quickly as possible, with no time for presentation!

Once the sails were furled and the ship neat and tidy, we proceeded through the heads into Sydney Harbour just after lunch. Once again, I was sad to say goodbye to the voyage crew in Darling Harbour – it has been a wonderful few days.

As always, the ship herself attracts many people to come and sail – but it is these same people who give life to the experience of sailing a 19th century replica.

Captain Dikkenberg brings Endeavour into Sydney Harbour this afternoon. Image: EAP.

Captain Dikkenberg brings Endeavour into Sydney Harbour this afternoon. Image: EAP.

Endeavour’s next adventure on the high seas will be a series of three voyages, beginning in late January 2015. We will be sailing from Sydney to Hobart for the Wooden Boat Festival in early February, then undertaking a ten-day convict history voyage departing from and returning to Hobart, before the return voyage from Hobart to Sydney. The ship will be away from Sydney for six weeks and there are places available for voyage crew and supernumeraries.

Until next time Endeavour goes to sea, fair winds!

Suzannah Marshall Macbeth           

Eden to Sydney voyage, day 3-4

Thursday 6 November 2013, 1800 hours

Hours under sail since 1800 Tuesday: 41
Hours under engine since 1800 Tuesday: 7
Distance over ground: 197 nautical miles

The last 48 hours have seen the HMB Endeavour replica sailing at some distance offshore and weathering variable winds. We’ve also encountered some heavy rain accompanied by a few flashes of lightning – followed the next day by clear skies and a hot sun! So it’s been a busy and exciting time handling sails in order to get the most out of the ship with the wind that we’ve had.

Our last post, written on Tuesday but unfortunately not online immediately due to lack of internet access offshore, saw us 33 miles off Montague Island, sailing slightly north of west. We made two more tacks back and forth off the coast but weren’t able to gain ground to the north.

Waiting for the southerly change. Image: EAP.

Waiting for the southerly change. Image: EAP.

On Wednesday morning as we waited hopefully for the predicted southerly change to arrive, the wind dropped off completely and given the distance we still needed to cover to arrive on time in Sydney on Friday, it was time to power up the ‘iron topsails’ and motor north.

As the day developed, a band of cloud formed in the west, but still no sign of the southerly change during the afternoon. When the change finally did arrive around 1700 on Wednesday evening, it brought with it plenty of wind and rain.

Setting sails in the rain. Image: Nick Brown.

Endeavour crew sets sails in the wind and rain. Image: Nick Brown.

The ‘all hands on deck’ call caught some of us unprepared but we were soon all on deck dressed in the various bright colours of our wet weather gear. Those that didn’t quite get their rain gear on in time ended up soaked through by the end of their time on deck!

Under sail in the rain! Image: Nick Brown.

Under sail in the rain! Image: Nick Brown.

Setting sails was harder work (and more exciting!) than we’d experienced so far this trip due to the stronger winds. Every sail required more muscle power to set and every line carried more weight due to the wind behind each sail.

All the watches had previously had ample practice setting sails and handling lines in light winds, so the voyage crew were well prepared when the wind did pick up and sails needed to be set in a hurry.

The hard work was definitely worth it, as we were soon powering along under topsails, forecourse, spritsail and two fore-and-aft sails. We averaged around 6 knots during the night and at times exceeded 9 knots.

Unfortunately, the swell was still running from the north, making for an uncomfortable ride as Endeavour’s bluff bows punched into the oncoming swell. It made for a tough night for some amongst the voyage crew who suffered from seasickness.

The next morning dawned bright and sunny and seemed to mark a turning point – everyone had a new spring in their step!

Sails set on the mainmast - as seen from above on Endeavour. Image: EAP.

Sails set on the mainmast – as seen from above on Endeavour. Image: EAP.

The swell finally eased as the day progressed, and with the sun shining and sails set it was a wonderful day’s sailing north towards Sydney.

We celebrated two birthdays in the afternoon – voyage crew member David Yarra and topman Amy Spets. In an unusual turn around, ‘all hands’ was called again – this time not to go on deck and set sails, but to gather on the 20th century deck for cake and candles.

Birthday cake, Endeavour style. Image: EAP.

Birthday cake, Endeavour style. Image: EAP.

We made sure the two people left on the helm and the lookouts didn’t miss out on cake!

All’s well.

- Suzannah Marshall Macbeth