wooden tall ship with white sails on the ocean with a blue sky

David Knight Photography

Endeavour Log
Follow the Wind Voyage: 5 – 9 February 2024

Voyage Update - Wednesday 7 February

The Endeavour replica is returning to the museum a day early after enduring a strong southerly system off the NSW coast.

The vessel, which has been undertaking a 5 day voyage, has experienced large southerly swells and extremely unfavourable conditions. Wave heights have been in excess of 7 metres and winds in excess of 35 knots.

The ship’s Master has decided to return to home port overnight.

Photo of rough sea

Brian Quinn, Cook's Mate

Morning Update – Wednesday 7 February

Rough and uncomfortable seas with a maximum wave height of 8 metres with an average height of about 4 metres. Making things worse is the confused state of the sea: residual north swell interacting with prevailing south swell. 

As Endeavour is not venturing very far from the coast due to the strong southerly, the Master has decided to seek shelter and is currently headed for the confines of Broken Bay (Hawkesbury River mouth entrance near Palm Beach). Broken Bay is large, protected from most weather, and anchoring there will give the crew some time to rest and to clean up.

The main thing is the crew (Professional and Voyage) are all in good spirits and there have been no injuries. 

Endeavour is currently 40 nautical miles east of Broken Bay, so they should be in smooth waters 8 hours from now, around 1700 this afternoon. Broken Bay is stunning, so it will be a great morale booster to anchor and mosey around these waters.

Photo of crew members working aboard Endeavour tall ship

Brian Quinn, Cook's Mate

Ship's Midday Report - Tuesday 6 February

We had a wet morning. Dodged storms and are now sailing comfortably with a 25 knot SSW breeze.  Have close reefed topsails and two stay sails set, making 5-6 knots. 

No engineering issues to speak of and the food coming out of the galley is delicious and plentiful for those that can stomach it. 

Sailing inshore today before wearing this evening and heading back offshore overnight. 

All is well, only tired. Yesterday’s heat knocked everybody and below decks is still sticky and hot. We rigged fans to circulate air to try and improve comfort. 

7 April, 1802, Kangaroo Head, the first Australians

On his own voyage up the East Coast of New Holland, as he called it, Captain Cook found the elusiveness of the “Indians” very puzzling. Rarely more than flitting figures in the distance, they seemed to have no interest in any interactions at all, no matter how much they try to entice them.

But perhaps, Captain Flinders wonders, his mighty forebear was trying too hard?

For as they proceed, the protégé of Cook’s protégé, his humble self, develops an entirely different tactic to engage them. Take this day, when calls are heard, native voices, from bodies unseen, yelling to them from dense scrubland:

“No attempt was made to follow them, for I had always found the natives of this country to avoid those who seemed anxious for communication; whereas, when left entirely alone, they would usually come down after having watched us for a few days.”[1]

Eminently sensible, this observation leads Flinders to further musing and empathy on the Indigenous caution that seems beyond his time. After all, Flinders reasons, from that perspective, the response of the natives is exactly what we white people would do.

“For what, in such case, would be the conduct of any people, ourselves for instance, were we living in a state of nature, frequently at war with our neighbours, and ignorant of the existence of any other nation? On the arrival of strangers so different in complexion and appearance to ourselves, having power to transplant themselves over, and even living upon, an element which to us was impossible, the first sensation would probably be terror, and the first movement flight.

“We should watch these extraordinary people from our retreats in the woods and rocks, and if we found ourselves sought and pursued by them, should conclude their designs to be inimical; but if, on the contrary, we saw them quietly employed in occupations which had no reference to us, curiosity would get the better of fear, and after observing them more closely, we should ourselves risk a communication. Such seemed to have been the conduct of these Australians.”[2]

“Australians?” It is the first time that the native population has been so called, and it has a certain ring to it. They are “Indians” no longer. Flinders is also sure to try and move beyond bartering and has simply left gifts for these unseen Australians: hatchets, ropes, cups and the like. Hopefully, goodwill might be purchased with these gifts, the better to benefit “succeeding visitors”[3].

Peter FitzSimons


[1] Matthew Flinders, Voyage To Terra Australis Vol.1, G. and W. Nichol, London, 1814, p. 146
[2] Matthew Flinders, Voyage To Terra Australis Vol.1, G. and W. Nichol, London, 1814, pp. 146-147
[3] Matthew Flinders, Voyage To Terra Australis Vol.1, G. and W. Nichol, London, 1814, pp. 146-147 

Monday 5 February

Endeavour set sail at 3pm, motoring out of Darling Harbour under grey skies, with all onboard looking forward to the adventure ahead.  

Photo of tall ship Endeavour with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background

Megan Baehnisch ANMM

Timelapse of Endeavour departing


Megan Baehnisch ANMM