Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

Overnight Experience 2 – Joseph Banks’ Adventures in Botany 3rd/4th April 2010

06 Apr 2010

Having reached Watsons Bay, we turned back and finally arrived at our mooring in Athol Bight.  The voyage crew were then able to take refuge on the mess deck for the first talk from one of two guest speakers from the Royal Botanic Gardens. Catherine Wardrop, a botanical illustrator, spoke about the skill and detail involved when recording botanical specimens and the work done by Sydney Parkinson, one of the artists on Cook’s Endeavour. She also discussed the publication of ‘The Florilegium’ of Cook, Banks and Parkinson, a portfolio of botanical illustrations from the Endeavour voyage.

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Australian National Maritime Museum

HMB Endeavour adventure begins

31 Mar 2010

29 March 2010: The museum’s HMB Endeavour Adventure Sails are about to begin! We have a full crew ready and waiting. Well not really waiting… we’re busily preparing the ship for cast off.
We’ve been preparing for months – developing a diverse sailing program and signing up more than 450 paying voyage crew keen to learn all about life on an 18th century sailing ship.

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John Louis

To sheath or not to sheath?

04 Mar 2010

In 1987 the Australian National Maritime Museum acquired a pearling lugger from Broome. The John Louis was built in 1957 and operated for 30 years in the pearling industry in north-western Australia. 

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A musket barrel made of copper?

08 Feb 2010

The Museum has several items from the 1629 wreck of the Batavia on display in the Navigators gallery. One is labelled as a musket barrel. However it is made of thin copper sheeting. Either the Dutch were very brave souls to fire such a thing, or there is more to this ‘musket barrel’ than meets the eye! 

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Admiral Pâris’ amazing encyclopedia

07 Jan 2010

It may seem unlikely that a naval officer who fought in the Crimean War and who led the introduction of steam engines and ironclad warships into the French Navy would possess a delicate painterly hand. It also seems unlikely such a man would favour rustic scenes of Malyasian dock workers or Indian fishing boats and their crews. 

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Oceania, or the fifth part of the world

21 Dec 2009

Ever wondered where the geographical term Oceania came from? In the eighteenth century, European explorers were busily charting all the island groups and working out exactly what continents there were – or weren’t – in the Pacific Ocean.

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A model tale

21 Dec 2009

One of the museum’s volunteer model makers recently donated to the museum a scale model of an early colonial Australian ship that saw many adventures in its comparatively short but very well traveled life. HMS Mermaid was a single masted, copper-sheathed, iron-fastened cutter of 84 tons.

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