The Search for the Endeavour

The Search for the Endeavour
Sailing and Navigation with ANMM Archeologists
Talks / Lecture

HM Bark Endeavour model 1967–70, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, 00009219
Recording date: 
19 January 2019


The recent re-discovery of Captain Cook’s ship HMB Endeavour, a joint project between RIMP and the Australian National Maritime Museum, made world headlines.

Archeologists from the ANMM will discuss this discovery and the ongoing work still to be done. 

Image: HM Bark Endeavour model 1967–70, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, 00009219


Sailing & Navigation – The Search for the Endeavour


*Speakers: Susannah Helman (S), Kieran Hosty (K), James Hunter (J)

*Audience: (A)

*Location: National Library of Australia

*Date: 19 January 2019


S:         Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. For those of you are joining us for the first time today welcome to the National Library of Australia. My name is Susannah Helman, I’m the Co-Curator of our exhibition, Cook and the Pacific.

As we begin I’d like to acknowledge the first Australians on whose traditional lands we meet, I pay my respects to the elders of the Ngunnawal, Noonawal and Nganbury people past and present for caring for this land we’re now privileged to call our home.

Cook and the Pacific includes many rare items that we’ve been privileged to borrow from public and private collections, museums, archives and libraries across Australia and overseas. These include a model of The Endeavour which has been lent to us by the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney along with ballast, a cannon ball and a coral encrustation from a cannon retrieved in 1969 from where The Endeavour struck the reef in north Queensland in June 1770. We have also borrowed one of The Endeavour’s cannon from the National Museum of Australia.


The Endeavour began its life as the Whitby collier, The Earl of Pembroke, and when it was scuttled off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island in 1778 it was known by a different name. Only a couple of days before Cook and the Pacific opened the news that the wreck of The Endeavour had been located swept the world. We were of course delighted. The Australian National Maritime Museum has partnered with the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project in the search. Today we are privileged to hear from the Museum’s Kieran Hosty and Dr James Hunter who have both been involved in the recent rediscovery. Please join me in welcoming Kieran Hosty and Dr James Hunter to discuss this discovery and the ongoing work still to be done.


K:        Thank you, everyone, for coming along today to listen to our talk about the finding of HMB Endeavour, now – this is sort of one of the world’s worst cases of secrecy. No-one is actually supposed to know that we actually found HMS – HMB Endeavour, it is actually a secret and we may actually as the day – as the afternoon sort of progresses we may actually talk to you a little bit about that.

First of all I have to acknowledge the fact that the Australian National Maritime Museum has been working with a number of people in the hunt for HMB Endeavour, Lord Sandwich for a number of years and I have to admit also that there is a number of embarrassing slides – images in this presentation which shows me slightly younger than what I am now.

Maritime Museum has been involved in the hunt for HMB Endeavour since 1999 so okay, that’s actually the last century. I’ve been involved – I hate to tell people this – I’ve actually been involved looking for HMB Endeavour for – since the last century, okay? That’s a hell of a long time. So I have to acknowledge also that I’m working with my partners, the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project which is a – what they call in the United States of America – an avocational organisation and they run on – to use an Australian colloquialism – they run on the smell of an oily rag. They do things slightly different, they have a tiny budget and they look after shipwrecks in the state of Rhode Island.

Now Australia has around about eight to 9,000 shipwrecks around the coast of Australia. In the state of Rhode Island they have around about 4,000 shipwrecks and their budget they use to manage their shipwrecks, the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, has around about $8,000 a year to manage that project. So they live in a sort of totally different world to us in Australia and I might talk to you a little bit about that as well as we progress. So it has been a very lengthy process but in fact there is reasons behind that.

One of our more recent project partners is the Silent World Foundation. Now the Silent World Foundation have been supporting the Maritime Archaeology Project with the Australian National Maritime Museum for a number of years, they’re our major sponsor. They fund many of our projects around Australia and overseas and for the last two years they’ve been involved in the hunt for HMB Endeavour with RIMAP and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

This gives you an idea – this image – first image gives you an idea of what conditions are like in Newport, Rhode Island. Now usually when I give a presentation of shipwreck work I try and show calm seas, I try and show sharks ‘cause everyone loves sharks. I try and show pictures of coral, I try and show pictures of beautiful fish and beautiful environments and so on and so on. This is Newport, Rhode Island and Newport, Rhode Island – again I’ll tell you a little bit more about this but Newport, Rhode Island is a very, very, very busy port. We think of it as - Newport, Rhode Island as the home of America’s Cup or I should say the ex-home of the America’s Cup – apologies for any Americans in the audience but that’s what it is. It’s a very vibrant port, many hundreds of vessel movements each year go through the port and it’s got a very long history of maritime – very long maritime history, 500 years of European maritime history in Newport.

There’s also a whopping great big American naval base just a couple of kilometres up the road from where we’re working. They get like 50 major ocean liners a year going through Newport, Rhode Island so it’s a very busy port and because of that the environment, the marine environment there is very turbid, there’s a lot of algae in the water. It actually does clear up a little bit in winter but visibility’s ‘round about - on a good day maybe about a metre, a metre-and-a-half. On a bad day the best visibility’s actually inside your face mask, okay? So this is actually not a too bad sort of day. This is about – maybe about 60 to 80cm that we have here. James will tell you some of the techniques that we’ve been using to try and overcome problems with visibility. By the way I do rabbit on so people – if I do bore you or anything just please drop me a line so –

Little bit of maritime archaeology. I apologise to people that I don’t look like Indiana Jones or anyone like Indiana Jones. So maritime archology has been defined as the study of underwater cultural heritage and related land base sites. Both James and I are maritime archaeologists and we work with the National Maritime Museum in Australia. We do projects and programs and all sorts of interesting stuff all around the world as well as in Australia and in fact we’ve just come from a project on the Great Barrier Reef where we’re looking for a mysterious Spanish shipwreck dating from the early 1900s – 1820s or something.

We do all sorts of stuff, we look at maritime-related sites such as shipwrecks, survivor camps, salvage sites, maritime memorial sites. We look at a thing like maritime infrastructure so we study harbours, we study the remains of ports, we study shipping channels, we look at trade routes. We look what material was coming into Australia and what material was going out of Australia in the 19th and 20th century. These are all sort of areas when maritime archaeologists get engaged. We use all the basic techniques that you think about as an archaeologist except for the pith helmet and the whip, we don’t carry those.

So we do research, we do site assessments, we do field work and we do post-excavation research and so on, conservation interpretation and all that sort of stuff. This image is actually off a place I used to work, this is Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney and this is one of our first excavations on the site in the early 1970s. Told you I was old. So this is actually some of the work beneath the floor deposits in Hyde Park Barracks and maritime archaeologists use exactly the same techniques as land archaeologists except we get wet occasionally.

National Maritime Museum’s been around – it’s one of the more recent national institutions in Australia and for reasons that make quite sense – quite a sensible reason, really, they decided to base the National Maritime Museum in Sydney with the coast rather than putting us in Canberra where there’s no coast. So they actually established us at Piermont in Sydney and this white building on the right is actually our home in Sydney.

Okay now on to The Endeavour. It seems a logical thing for an Australian national maritime museum to get involved in the hunt for HMB Endeavour. Now we first heard about HMB Endeavour – well we’ve always known about HMB Endeavour but we first heard about the possibility that HMB Endeavour was still around as a shipwreck way back in 1998 and that was due to the work of a person by the name of Dr Kathy Abbass. Dr Kathy Abbass who was the Director, the CEO if you like, of an organisation called the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project and Kathy was involved working with amateur divers, avocational divers in assessing shipwreck sites in the state of Rhode Island. She had many, many thousands of shipwrecks to investigate.

Now one of the areas that Kathy was really passionate about, and she’s a very passionate person, was the vessels associated with the American revolutionary war, as we call it, the American war of independence, and the vessels sunk in Newport and in Rhode Island associated with those – with that whole revolutionary war story. Very, very passionate about it. It’s a huge thing in the United States, the revolutionary war and it’s a huge thing in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Australian National Maritime Museum and the Silent World Foundation were interested in her story because of the very, very, very strong possibility that one of the vessels sunk during the Newport – during the revolutionary war in the United States in Newport was this vessel, HMB Endeavour. Now I won’t bore you about it, about the story of HMB Endeavour, we all know it fairly well. Built as the Earl of Pembroke as a collier, went on, was purchased by the Royal Navy, Navy renamed Endeavour, did a number of – did a single voyage with Cook into the Pacific, went up the east coast of Australia, circumnavigated New Zealand and so on. Then went on to do some service in the Falkland Islands before being sold out of the Royal Navy and being renamed The Lord Sandwich.

In one of those weird and wonderful quirks of 18th century maritime history The Lord Sandwich was eventually chartered, bought – it’s up to conjecture what it actually is, chartered, bought back into the Royal Navy and was used to carry Hessian troops, German mercenaries from England to what later became known as the United States of America during the American revolutionary war and as The Lord Sandwich had ended up in Newport, Rhode Island.

Now Newport – to give you some idea how significant Newport was, Newport was the third largest port in what became known as USA, the third largest port in 18th century America so it was a massive port, huge whaling fleet, huge number of slavers going out of Newport, very, very large fleet, very strategically important. Beautiful harbour, very safe harbour, very well defended harbour. So the British came into Newport and they kept a number of vessels there. At the time that the – in 1778 when The Endeavour was sunk there was 80 British vessels in Newport harbour, transports, war ships, a number of small cutters, schooners, large war ships, frigates all packed into Newport Harbour.

Newport, Rhode Island on the – get my coasts right now – on the east coast of America, beautiful harbour, very strategically important during the American revolutionary war and of course we have RIMAP with the work of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project analysing, surveying, looking for shipwrecks associated with the story of Newport and in particular the early transports.

There’s Provenance, Newport’s right there. So this is a beautiful harbour, Narragansett Bay so – and then you go ‘round the corner slightly of Narragansett Bay and Newport’s actually – Harbour is actually just in here.

One of the things about the American revolutionary war is that the French were involved and involved quite heavily. We always think about this American British thing but in fact the French were heavily involved in the American revolutionary war. Of course. They saw it as strategically important, they saw that the Americans were actually whipping the British’s bottoms during the American revolutionary war and they decided to actually side with the actual – if I can use the word rebels in Newport and around the east coast of America.

By doing so what they did is actually sent out a very large fleet of 13 first rate – that means large gunships, battleships, around about 70 to 120 guns each and this fleet under the command of Admiral d'Estaing went to Newport, Rhode Island and tried to wrest – to capture the town from the British that were holding it, the British garrison that were holding it.

At the very same time an American army attacked Newport from the north. Newport’s actually an island. It went over the passage onto the island and they attacked Newport from the north so it’s a pincer movement. The French are coming into Narragansett Bay, the Americans are attacking from the north and the garrison, the British garrison and their Hessian troops in Newport, around about 6,500 soldiers, they realised that they were in for a severe attack. They realised that if they weren’t capable, if they couldn’t do it, if they couldn’t actually get rid of this American attack, this French attack coming in, that they were in serious trouble.

So what they did is they – there was a slight panic going on in the town. I mean the Americans are advancing from the north, around about 20,000 Americans, this huge fleet coming in, nothing capable in Newport of actually defeating the French fleet at the time. So they decided to barricade Newport, they decided to actually stop the French fleet getting in and to do so they sank a number of vessels, they deliberately sank them, they scuttled them. They scuttled somewhere between 30 and 40 ships, transports, frigates and so on to barricade the fort, to barricade the port and to stop the French coming in too close, to stop them bombarding the town and bombarding the fortifications around the town.

So here we have the French fleet coming in. This is Newport over here, they’re coming through the narrow entrance of Narragansett and the actual British in the meantime - this is all happening in August 1778 – was busily scuttling their fleet at the very entrances to Newport Harbour to prevent the Americans from coming in too close.

This is a chart produced in August of 1778 by a British captain called Captain Fage. This name is the Fage Chart and it shows Newport in 1778, the town of Newport. This is Goat Island here. There’s a fortification up here called North Battery. Another fortification there, go to Island Battery and another battery where Fort Adams is today on Brenton Point. There’s also a small battery out here on Rose Island.

Now what the British did was they sank a whole pile of transports and frigates here and here and across here to prevent the French fleet sailing around the corner and getting into Newport and bombarding the town. Meanwhile the Americans were advancing across here and so there’s batteries, internal batteries, land-based fortifications up here as well.

The French and the Americans would have won, they would have actually easily captured Newport but one of those things happened and in August 1778 a gale, a hurricane blew up the coast and - a massive storm blew up the coast and the French fleet - at the very same time a large fleet of bridge vessels were coming around from New York and the French fleet and the British fleet engaged off the coast of Newport but the storm came up, both fleets spread, were dissipated by the storm. The Americans on land realised that without the support of the French allies they weren’t able to capture Newport and so the Americans pulled back and so the siege of Newport in 1778 was called off.

A few weeks later in September 1778 the British Government started to raise some of these vessels here, the ones which are younger, the ones that they could repurpose, the ones that they could use again but they left 13 transports, the older vessels down in the depths of Newport Harbour.

Kathy Abbass and RIMAP identified the names of some of those vessels here, the list of transports and one of them was called The Lord Sandwich, this one here. Very same time - one of those serendipitous events occurred in maritime history – very same time that Kathy Abbass was researching this two Australian historians, Des Liddy and a man by the name of Connell were doing work on the history of Endeavour and they came across this reference and this reference here basically says Lord Sandwich, ex-Endeavour. They used this information, they actually looked at the tonnage, they looked at the owners and all that sort of information. You’ve got Lord Sandwich, London transport, the owner, Mathers, built in Whitby, the tonnage and all that sort of stuff and they realised in fact that the vessel called Lord Sandwich wrecked in Newport, Rhode Island was in fact HMB Endeavour.

Come 1999 we heard this, Kathy Abbass published this in a journal called The Great Circle and this information got out and then we got approached by Kathy Abbass to actually help her look for HMB Endeavour in Newport. So we’ve been involved in looking for HMB in Newport since 1999. So here we have some images of us in the early days, person on the – on your left over here is Sue Bassett, one of our maritime conservators and we have some excavation images showing in that image. Please note my hair colour hasn’t changed.

Now Newport, it’s a very tiny space that we’re looking in, it’s around about 2 nautical miles. Legislation in the United States is slightly different to what we have in Australia. In Australia we have here what’s called the Historic Shipwrecks Act and we have a number of heritage acts and we also have a thing called the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act and they all have the capability of protecting historic shipwrecks.

In America things are slightly different and they have local legislation, that is state legislation and they also have a sort of a general encompassing historic shipwreck legislation but one of the things they have also in the United States that we don’t have here is salvage law. In order to protect the wrecks in Newport, once they realised that one of them was Endeavour the state of Rhode Island did what’s called arresting the wreck, they actually took it to salvage court, they took it to a salvage court and they arrested all the wrecks in Newport to actually get ‘round any chance that salvage divers or somebody else might come in and actually damage those sites.

So slightly different legislation but the wrecks in Newport Harbour within that 2 square miles are protected not only under state legislation but also under American salvage law. So there’s a number of hoops and things we have to jump through to actually do any work in Newport.

As I mentioned earlier the visibility in Newport is very poor, it’s a very busy harbour. It’s a very flat bottom, a lot of silt and so on and so we – rather than just throw divers in the water and look for the signs of the shipwreck - as you can imagine after 200 years those signs aren’t huge, they’re not huge things sitting on the seabed, they’re like a scattering of timbers or a pile of ballast on the seabed rather than intact ship.

We use a number of techniques, we use metal detectors, underwater metal detectors, we use a thing called a magnetometer which detects changes in the earth’s magnetic field and we use this device here which is side scan sonar, this device here and basically it sends out sonar beams, basically sound wave that goes through the water and detects anything rising above the seabed. So we use that technique to actually find shipwrecks poking up out of the silt and sediment and then we throw in divers to have a look at those shipwrecks to see if there’s actually any sign of a shipwreck on the bottom and if that shipwreck’s dating from the 18th century and if that shipwreck is actually Endeavour. Lots of ifs.

One of the problems we have in Newport, Rhode Island is that there are a number of shipwrecks on the seabed. There’s modern shipwrecks dating from the early 20th century and there are old shipwrecks dating from the 17th century and the i – the problem that we have as archaeologists is identifying which one may be Endeavour. Now we can do lots of measuring, we can do lots of plotting, we can do lots of surveying but probably the only true way of finding if a site is Endeavour is actually by digging a hole into it, to actually get down into the seabed to dig up, to actually examine the sediments, examine the material culture, get all the scantlings – that’s the measurements of timbers and so on on the seabed to find out and compare that information to what we know about Endeavour, the archival information associated with Endeavour.

So here we have a limited excavation happening so we located 13 vessels in the last 15, 20 years, we've located 13 vessels in Newport Harbour and here we have some divers actually excavating. This one here is on a thing called the barge site. Great names. It’s actually called Gamma but doesn’t mean anything to anyone. This is known as the barge site and this one is known as the Hospital Cannon site because of their location in Newport Harbour.

Give you an idea of what the stuff is you can encounter in Newport Harbour, these are two electrical cables running across the wreck on the Hospital Cannon site and they’re live cables, they’re actually powering the lighthouses in Newport Harbour so we have to work around them very carefully. The idea is you send volunteers in first and you get them to gently touch it.

So this is me after I’ve sent the volunteers in so I’m quite happy with that one there being dead, nothing in that one. And believe it or not that’s a part of a shipwreck, that’s the frame or the ribs if you like of a shipwreck dating from the 18th century so don’t expect to see a full galleon, a full ship sitting on the seabed. Things are slightly different.

So how do we tell amongst all the murk of Newport that what we found is actually Endeavour. So there’s a couple of things going in our favour. As you can imagine Endeavour’s a very well-known ship, there’s lots of publications, there’s lots of documentation, there’s lots of stuff telling us about how Endeavour was built and so we have some fantastic drawings and plans of Endeavour dating from 1768, dating from the very first voyages out to Australia.

Now one of these plans actually exists in Australia. Do you have it on display? Got two. So one of them’s actually from the Australasian Pioneers’ Club in Sydney and it shows how Endeavour was built for the voyage, it’s dating from 1768 and it shows actually how Endeavour was built, how it was repurposed, how it was changed for its voyage out to Australia and the Pacific.

We also have other material. This material here is actually ballast stone which was recovered from the stranding site of HMB Endeavour when it whacked into the Great Barrier Reef in 1770 and this material is actually held in the collection of the Australian National Maritime Museum. Some of it’s on display at the National Library here and this stuff is very unique. The actual stones - it just looks like rocks, doesn’t it, really? But when you give it to a geologist they get very excited.

We know that from the voyage accounts of Endeavour that Cook and his crew picked up stone as they travelled through the Pacific and we can actually identify the location where this stone comes from through geological analysis. So this one here is actually New Zealand stone, we know that and the other one’s from – I think it’s from Tahiti so these two bits of stone, we actually know where they’re from. This is the sort of material that we’re looking for in the seabed. Believe it or not we know, we understand that the vessel’s undergone a number of changes, has been modified but what we’re hoping to find is these glimpses, these little – the possibilities that this sort of material may be left on the seafloor, that we may find a tantalising clue to what we’re looking at is actually HMB Endeavour.

We also have these beautiful drawings. This is actually one taken from [Parkin’s] 28:37 book, it’s not an original drawing but it gives you an idea of the information which is available and as archaeologists we get very excited about what’s called mouldings and sidings. They’re basically scantlings, they’re basically the size of timbers.

Now wooden shipwrecks are amazing things, wooden ships are amazing things. They’re built by a bunch of guys – some women – bunch of guys with [adzers] 28:58, with axes, with chisels and they’re actually chopping away at timber, they’re actually making a thing but they’re making it out of a live product and they’re actually – we know the size and the shape and the nature of these timbers, we know actually how big they were. We know the gap between each one, it’s called the space. We know they’re 12 inches across, we know they’re 14 inches deep. We know the space – I can’t remember now, I think it’s eight inches between each frame. We know all that about Endeavour, we know the timber it was built out of, we know the timber that The Endeavour was built out of was British white oak. That’s the frames of the vessel.

We know the keel along here was built out of English elm, we know the deck was built out of pine. Now these sort of - seems sort of – information that you’re probably aware of but many of the vessels that we’re examining, many of the vessels that were wrecked in Newport are built out of American timbers. We can differentiate between the two, we can differentiate between American and British timbers. Not only that, there is a number of studies now, particularly in England, and they can actually tell the region where the white oak comes from. They can tell you whether it comes from the east coast or the west coast of England.

Now we do know that – from the records, from the archival records that the timber used to build Endeavour came from within about 15 miles of Whitby so that’s very particular and there’s now enough information on timber analysis to actually tell us where those timbers are coming from. So we go to the seabed and we actually take timber samples and we send them off to people who actually make this their passion and luckily for us in Australia there's one in Melbourne and – Hugo Ehrlich is his name and Hugo can probably tell you the name of the person who cut the tree down, he is that good. So we send our stuff, we bombard Hugo with this stuff. Every year we come back from excavating and digging up material and taking timber samples. So that’s the sort of information that we use to figure out if a wreck’s Endeavour or not. So onto James. Thank you.


J:          Alright, hi everybody. So Kieran’s been around for a long time. I have too if we’re being honest, maybe not as long as Kieran but certainly been within maritime archaeology for about 20 years now so I’ve been doing this for a while but my association with the Maritime Museum is actually only about four years old. I started in 2015 and the timing of my starting on the job could not have been better because Kieran mentioned there were 13 wrecks that the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project were looking at. Well imagine our good fortune that as I began my job at the Museum an archival document is found by a person named Noels and Noels was the head of the transports that were in Newport during the war and he was the guy who was responsible for scuttling all of these ships.

In this document Noels was kind enough, and as archaeologists we love things like this because they so rarely turn out, he was kind enough to say where the ships were scuttled in Newport Harbour. So our boss, Kieran and mine’s boss, Dr Nigel Erskine at the Museum, he was doing some archival research, he ran across this document at the PRO in London. It happened to say that between Goat Island, which – I’ve got my pointer here. This map is on its side so we’ll have to excuse that but Goat Island’s here and the North Battery which is right here, there were five transports that were scuttled. He lists the names of the five. There was the Earl of Orford, The [Yawret] 33:11, The Peggy, The Mayflower and The Lord Sandwich.

Now we knew The Lord Sandwich was the new name of the former Endeavour so this completely changed the entire equation because whereas you were dealing with 13 wreck sites in a fairly large geographic area within the Harbour you now had limited it down to a very specific location and that was incredibly helpful for us.

Now I’m going to give you a little bit of background into these five vessels because their sizes and some of their attributes are important in trying to whittle down which wreck might be The Lord Sandwich ex Endeavour.

So Lord Sandwich, we all know quite a bit about that vessel. Ex Endeavour, 368 tons, built at Whitby, 1764. Kieran’s already gone into some of the more specific attributes of that ship, the fact it was built of white oak, elm was used in its keel and <inaudible> 34:15 construction, lot of other things. The Earl of Orford was 231 tons but it was built in Maryland so it was American-built which meant it would have used American woods in its construction very likely. It’d be very, very unusual for you to find an American colonial built vessel that’s using English wood simply because you would have had to have shipped it all the way to north America and why do that when you had vast quantities of natural timber that were perfectly suitable for shipbuilding?

Now the thing about The Earl of Orford that’s quite interesting is that it’s listed in Lloyd’s Register and all the other ships of the five that were scuttled are also listed but what you find in looking at that registry is that in 1779 they disappear from the register and that’s because they had been sunk and they were struck from the register, okay? But The Earl of Orford, interestingly enough, continues through to 1781.

Now we do know from the Noels report that a number of these vessels were refloated, they were assessed, they said hey, we like that ship, we like that ship, the owner of that ship is really, really upset that you sank it so could we get that back up? So there were a number of reasons why they refloated these ships but there were several that were refloated and there is a belief, we think, that The Earl of Orford was one of the ones that was refloated and as we move along this will prove critical.

We had The [Yawret], that’s 272 tons, built at Whitehaven, England so it’s English-built roughly around the same time as Endeavour but smaller by nearly 100 tons so that’s a significant difference when you’re looking at hull construction and timber dimensions.

We have The Mayflower. Now The Mayflower is the smallest of the group. Lord Sandwich is the biggest, Mayflower is the smallest, 197 tons. It’s a snow so it’s a two-masted vessel very similar to what we have here and interestingly it’s armed as well. The other transports aren’t listed as being armed however they may have been.

Then we have The Peggy. Now The Peggy proved an interesting conundrum for us because there were three vessels with that name that were used as transports during the American revolution. Peggy was a very common name. You find hundreds of vessels by this name during this period. We had – the three different ones that we had, we had one of 234 tons that was built in north America so it’s American-built, we have one of 209 tons and the really, real pain for us was the one that was of 362 tons built in England because it’s getting very, very close to the size of Endeavour. That was a bit of an irritant for us. I am happy to announce though that when we got back from our most recent field season I started looking at Lloyd’s Register, sort of reviewing the archival sources and I found that The Peggy, the biggest one, actually continued in Lloyd’s Register until 1806.

It underwent repairs during that period, you see these different notations of it being repaired and modifications being made so the upshot to this is that there is no possible way that that vessel would have been sunk at Newport and remained there. It could have been scuttled and refloated or the likelihood is that it was never scuttled to begin with and that The Peggy that we’re dealing with is one of these two significantly smaller vessels. So from an archaeological standpoint that is good news because we are now dealing with a vessel that probably has smaller construction, smaller timbers so if we find big timbers we can go oh, it’s probably not that ship, most likely that one.

Now Kieran mentioned that we use a number of different search techniques, what we call remote sensing. We use magnetometers, we use side scan sonar, we also use a tool called multibeam, multibeam echosounder and what it does is it provides a three-dimensional image of the seabed. We’re very lucky in that the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States had done a lot of comprehensive bathometric mapping of United States ports, Newport not being an exception.

So imagine our good luck and it certainly helped in the search when we found that Noah had these 3D bathometric maps of Newport Harbour. So this very colourful bit that you're looking at here is one of these bathometric maps and it turns out that within that area where we had five vessels scuttled there were four very suspicious-looking acoustic anomalies. Now when I say a suspicious acoustic anomaly I’m talking about what we have on the right-hand side image. You’ll notice that this seabed is largely featureless, it’s very flat, it’s silt. Lot of mussel shell, lot of silt, that’s pretty much what you see. Don’t worry, you’ll see more of that shortly. But in amongst all of that you do get things that pop up off the bottom and so for example we have this and this and this and to a lesser extent this. Now when you see things like that and you’re an archaeologist or I don’t know, a marine surveyor, you get very excited because that means that there may be a shipwreck there and you should go look at that.

It turns out that there were four anomalies of this type and it just so happened when you look at the overall map of the harbour and the area, what we call the limited study area which is bounded by this box, there was one, two, three, bit of a gap here and four right in the locations where Noels put the five transports that were sunk. Interestingly these three seemed to be fairly evenly spaced whereas you have this other one up here kind of on its own and it seems like if you plonked another one roughly midway between the two you would have five very evenly spaced shipwrecks. It is probably no surprise that Earl of Orford was supposedly refloated.

So one of the theories that we’re operating on is that this is where Earl of Orford was but it was removed and it was refloated so that leaves four very interesting acoustic anomalies. These were investigated and sure enough there were four 18th century shipwreck sites so it was exactly what was expected based on the archival research.

Now the sites we’re dealing with and all of these site plans – these are maps of the wreck site as they appear on the seabed – these are all scaled to the exact same size so you have a fairly small one here, you have this one here and this one here which are quite large and I’ll get into those in a moment and then you have another one here which is a bit smaller.

One site, that being this one up at the far north end, was entirely too small so it could be ruled out immediately as being Endeavour ‘cause again Endeavour’s the largest of the five and so that left three of interest. Then we have our missing one. Now a little bit about this little guy before I go any further. You’ll notice it’s quite close to this wreck site here, turns out this wreck site is the one I will be talking about at length. When I started on the project two years ago I was tasked with actually looking at this wreck site. The jury is still out but we’re about 99.9% certain that this is not a shipwreck site. We’ve got natural geology that’s eroding out of the silt in this area, there’s a lot of rock that’s buried and what you find is when you get changes in currents and you get changes in seabed topography areas erode out so we have that. Because that stone has eroded out it’s become a trap for artefacts so things that have been deposited, either thrown overboard or getting deposited from elsewhere and this wreck site is really only about 100 feet away so it’s really close, about 30m.

We suspect that some of the material that we found here may have actually originated from the shipwreck site but we haven’t found any timber, there’s nothing there that would really indicate to us that we have a wreck site. So our interest really then is on this site, this site and this site. These are closeups of the three. Now this one here is a stone ballast pile but it’s small relative to the other ones and that gives us a fairly good indication that it probably wouldn’t be The Endeavour because it’s not big enough.

That leaves these two and they’re roughly the same size. The one that makes this one interesting is that you have cannons on it and they are 18th century cannons and we also had timber exposed which is very useful because that’s the kind of information we’re interested in. This one had a little bit of timber and it also had iron [kentlich] 43:51 or ballast blocks but what's – although we know Endeavour actually had iron ballast blocks we know that that ballast was put low down in the hull. What we’ve got here is stone ballast and this iron ballast appears to be sitting on top of it so the theory that we’re operating on at the moment is that this vessel probably had stone ballast and some iron ballast may have been added to it later as a means of sort of weighing it down a bit. As you removed cargo and guns and people and all these other things you’d have to compensate for that so ballast had to go into the ship’s hold to compensate for that removal of weight.

So long story short of the three this one was looking the most promising and so this past year this is the one we had a look at. Now there’s some really, really good aspects to this wreck site that make it a good contender. One is the overall length of the visible site. Now I have to point out that not all of the wreck is uncovered, you’ve only got a very small percentage visible and that overall length is about 70 feet. Now that correlates fairly well to Endeavour which was around 90 feet length overall and taking into account that parts of it might be buried up at the ends and believe me there is plenty of silt around here, that was a very good indicator.

In looking at the timber dimensions, just a very, very cursory look, it was evident that these were large timbers, this is a large ship, it’s very well built and it’s robust and that is what we would expect of a Whitby collier, they were built like a box. They were actually designed to sit on the seabed when the tide when out ‘cause the tide would go completely out and the thing would be sitting on the bottom and they were built to take that sort of stress on the hull so we clearly have that. A lot of these timbers also appear to be what we call flat-floored whereas you have a curve oftentimes of an oceangoing vessel that’s built for speed, we have very flat timbers so a bottom that’s box-shaped and that also was very promising.

Finally we had cannon. Now there’s no real documentary evidence that we found at this point that would indicate that Lord Sandwich had cannon on it when it was scuttled but we do know that when Endeavour ran aground on Endeavour Reef in 1770 there were 10 guns on the ship. They threw six overboard, that leaves four and interestingly enough in analysing these guns, taking their measurements, they approximate almost exactly the guns that would have been carried by Endeavour. In fact when you look at some of the ones that were recovered in the 1960s they’re almost identical so that was a very, very, good indicator as well.

Now we get to the fun part. So yeah, diving in Newport is not diving in the Coral Sea, let’s put it that way. As Kieran mentioned this proved a bit of a challenge because when you’re dealing with a wreck site where you’ve only got an average of about a metre’s visibility it’s very hard to see the site in its entirety and that’s one of the things we really wanted to do, we want to see the whole thing. You’re seeing very small snippets of it at a time and you can measure it, you can map it and we did all of that but there's a new tool that – well I say new, it’s probably about a decade old now. There’s a tool that’s being used more and more in maritime archaeology called 3D photogrammetry and in a nutshell what that is is you go down with a digital camera with an underwater housing and you take hundreds, thousands of photographs of a wreck site, an object, whatever it happens to be.

You take it from as many different perspectives as you can, you go all the way around the object and the site and you get as many pictures as you can and there are software programs, you can take these images, you can import them in and it will go through a series of iterations and it will stitch the images together and it will create a 3D model. Depending on whether you have any references in there to give you measurement they can be extremely accurate models. This had never been done on any of these sites prior to this past year and it’s something that we’ve been working with for the past couple of years and we thought this’ll be fun because the idea was if we can get good 3D models and we can stitch enough images together it will start to give us a bigger picture of what we’re looking at. It will give us that clear visibility that doesn’t exist.

So we’re using 12 megapixel digital still cameras so big images, lots of detail, underwater housings. We pre-set the cameras to shoot a photo every two seconds. The reason for that is it’s much easier to just hold the camera in position and let it take photos than to go click, click, these get sore after a while especially if you’re doing this for an hour. We use still imagery because they generate much higher resolution and much more detailed imagery as opposed to video. On average in an hour long dive, ‘cause most of the dives we did – sites in about 20, 21m, we do about an hour dive, we would generate between five and 600 images so quite a lot there. Good thing because some of them were unusable because of the conditions we’re dealing with.

Now Kieran pointed out this image. This is a good day, this is a bad day. Yeah, I mean we actually did this dive, I got down to the seabed. I turned the lights on and there was so much back scatter from the particulate in the water I couldn’t even take photos so we just went no, we’re done, forget it, let’s try later on. I could also tell you that we found out later a yacht went by and we think it may have dumped its tanks as it went by. So there’s that too. They don’t tell you about those occupational hazards when you do maritime archaeology classes, do they?

One thing I do want to point out really quickly too, because of the low visibility and because the seabed is relatively featureless except around things like cannons and things that stick up above the bottom we used what are called targets. That’s this thing and we would just put them down at random and what they are is you print them out, each one has a unique geometric pattern and the camera will recognise it, it will pick it up and when you import the imagery into the software program the software program will recognise it as well and it will use it as a reference point to try to stitch the images together so it’s quite useful in that regard.

Okay, let’s move on. This is a screenshot and what this shows is one of the cannons that is sticking up from the bottom and all the blue rectangles are images that were taken by the camera so you can actually trace your survey, it’ll show where the camera was when each photograph was taken. It’s very useful because you can use that later to go oh well I missed this area around here, I need to go back and get some more imagery so it was incredibly useful in that regard. Good luck for us, now these are screen captures of actual 3D models. In the program we can manipulate these and you can see the imagery in three dimensions which is quite nice but I'm just going to show you some screen captures of what we had.

That cannon that you saw earlier on, this is it here so there’s the cannon, you can see the targets. This is actually one of our baseline tapes running up the middle of the wreck site so that level of detail is there and you can zoom into these things and in some of the imagery you can actually read the numbers on the tape so not bad. You can see that right here – they’re very hard to see and this is one of the defining features of this wreck is that the hull timbers don’t stick up very high from the seabed, very minimal. You’re probably talking that much in most cases so they don’t show up very well and that makes things a bit challenging but here we’ve got a hull frame, here’s another frame and then we’ve got the cannon out here. That’s in the midship’s area. These are the three most exposed frames or ribs on the ship and again you can see they don’t stick up very high and unfortunately for us one of the things about this program is it loves relief, it loves something that’s very clearly exposed and has a lot of different edges that you can photograph. So we don’t really have that advantage which makes things a bit tricky.

This is moving up towards one end of the wreck so again here’s that baseline tape you saw earlier, this is a bit of hull planking, just the top of the plank sticking out. This is a frame over here, one of the ribs. This is a collapse, what we call a [fuddock] 53:12 so this is a frame that’s higher up in the ship that’s fallen down and is laying flat. This is our friend the electrical cable, they’re all over the place. Yeah, we try to stay clear of those. Supposedly some of them aren’t live anymore but I’m not going to test the theory. Again, volunteers, very useful.

Moving into artefacts, there were some, not a lot but the ones that we did have were fairly prominent. So we had two cannons in one area, we had a third that I showed you earlier and then we had a fourth down at one end of the wreck site, the south end. This is one of them here, this is the breach of a second, it’s going that way so you can see they’re very heavily concreted, they have a lot of marine growth on them and what we call concretion which is sort of conglomerated sediment, rock and shell and that sort of thing. Then this is a lead scupper so originally on the ship this was designed – water would come down the deck and it was a sluice that would allow water to go overboard. It’s about this big so very nice size, indicative of a larger ship so a very good thing. It’s got a couple of starfish living in it so we even actually got the starfish in the 3D model.

So what we’re in the process of doing right now is trying to make a composite. Now at first blush this would seem fairly easy except as I mentioned earlier there’s a lot of flat, featureless seabed. It’s silt and mussels and it doesn’t matter how many targets you put down we are finding that the software is having a hard time with this because it all looks the same. So we’re kind of doing this piecemeal, trying to develop these different areas but this is the original site plan, to give you an indication so again ignore the fact there are five cannons, there are actually only four on the site, this was a mapping error but this is showing where these things are. So these are those guns there, this is that cannon breach here, these are those frames, the other gun that’s down here at the south end and then we’ve got this material up here. So what we’re trying to do ultimately is to connect all of this together into one composite 3D image. It’s very slow-going but we’re making progress so I’m happy with that so far.

Now one of the other things that we did while we were there, we did standard site reporting so we got the tapes out, we got the rulers out, we did all of that but one of the things that I think I really want to point out to you in this image is again visibility not good. This is a cannon, this is that cannon that was in that earlier 3D model. You can’t tell, he probably can’t even tell quite frankly so yeah, it made it very challenging and it’s the best – you can’t see this guy, there’s actually somebody over there holding the other end of that tape and you’re trying to do signals to him and he’s like – and then he finally swims over and goes – yeah so this is the kind of thing that we have to deal with pretty much every day in Newport during the summer.

One of the things that we really tried to focus on though and it’s really particularly relevant to the vessel we know as Endeavour because as Kieran pointed out earlier Endeavour had a life after Cook, it went to the Falklands, it was a commercial vessel, it was used as a transport, it was even used as a prison ship in Newport. So there are these whole series of episodes that happened in the vessel’s life after the Cook voyage and what that means archaeologically is that there’s a very good chance you’re dealing with artefacts that are not associated with Cook or that initial Endeavour voyage at all, they’re from all these later phases.

So for our purposes in trying to actually figure out whether this is the right wreck we have to go back to the hull. The hull is the one artefact, and thankfully the biggest, that will tell us the most so we spent a lot of time trying to get information, measurements on the hull timbers, sampling them, trying to get the information that we can correlate to the archival record to give us the answers we hope we can get.

This is that collapsed [fuddock] I showed you in that earlier 3D image. You’ll notice where the timbers are buried they’re very well preserved, immaculate, actually. In some instances we could see tool marks still on the timbers so they’re very well preserved where they’re buried because the environment is deoxygenated so you don’t have marine organisms feeding on that timber, it’s just kind of in a state of stasis. But you’ll notice in this image here where the timbers are exposed they very quickly get nibbled at by [treader] 58:06 worms, gribble, fish, lobsters, you name it, it’s like yeah, smorgasbord, I’m going to eat that. Marine organisms are not very discerning, we find so that’s a problem we have to deal with.

So we had a few different timbers that we looked at. We had – this is actually a stanchion so this is a vertical post so if you can imagine like this thing here sort of square, about that big and it would have supported one of the deck beams on the ship. We have frames of ribs and we have remnants of fasteners so here we have what’s called a treenail, that’s a wooden dowel basically that was used to fasten the timbers together. You find that in earlier ship construction treenails are very common. As you move out of the 18th century and into the 19th and 20th centuries you find iron, copper, copper alloy, the treenails kind of disappear so the fact that we have those means early ship, the construction is exactly what we would hope.

So one of the things that we did, we got the measurements but we also wanted to do some timber sampling. Kieran mentioned we know what Endeavour was built from and we may even know right down to the forest where that timber was hewn from so that’s critical so we made a point to get in there and get timber samples on as many timbers as we could. This map here shows areas where we sampled timbers, we selected a range of different timbers and so what you see here is Kieran, he’s actually knocking with a hammer and chisel, he’s taking wood samples out of the timber. It is a bit of a destructive process but you have to do it. There’s no other way to scientifically analyse the wood except to get a piece of it out that a wood species expert can look at.

Bonus for us, this is actually Rear Admiral Mike Noonan, he’s the Australian Chief of Navy and he came out – he happened to be in Newport at the time and found that we were working and asked if he would come dive with us and he used to be an ex – he was a navy diver before he moved up the chain and so he came out and actually helped us sample timbers. That was great, really good to have him along.

We were very much aware that when you remove this timber you leave it exposed to damage so you’ll notice these white areas. What that is is that’s two part epoxy that sets up underwater so we take the sample and then Kieran would go in, he’d turn his fingers white mixing this two part epoxy together, this little putty thing, jam that thing in there in the hole and what that does is that seals it off and ensures that marine organisms can’t damage it any further.

So what’s the upshot to all this? Well we don’t know that we have Endeavour 100% yet, we’re getting there, though. I would say we’re probably in the 90% range at this point. Certainly the scantlings that we got measurements on the timbers, they correlate very well. We’ve got 12 to 14 inches and that’s what it says for Endeavour so that matches very well. The species of the samples that we had analysed or at least one set came back as white oak. Now that’s good but not as good as we’d hoped because we don’t know if it’s European or white oak. The samples that we got, not enough was preserved that could really bring it down to that level of detail but white oak is good and the chances are we’re probably dealing with European white oak. You don’t see American white oak get used in ship construction as much as say live oak and a number of other species.

Now the fact that we have consistent use of this one species of timber indicates to my mind and to Kieran’s and others British or European construction ‘cause you find that European shipbuilders tended to stick with one species and the British particularly loved oak, that was what they built ships out of. You made everything from oak with the exception of a handful of timbers so that’s good. American colonial shipbuilders by contrast used everything, you would see them use oak, cedar, mahogany if they could get their hands on it, pine, hackmatack, large – any of these number of different wood species, they would use it all. What you find in archaeological sites in that period is that those wood species differentiate timber to timber.

I worked on a wreck site in Maine for example in the US, we had a series of frames that were oak, cedar, just literally every frame and they were all next to each other, were a different species of timber so they’re using different timber. Also some of that timber was not very good for shipbuilding, it would tend to rot very quickly so what you find is they build the ship, they use that timber, the timber starts to rot, they rip it out, they replace it with a different timber so you see repair work quite a bit as well. We don’t see a lot of that here so again that’s a very good sign. So we’re heading in the right direction. It could have been worse, we could have gotten timber samples back that said American red cedar or something and that’d have been it for us.

So where are we going from here? Well we’ve still got some work to do, I think that’s quite clear. I think we’re at the point where we’ve done the degree of work we can do on what’s visibly exposed above the seabed, we need to excavate. We got to move some dirt big time. So I’m not talking about excavating the entire wreck. I think in an initial phase what would be best would be to excavate specific areas of the wreck, we can do trenches. One of the things we would target would be specific construction features we know are particular to Endeavour so we know Endeavour had what’s called a stepped keelson. That was the timber above the keel and what it did was the keel was here, the frames or the ribs came across atop of that, keelson was put on top of that and locked that whole assembly into place. It had a very unique construction feature for that timber so what we need to do is excavate across the hull, find that keelson and look for that stepping.

The other thing that Kieran mentioned was that the keel and the in-posts were made of English elm so we need to find those in-posts and we need to find that keel and we need to sample them and we need to see if they come back as elm. It they come back as elm and we can get maybe better samples on better preserved timber further down that comes back as absolutely European oak I think that’s going to have it in the bag really at that point. We also want to uncover each end, that way we can get a complete overall length that’s accurate and we can compare that to the archival records that we have.

We need to do more 3D photogrammetry work as I showed you. Not the best so we have heard that in the winter in Rhode Island the visibility clears up and it’s like 30m so I can see all the way across this room. That’s great from a 3D photogrammetry, it’s not great when you have to get in it so I’m girding myself for the fact I may have to dive in nearly freezing water but we’ll see how that turns out. Yeah, finally this is a very significant wreck site not only to Australia but also to certainly Great Britain and to the United States so I think we would want to do some limited recovery of artefacts, maybe not get a whole bunch but at least some that will help us in our analysis in some interpretation and certainly in exhibition.

I know that people like to see things and they like to see real things and I think part of our job is to recover those things and create a situation where people can come and they can actually see them, they can experience them firsthand and that’s certainly one of the things that we hope to do and – yeah so we will see where we go from here but I thank you very much for your time and thanks for listening.


S:         Thank you very much to Kieran and James for that fascinating presentation. Please join me in thanking them again.


S:         We only have time for a couple of questions, I think. If you could please raise your hand and a microphone will be brought to you.

A:        Can I ask either speaker what size area are we talking about? Is it the size of a small swimming pool or what size? From the - I assume when the vessel went down that some of the bits and pieces spread?

J:          Yeah, if you're talking about what we call the discrete wreck site which is the bits where the hull’s still articulated and everything’s kind of still together, yeah, it’s really only – it’d be shy of 30m, probably about 20m or so –

A:        In length? And width?

J:          That’s length. In width maybe – I wouldn’t say any more than about 5 to 8m. It’s hard to tell, though because a lot of it’s still buried so until we can uncover some of those areas and get a more accurate length and width we won’t know but yeah, it would probably fit – it’d definitely fit in an Olympic size swimming pool so yeah.

A:        What depth would that be?

J:          It’s sitting around 20m, yeah which makes it challenging ‘cause it gets dark down there at that depth.

A:        The – do you know who made the cannons on the original Endeavour and in which case if you pulled up the cannons you can’t – you wouldn’t see a mark of recognition on the cannon?

K:        Good question. We do know who made the cannons on Endeavour. I don’t personally know, I don’t have that in my sort of computer in my brain ‘cause I'm getting on but – I don’t have that information but we do know who actually made them. It is likely – I do know that the cannon on display at the National Library, the one that belongs to the National Museum of Australia, that does have founding marks on the side, we know the size of the cannon, we know the weight of the cannon and I’m pretty sure we could figure out who made that cannon.

If we did raise those cannons on that site - it’s known as the Kerry site after the person who sort of first found it in RIMAP – there is a good possibility that we would find founding marks on that cannon, we’ve certainly found them in the past and we could certainly use that information to narrow down the site if it is possibly Endeavour. One of the problems we do have is working within the legislation in Newport, Rhode Island and one of the problems we have to consider is the conservation of that item, who’s going to pay for it, basically? The other item we have to worry about is the politics. I have to be very careful what I say ‘cause this is being recorded but it’s very difficult to work in Newport, Rhode Island for all manners of reasons. We’re dealing with another country for a start, that always complicates matters, they have different legislation, different rules.

There’s an issue to do with sovereignty of the item, for instance if Endeavour turns out to be Endeavour, if the wreck – we call Kerry site, it turns out to be Endeavour, who owns Endeavour? Is it a British vessel? Is it a British war ship? Is it a sovereign war ship or is it a prize of war? Was it abandoned? It gets into all those issues and it gets very political about who actually owns the site and who has permission to recover items and so on. I’d love to raise one of the cannons from the site, I’d love to chip off the concretion, I’d love to have a look for founding marks but it does open a real can of worms but I can see the value to it, most certainly.

A:        You were talking about if it is The Endeavour so if it is The Endeavour then what? If legislation is worked out as to who owns it or whatever would it ever be raised to the surface, do you think, like whatever’s left of it? Or would that never be allowed or –

K:        A good question too. We’e looked at ways of that. It’s very expensive to raise material from underwater environment, many, many thousands of dollars. There’s also a shortage of people who actually treat that material – I’m not a material conservator. I would baulk at the idea of raising that sort of material without having conservators next to me who can advise on that. One of the issues we do have is the expense, it is very expensive. There’s also the question of is it valid to raise it? Is there another way of recording the site in such a way that everyone can see the site without actually bringing the whole shipwreck to the surface? I like the idea of raising individual artefacts from the vessel. I think it’s possible nowadays with – especially with 3D photogrammetry to actually reconstruct the vessel in some form that we can print out. All that information that James and Renee from the Silent World Foundation has been collecting through 3D photogrammetry allows us to actually take the thing to a 3D printer so we can actually 3D print the shipwreck if we wanted to.

I do know that in Fiji – I found out quite recently – that in Fiji they actually have a 3D printer that’s big enough to print dinosaurs so it’s three storeys high so – and they can do anything for a price. So it is possible to actually replicate what’s on the seabed by 3D printing and that’d be probably a lot cheaper than getting a whole bunch of conservators and archaeologists over there for a couple of years to actually pop the thing to the surface. So there’s other ways of looking at it other than bringing the whole thing up.

A:        I’m just a bit confused about the conundrum of the cannons going down with something that was sunk as a blockship ostensibly. I would have thought the Royal Navy would have stripped everything of value off it before sinking it so I was just wondering what the historiography timeline was? Was this done in haste or was it a – if it was chartered as historical archival documents seems to show that would suggest that may not have been the case so I'm just querying the issue that the ship went down with the cannons when it was apparently sunk deliberately as a blockship.

K:        There’s evidence on the other vessels that cannons were sunk with them so the Hospital Cannon site – hence the name – is actually cannons on the Hospital Cannon site. There’s also cannon on the barge site. One of the problems they had in Newport was that they only had a limited number of gunners with them. They did actually take – we know this from historical records – they took guns off some of the ships and used them to defend Newport against the French and the Americans. I think it was a case of – also they did all this in three days so I think it’s a case of in haste as well. They probably looked at the ships, they probably said we have enough ammunition, we have enough cannonball for those 12-pounders, those 24-pounders. We have very little ammunition for the four-pounders, let’s put them down, let’s not worry about recovery.

There’s also a good strong possibility that those four-pounders weren’t actually mounted on the deck. Looking at them on the site there’s a strong possibility they’re actually stored in the hold of the ship and so that would have created a difficulty for actually getting them out, to [hoiking] 14:44 them out and bringing them ashore. But I do know they recovered some of the guns from some of those blockships. Thank you.


S:         Thank you all very much. To end I’ve just got some comments. I’d like to acknowledge the support of the Australian and international lenders to our exhibition especially those institutions including the National Maritime Museum who’ve permitted their extraordinary collections to travel across oceans. I thank the Australian Government for providing significant funding including through the National Collecting Institutions Touring Outreach Program and the Australian Government International Exhibitions’ insurance program. We’re also grateful for the financial and in-kind support provided by our generous exhibition partners, ActewAGL, the Pratt Foundation, the Kenyon Foundation and Foxtel’s History Channel.

I hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves today, I certainly have. Cook and the Pacific will remain open until the 10th of February and I invite you all to take a look through it if you haven’t already. Please join me in thanking James and Kieran for this afternoon’s fantastic presentations.


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