Climb aboard the HM Bark Endeavour and dive into her rich history as a discovery vessel on the high seas.
In June 2018 a ship arrived in Whitby to the great delight of all that live there and the future delight of many visitors to come. But why all the excitement over a simple ship? A multitude of ships have graced Whitby’s rugged shores and none have achieved such interest and delight!
The answer to this question is that this particular ship is none other than the HM Bark Endeavour sailed on by the world-famous Captain James Cook himself! Well, it’s not the actual ship to be completely factual, but it is a full-size replica of the famous vessel in all its glory and might.
The HM Bark Endeavour And Captain Cook
In August 1768 the HM Bark Endeavour set sail from Plymouth on a voyage that would last for three years. Its mission was to explore the ‘unknown Southern lands’ also known as Terra Australis.
In charge of this mission; Captain James Cook who had started out life as a simple grocer’s shop boy in Staithes. Realising it was not a life he was suited to, however, he quickly moved to Whitby where he became a merchant navy apprentice and finally a member of the Royal British Navy.
Once enlisted in the navy he rose through the ranks quickly and headed his first mission, this very one in 1768. The Captain Cook Museum in Whitby reveals a lot of useful information about the famous seaman.
On arriving at the coast of Australia in 1770 Cook narrowly avoided disaster when the HM Bark Endeavour ran aground on the great barrier reef. Luckily, action was taken quickly with guns and other weighty items being thrown overboard lightening the weight and raising the ship in the water.
This allowed them to move away from the reef. The ship then made its way Northerly up the coast exploring the flora, fauna, and people of Australia for several months before sailing onto the Dutch East port of Batavia. Here, repairs were made to the damage from the great barrier reef before sailing back to England.
Why not explore the Captain Cook District in Whitby to visit the places of the great Captain himself?
The Endeavour Experience
Bought at auction in 2017 by Andrew Fiddler the replica of the HM Bark Endeavour allowed the Whitby businessman to fulfil his dream which was to bring this magnificent ship to the place of the creation of the original, Whitby, and open a fully interactive Endeavour Experience.
This dream came to fruition in August 2018 when the first visitors walked the plank onto the Endeavours decks.
Accessed from the Main street in Whitby the HM Bark Endeavour has three decks for you to explore; the main deck, top deck, and Orlop deck.
The main deck and top deck are filled with exhibits and interactive experiences whilst the Orlop deck houses the cafe and restaurant. Each deck is accessed by a flight of stairs.
The main deck houses the majority of the exhibits which are all aimed at giving the visitor a full-on experience of Captain Cook’s voyage to Australia, including what life was like onboard the HM Bark Endeavour.
Here you can step inside the Captain's great cabin and surround yourself with the man himself and his crew. You can also learn what really happened when the ship ran aground and what Cook thought of the first Australian natives he saw!
Also on this deck, you can:
- Explore Captain Cook as a cartographer
- Tie knots, learn sailor skills, play cards and sing rousing sea shanties
- Discover what security was needed and why
- Look to the stars with the onboard astronomer
- View the botanical bounty from Australia
- Visit the barber/surgeon, but be careful a tot of rum is the only anaesthetic!
On the top deck, you will find not only the ships wheel but also the capstan. This was used to winch heavy objects and took eight sailors to power!
The canons can also be found on this level and you will learn exactly how they were fired. You can also discover how discipline was metered out in an attempt to stop sailors from committing a crime and exactly why urine was stored in barrels to rinse clothes in!
Not only does the HM Bark Endeavour have its own cafe serving a variety of hot and cold drinks, freshly baked cakes and light sandwiches but it also has its very own restaurant which opens from 6 pm.
Here you will find a fabulous array of starters, mains and desserts served in an authentic-looking ships mess that has been renovated to modern standards and dressed in the finest tableware.
Booking is required. Should you prefer a little more dining intimacy the great cabin can be hired privately for up to 26 people. Here you will enjoy your meal with a view of the sun setting over Whitby harbour.
Read about the top 20 restaurants in Whitby here
As well as the normal dining experience on the HM Bark Endeavour you can also book for one of their special events. These include a gothic dining experience, Halloween trick or treat family tea, murder mystery nights, festive feasting and a New years eve dining experience.
Further details of these are available on the website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Planning Your Visit
The Endeavour Experience is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily and can be booked by telephone or in-person.
Group bookings are welcomed by prior arrangement with parties of ten or more receiving a discount. For more information visit www.hmbarkendeavour.co.uk
Address: Whitby Harbour, Pier Rd, Whitby YO21 3PU, UK
Phone: 01723 364100