Albany welcomes a floating museum

TOYAH SHAKESPEAREAlbany Advertiser

Albany residents gave the HMB Endeavour one of the warmest welcomes of its Australian circumnavigation when it sailed into port last Thursday, according to the ship’s captain.

The historic Endeavour replica sailed smoothly into Albany Waterfront Marina as hundreds of people watched from the foreshore, Marine Drive and the marina.

The ship was followed into the harbour by a Princess Royal Yacht Club flotilla.

A yell of “fire in the hole” followed by a cannon-firing provided some action for punters.

Captain Ross Mattson, who has previously served as captain for Sydney’s Bounty, said coming into Albany under sail was “absolutely wonderful”.

“Coming into the foreshore with the welcoming, this is one of the best we have received,” he said.

“There’s always a bit of seasickness over the first few days but the last three days were fantastic.”

Capt. Mattson said the crew was excited to start the voyage from Fremantle to Albany after a long stint in Fremantle Port.

“We had a lot of winds that were against us, so the sailing percentage could have been a lot more but we made good time,” he said.

Capt. Mattson said one of the highlights of the circumnavigation that left from Sydney last April, was seeing many whales breaching in Exmouth.

“Another of the highlights was the voyage from Cairns to Thursday Island because we were following in Cook’s wake quite accurately,” he said.

“We sail this ship as Cook would have done 241 years ago.”

Captain James Cook took the original Endeavour on a world circumnavigation from 1768 to 1771 when he crossed the Pacific, circumnavigated New Zealand and explored Australia’s east coast.

Albany residents can tour the replica vessel, which is a floating museum, and see the swivel guns and four-pound cannons and learn what life was like as an explorer more than 200 years ago.

The Endeavour’s Australian circumnavigation takes it to 18 ports on a 13-month voyage.

Albany is the 12th port of call.

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