Thumbs up from Endeavour
By Daniel Kemp
The HMB Endeavour was moored in Docklands for 12 days during April, providing a direct link to one of the major events in Australian history.
The floating museum is almost at the end of a year-long circumnavigation of Australia, with Docklands being almost the last destination on a 15-stop tour.
Endeavour’s engineer Andrew Laurie said: “The ship is the closest replica ever built of Captain Cook’s original vessel. It was commissioned in 1995 and is still going as strong as ever.”
The engineer also praised Docklands and the location of its berth at Waterfront City, citing its location close to the centre of Melbourne as a major positive: “The location is perfect – there’s so much going on around here, and there’s always somewhere to relax for some food and a beer after work!”
“Docklands is synonymous with shipping and has played a large role in Melbourne’s maritime history, so it’s a perfect fit with what we’re trying to achieve here in educating people about Captain Cook’s voyage,” Mr Laurie said.
Anne Gibson, a long-time volunteer with the Endeavour, was in high spirits as she introduced guests to the ship’s history. “I was here the first time the Endeavour arrived in Melbourne, and I love being here,” she said.
“It’s a long trip in to work every morning, but it’s definitely worth it,” said Ms Gibson, who lives on the Mornington Peninsula.
The wharf’s location, opposite the Ancient Rome exhibition in Waterfront City Piazza, was also seen as a plus point, with people more inclined to travel to the area if they were able to attend two exhibitions at once.
The Endeavour travels as a working sailing ship, with members of the public able to pay for the privilege of travelling on board as a member of the crew. Once on board, the new shipmates sleep in hammocks, take two-hour watch shifts at night, and even scrub the decks.
The ship arrived in Melbourne on April 16, sailing across Bass Strait from Hobart. Mooring in Docklands on April 17, the ship was open as a museum from April 18-29, before leaving to sail up the coast to Eden, NSW.