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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 11 (February 1, 1938)


In a recent number of your Magazine you published a most interesting account of the abandonment of the ship Endeavour at Dusky Sound, and the subsequent shipbuilding operations. It is most desirable that these early events should be recalled, and one regrets that so few are sufficiently interested to do so. Obviously Mr. Shanks, the author, has consulted “Murihiku,” by Dr. Robert McNab, for much of his information, and probably he could not have relied on a better authority. However, there are certain details in which he has departed from the learned doctor's version.

The Endeavour was a ship of 800 tons and not 280 tons as Mr. Shanks says. The Fancy was a snow and not a scow. Probably few of your readers know what a snow is. Well! A snow is a vessel rigged as a brig with an extra mast, immediately abaft the mainmast, on which a trysail is set. Dr. McNab describes the Fancy as a brig of 150 tons, and also refers to her as a snow. Both descriptions are correct.

It is interesting to note among the voyages of this little vessel one to the River Thames, New Zealand, where she loaded 200 spars for Sydney. These spars varied in length from 60 feet to 140 feet. The Mercury, which removed the last of the Endeavour's company from Dusky was also a snow, and she was probably the first American vessel to visit New Zealand waters.—W.R.H.

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