Wrecked on the Endeavour II

The RSYS Cruising Division is pleased to invite you to an online event. Member David Salt will recount the wreck of the Barque Endeavour II off Parengarenga Harbour, New Zealand 22 February 1971.

The Endeavour II (formerly Monte Cristo) a three masted Barque was built in Vancouver in 1968 and sailed the east coast of North America before leaving Ensenada, Mexico for the voyage to Sydney via Tahiti to re-enact the landing of Captain Cook in Botany Bay in April 1970. Squadron Member David Salt joined the crew shortly thereafter in Circular Quay as a 26 year old deckhand helping with the refit, repairing rigging, steering, rudder and engine. He learned how to handle a square rigger on the journey to Brisbane via Newcastle and Coffs Harbour.

Endeavour II left Brisbane with a crew of 15 on the 28 January 1970 bound for Auckland with a brief stop at Lord Howe Island. They enjoyed some great sailing in the Tasman averaging over 6 knots before reaching the top of New Zealand when bad squally weather hindered their passage round the North Cape. When the fore topgallant stay parted and winds increased they had difficulty weathering the NE tip of New Zealand. Tacking with square sails was a complicated process requiring almost 170 ropes. This was completed many times before eventually weathering the Cape.

Once past the North Cape it was a south easterly passage to Auckland but we could not weather the next Cape KariKari. We were then embayed and unable to proceed forward or back, even using the last of our fuel to punch seaward was to no avail. At 2100 hours we started our last tack northward until at 0100 hours the next day the keel hit the bottom and the jibboom lifted upwards, the Endeavour II slewed sideways and was pounded by heavy surf which crashed over the decks. Sails furled and anchors dropped, the vessel eventually stopped in calmer waters inside the reef.

When the tide started ebbing they were washed back onto the reef, where the boat was pounded relentlessly by the rolling surf and the keel bounced on the reef. When at last the tide started flooding it was time to abandon ship, which was breaking up. With one last twist of fate, the inflating life raft came up and floated away leaving the lanyard attached to the quarter deck. Eventually the crew made it to shore on a large rubber life raft with no lives lost.


Event Details

Date: Wednesday 22 September
Time: 6:20pm – 7:30pm
Venue: Online

Register here