Listen: Meredith Lake in conversation with Stephen O’Doherty.
The ship commanded by Captain James Cook, the Endeavour, is an important material object in the history of Australia. For years marine archeologists have been trying to find the remains of the famous ship. It is significant in the history of Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the United States.
A long search may be over
If it is indeed the Endeavour, there are hopes sufficient money can be raised to next year recover whatever is left in time for the April 2020 celebrations marking 250 years since Cook’s arrival at Botany Bay.
Researchers from the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project have been searching for the remains of the Endeavour for 25 years. Newport Harbour, Rhode Island is believed to be the final resting place of the ship.
The top secret mission
On Open House Historian Meredith Lake – author of Christian book of the year 2018 ‘The Bible in Australia” – talked to Stephen O’Doherty about the Endeavour and the secret mission he was informed of after traveling to Tahiti to observe the Transit of Venus. She had some intriguing insights.
From high sea adventure to bottom of the harbour
After the famous journeys to observe the Transit of Venus and see if there was indeed “a great Southern Land”, the Endeavour had become a British troop ship (renamed Lord Sandwich) was one of a number of ships deliberately scuttled in the harbour in 1778 during the American War of Independence.
Is there even much left?
It seems an ignominious end for such a cultural touchstone. If the latest discovery turns out to be the Endeavour don’t get too excited about it being refloated. After several hundred years underwater there is likely very little left of the once fine ship.
There may be some remnants of timber for instance, but that will need to pass various scientific tests to see if the origins of the oak is actually form the area and of an age that they can be claimed as being from the Endeavour.
The National Maritime Museum is the home of the Australian-built replica of James Cook’s HMB Endeavour. It is one of the world’s most accurate maritime replica vessels. On the website there is a detailed history of the Endeavour and a virtual tour of the vessel. There are also highlighted links with information about James Cook, Joseph Banks and the rations on board the Endeavour.
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