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HMS Endeavour

(Not) The Ship That Discovered Australia

In November 2004, a replica of HMS Endeavour visited Whitehaven, on the west coast of Cumbria. The ship was en route to its home in Australia. HMS Endeavour, also known as HM Bark Endeavour, was a British Royal Navy research vessel that Lieutenant James Cook commanded to Australia and New Zealand on his first voyage of discovery from 1768 to 1771.

In April 1770, Endeavour became the first ship to reach the east coast of Australia, when Cook went ashore at what is now known as Botany Bay. On 12 July 1771, the ship returned to English port of Dover, having been at sea for nearly three years.

Endeavour was largely forgotten after her epic voyage and spent the next three years sailing to and from the Falkland Islands. She was sold into private hands in 1775 and later renamed as Lord Sandwich; she was hired as a British troop transport during the American War of Independence and was scuttled in a blockade of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island in 1778. Relics from the ship are displayed at maritime museums worldwide, including six of her cannon and an anchor.

In September 2018, marine archaeologists announced that they had located what they believed to be the wreck of the ship off the coast of Rhode Island in the United States. RIMAP says it hopes to begin an excavation this year.

  • The replica of Endeavour was launched in 1994 and is currently berthed alongside the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney Harbour. The US Space Shuttle Endeavour is named after the ship, and she is depicted on the New Zealand fifty-cent coin.

The rigging on Endeavour was the most impressive thing that I could remember from the ships visit to Whitehaven, and just about the only thing I photographed. Doh!

Independent thinkers are usually geniuses or idiots and at times it’s hard to tell which.

James Cook
HMS Endeavour
HMS Endeavour
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