Weather-permitting, HM Bark Endeavour, the full-scale replica of Captain Cook’s famous ship, will leave the dry dock at A&P Tees near Middlesbrough, where it is undergoing a comprehensive repair and refurbishment programme, on the morning of Friday 25 May just ahead of the Spring Bank Holiday.
From there, Endeavour will be towed 40 miles down the coast to arrive in its spiritual home of Whitby later that afternoon.
The vessel’s arrival will be all the more poignant as the original Endeavour was built in the harbour town by ship builder Thomas Fishburn as a collier bark named the Earl of Pembroke which was used to haul coal along the coast before being registered and renamed by the Navy in 1768.
Once berthed in Whitby the replica will undergo a further period of internal refurbishment to transform it into a visitor attraction and be ready to open to visitors this summer, coinciding with the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first voyage on-board Endeavour.
The replica was bought at auction by Whitby businessman Andrew Fiddler last year, safeguarding it’s future as a North East visitor attraction. Other bids came from Dubai, Portsmouth and London where it would have been converted into a private residence. Until now, the Endeavour had been residing at Stockton and used as a corporate events venue, but had fallen into disrepair.
Last month the Endeavour was moved to dry dock, which involved hoisting it into the air to clear the lock gates at the Tees Barrage.
Once berthed at Whitby, the ship will undergo another stage in its transformation before being opened later this summer as a visitor attraction – it will be family-friendly with plenty of interactive features about life on-board an 18th century ship and the work that Capt Cook’s crew undertook.
The move of Endeavour to Whitby this year coincides with the 250th anniversary of Capt Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific in command of The Endeavour.