HMS Endeavour was a British Royal Navy research vessel commanded by Lieutenant James Cook on his first voyage of discovery, to Australia and New Zealand from 1769 to 1771.
Launched in 1764, then purchased by the Navy in 1768 for a scientific mission to the Pacific Ocean and to explore the seas for the surmised Terra Australis Incognita or "unknown southern land". She departed in August 1768, rounded Cape Horn, and reached Tahiti in time to observe the 1769 transit of Venus across the Sun. She then set sail into the largely uncharted ocean to the south, stopping at the Pacific islands of Huahine, Borabora, and Raiatea to allow Cook to claim them for Great Britain. In September 1769, she anchored off New Zealand, the first European vessel to reach the islands since Abel Tasman's Heemskerck 127 years earlier. In 1770, Endeavour became the first seagoing vessel to reach the east coast of Australia, when Cook went ashore at what is now known as Botany Bay.
Endeavour then sailed north along the Australian coast until she ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, and was beached on the mainland for seven weeks to repairs. She limped into port in Batavia (now named Jakarta) in the Dutch East Indies for more substantial repairs, her crew was sworn to secrecy about the lands they had discovered. She then resumed her journey to England, reaching the port of Dover after nearly three years at sea.
Largely forgotten after her epic voyage, Endeavour spent the next three years shipping Navy stores to the Falkland Islands. Renamed and sold into private hands in 1775, she played a part in the American Revolutionary War and was scuttled in a blockade of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island in 1778. Her wreck has not been precisely located, but relics, including six of her cannons and an anchor, are displayed at maritime museums worldwide. A replica of Endeavour was launched in 1994 and is berthed alongside the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney Harbour. The space shuttle Endeavour is named for the original ship.
Length: 63cm (hull)
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