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Sunday, 4 January 2015

HMS Endeavour

Built in Whitby, the 97ft H.M.S. Endeavour was at first called Earl of Pembroke.

It was launched in 1764 and originally used as a coal carrying ship.

The  Earl of Pembroke was bought by the Royal Navy for £2,840 in 1768 for a scientific mission to the Pacific Ocean. She was also to search for the unknown southern land, Terra Australis Incognita.

Renamed as His Majesty's Bark the Endeavour, she left Plymouth in August 1768 under the command of Lieutenant James Cook (later Captain Cook)

Her crew included 12 Royal Marines to repel any attacks by Pacific islanders

She carried pigs, poultry, a milking goat and 3,000 gallons of wine.

After sailing around Cape Horn the Endeavour reached Tahiti to see the 1769 transit of Venus across the Sun.

In September 1769, The Endeavour anchored off New Zealand, the first European vessel to reach the islands since Abel Tasman's Heemskerck 127 years earlier.

Maoris in New Zealand thought she was a a floating island or a giant bird.

HMS Endeavour off the coast of New Holland, by Samuel Atkins c.1794

In April 1770, The Endeavour became the first European ship to reach the east coast of Australia, when Cook went ashore at what is now known as Botany Bay.

The Endeavour then sailed north along the Australian coast. She ran into the Great Barrier Reef near Cape Tribulation. The crew were able to get the ship onto a beach on the mainland, which is now the site of Cooktown. They stayed for seven weeks so that basic repairs could be made to her hull. On October 10, 1770, she limped into port in Batavia in the Dutch East Indies for more substantial repairs.

The Endeavour left on December 26, 1770, and reached the English port of Dover the following July, having been at sea for nearly three years.

Captain James Cook’s voyage into the South Pacific to observe the passage of Venus between the earth and Sun was immortalized by NASA, which named one of its space shuttles after Endeavour.

The Endeavour spent the next three years shipping Navy stores to the Falkland Islands.

She was renamed the Lord Sandwich and sold in 1775, but was used as a troop transport during the American Revolutionary War.

She was one of several surplus ships that the Royal Navy possessed as the British besieged Newport on Rhode Island, The Endeavour was scuttled in the harbor in 1778 to stop the defenders from being supplied by sea, but was sunk during the blockade.

The ship's remains were discovered in America in 1999 sitting at the bottom of Newport harbor in Rhode Island.

Source Daily Mail

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