The Endeavour in Townsville
Impressions of a Swiss student
Today, I visited the Endeavour, Captain James Cook’s famous ship. It was extremely interesting and impressive. On board the ship there were a lot of volunteers who told us about the daily schedule and habits of the ship’s crew. We went in groups of ten to twelve people from volunteer to volunteer, as they all had different information or a special topic to talk about.
The first man gave us some impressive facts and figures about this replica of the Endeavour, which I can remember; on board there is about 29 km of rope, 28 sails and four anchors. The two biggest anchors are nearly one ton each. For hoisting the main sail 20 people are needed.
The next volunteer said it was not a question of if we hit our heads; but rather, how many times we hit our heads. So the adventure starts with a steep stairway into the ship’s hull. It is dark inside and in some parts extremely low. It is amazing how the crew used to live. There is a room which is the crews’ living room, dining room and bedroom in one. I imagine it must have been very narrow, loud and stuffy in there. From this room, we had to just about creep to see the little cabins where the officers and midshipmen slept. A little bit ahead was the room where they worked, relaxed and ate. I had thought, Cooks cabin would be the biggest and he would have had the most comfort in his room on the ship. However, he actually had a small cabin and his bed was a fold-down type; therefore, the working table next door was bigger.
After looking at the cabins we went back to the deck. This deck was reserved only for the Captain and the officers. On this deck is the wheel and from there Captain Cook could see all of the decks and sails.
Today, there is also a crew on board. They sail from harbor to harbor to show the Endeavour to people all around Australia. The crew has to work like Captain Cooks’ crew used to work; however, there is a little bit more comfort nowadays on the ship such as toilets and fridges, but they still sleep in the hammocks.
Jeannine (G9), 12.06.2011