Although HMB Endeavour arrived 90 minutes late into Port Adelaide due to the rail bridge malfunctioning, the vessel has made its mark on the Port. Monday 20th saw a small group of Flinders students join the hundreds boarding the ship, and many more passers-by simply coming to have a look.
We were met by a guide as we stepped onto the vessel, who began to explain various aspects of the ship in our immediate vicinity such as the operation of the anchor, the cannons and the ‘washing machine’ (better known as a bucket with salt-water). Moving then to the foredeck, more information was given, this time concerning the toilet and the piece of unwoven wet rope used in place of toilet paper. We then had the experience of going below deck and learning about life on board.
Throughout the tour, groups were passed on to each area’s guide and given a glimpse of what like would have been like on board the vessel. Moving through the cramped spaces, into rooms only 4ft high, and up narrow staircases, while fun the first time, would have been awful after months on board. We soon escaped into the open air again, after being shown both Sir Joseph Banks quarters and Captain James Cook’s quarters. The last part of the tour was an explanation of steering and some of the guide’s experiences on sailing the ship recently (now with GPS).
Leaving Endeavour felt rushed, like there was more to see. Perhaps this is from being ushered through the rooms as the guide in front becomes free or simply that only some rooms are open for visitors. To view the entire ship I would have had to sail with it or volunteer to be a night guard or guide (all quite tempting but too late now). However, I also left feeling full of new information and things to go look up later on Google.
To have missed this opportunity would have been unfortunate, as its not everyday that a tall ship sails into Adelaide.
I would recommend any one with the chance to visit Endeavour before it closes on Thursday, or even to view its departure on Friday, to do so. There is also still time to volunteer on board at its next port, Portland, Victoria (applications due 27th Feb). For more information about the Endeavour see its webpage http://www.endeavourvoyages.com.au/.
Written and Photographed by Cassandra Morris