1971: Endeavour II

Barque Monte Cristo, becalmed in English Bay, Vancouver

Barque Monte Cristo, becalmed in English Bay, Vancouver. Photo: Vancouver Sun, 22 Mar 1969

Endeavour II (ex Monte Cristo) was a 3-masted auxiliary barque, launched in North Vancouver, Canada in 1968.

Sailing from Australia in 1971 with a crew of young volunteers, the barque battled easterly gales before rounding North Cape and sailing onto a lee shore as the storm intensified. With no fuel (she had exhausted her supply in a search after the crew spotted what they believed to be distress flares) and the poor windward ability of a square rigger, Endeavour II was blown closer and closer to shore.

The barque’s electronic equipment consisted of a VHF radio, and about 1am on 22 Feb a MAYDAY call was sent. Ingram does not record where the distress call was received, but two tugs were sent to her aid, one from Auckland and one from Whangaroa. Due to the atrocious conditions they never reached her.

On 22 February, Endeavour II’s anchors dragged and she was blown onto the bar at Parengarenga Harbour. The crew of 13 made it to shore clinging to a liferaft and their ship was wrecked. (The masts were salvaged and added to a former sugar barge tourist attraction at Paihia.

Endeavour II sails into Botany Bay for re-enactment of Captain Cook's landing at Kurnell, 1970

Endeavour II sails into Botany Bay for re-enactment of Captain Cook’s landing at Kurnell, 1970.
Photo: National Archives of Australia

Former sugar barge Tui, hard aground and sporting the salvaged spars from Endeavour II in her role as a shipwreck museum at Paihia

Former sugar barge Tui, hard aground in 1976 and sporting the salvaged spars from Endeavour II in her role as a shipwreck museum at Paihia. Photo: Archives NZ


More information:

Craig, R. & Opacic, G. (2014). In a cloud of sails. Unpublished.

Facebook page for Endeavour II.

Hammond, D. (1971). Photos of the wreck of Endeavour II.

Taylor, R.D. (2008). Voyages of a simple sailor. Herts, UK: Fitzroy Press.