World’s finest replica ship sets sail for Eden

The magnificent HM Bark Endeavour will be one of the star attractions at this year’s Eden Whale Festival.Image: Australian National Maritime Museum.

The magnificent HM Bark Endeavour will be one of the star attractions at this year’s Eden Whale Festival.Image: Australian National Maritime Museum.

Ever wondered what life was like for Captain James Cook and his crew aboard HM Bark Endeavour during their maiden voyage up the east coast of Australia?

It may have been nearly 250 years ago, but Eden locals will be able to get a glimpse of Cook’s day-to-day surroundings, when the world’s finest replica sailing ship visits Snug Cove as part of this year’s Eden Whale Festival.

The beautifully crafted, 43-metre replica ship will be in port from October 31-November 3, and will be open to the public on the first two days of November.

She is certainly a sight to see, weighing 550 tonnes and carrying a total of 930 square metres of sails, including nine square sails, eight fore-and-after sails and 10 studding sails.

But as magnificent a sight as she is from land, you really must step aboard to appreciate its true wonder.

Almost 30km of rope, and 750 wooden blocks or pulleys can be found around the vessel, which was commissioned in 1994 and sailed twice to the UK, before being acquired by the Commonwealth Government in 2005.

These days, the ship is managed by the Australian National Maritime Museum, and offers the opportunity for willing sailors to become a part of the voyage crew and learn the ropes of 18th century sailing.

Sapphire Coast Tourism deputy chair Gordon Beattie said he is thrilled by the news of Endeavour’s visit.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for Eden and for the shire,” he said.

“To have a real flagship vessel coming into the harbour during the festival is a massive coup, and I’m very pleased the organising committee has been able to negotiate in order to have the ship here.

“It’s a real flagship tourism event for the town and this will only attract more people to visit during the festival.”

The Eden visit will take place between two HM Bark Endeavour voyages, with places still available for those interested in taking part.

The first is a 10-day sail from Sydney to Jervis Bay, and then to Eden, which commences on October 21 and arrives in town in time for the weekend’s whale festival on November 1.

Berths are available for $2900 as a member of the voyage crew, where you will get the full experience and be taught to clamber masts and haul ropes, and learn the feeling of sleeping in a hammock at sea.

For a more luxurious experience which requires as much or as little involvement as you like, and allows you to sleep in the gentlemen’s quarters, you can travel as a supernumerary for $5100.

A shorter return voyage to Sydney will also take place from November 3-7, with voyage crew travelling from $1120, and supernumeraries from $2000.

For more information, or to register your interest in joining one of these voyages, click here.

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