Jun 3, 2011
Historic Hamilton Island Voyage
When my husband and I first arrived on Hamilton Island we were lucky enough to stay in the Yacht Club Villas. We had a four bedroom villa overlooking the Yacht Club, the marina and Dent Island. The villa was spread over four levels with a huge master suite spreading out over the top floor. On our final day I was standing on the balcony of the master suite looking out over the marina when I saw a tall ship making it’s way up Dent Passage.
Hamilton Island is one of the Whitsunday islands discovered by James Cook 241 years ago. The tall ship under sail was the replica HMB Endeavour and is owned by the Australian National Maritime Museum. The HMB Endeavour is on a circumnavigation voyage, and it’s arrival off Hamilton Island happily coincided with the original date of discovery of the Whitsunday Passage on 3rd June 1770.
The Endeavour sailed through Dent Passage neatly (given the passage is only half a mile wide in parts) with all sails set apart from one (the Spirit topsail according to the Endeavour Voyages log).
As she passed by the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, the Endeavour honoured the island with a booming cannon salute that made me jump as the sound echoed over the water. It was amazing to then see the cloud of smoke from the forward gun drifting ahead of the ship as it continued down the passage past qualia and northward through the Whitsunday Passage, followed by a small flotilla of Whitsunday Island cruise boats.
It was a truly beautiful sight and an absolute thrill to be witness to the beauty of the classic timber hull under full sail. The historical significance made it even more special.