I swear, bloggy friends, it’s not just so I could have another post with pirate speak. Truly! The HMB Endeavour, a replica owned by the Maritime Museum, is in Brisbane. If you live nearby RUN to see this before it moves on. It’s that good.
If you don’t live anywhere near Brisbane, check the website to see if it will be at a port near you. It’s recommended that you wear closed shoes – I had sandals on and survived, but there is some tricky climbing and the decent from the gangway is steep, so I grant that joggers or something more sturdy than sandals would have been better. There are no prams or large bags allowed and children must be 90cm tall or over to be admitted. If you take a camera bag or backpack, you may leave it in a locker and redeem it with a ticket (much the same as you would at the art gallery).
The staff are very friendly and offered to book us as a school group, which meant we could appoint a time to go through. I recommend you go that route if you have small children, as the wait can be long if you go on a day when the schools are taking classes aboard.
The downloadable pdf self guided tour brochure is worth reading, even if you can’t make it to the ship. Did you know the expression “Let the cat out of the bag” came from the cat of nine tails? It was kept in a baize bag and, obviously, removed when there was discipline to administer. So too the expression “No room to swing a cat” came as below deck where the whip was kept was too cramped to apply it, and it had to be done above deck. You can read these and other gems in the self guided tour brochure.
See how easily Blossy, who is 3, walks through to the Captain’s quarters? Mr BB, all six-foot two inches of him, folded up like a hanky to get through this space. Most of the viewing of the lower deck requires stooping when moving between viewing areas.
The ship is set up to represent conditions during Cook’s voyage, and the rooms contain clothing, toiletries, books and weapons of the era.
If you are studying Australian history this year, this is a must see. If your children read historical fiction with a nautical flavour, this experience will lend flesh to the skeleton that is literary description. Friends, it’s well worth a visit. :)