The sailor and adventurer Pete Goss will be bringing his replica vessel Spirit of the Mystery to the pontoon at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall from 15th to 26th September. For the duration of the fortnight, Pete and his crew will be sharing their incredible adventures with a number of schools from across the county. The hundreds of Cornish school children will also encounter an 'original member' of the 1854 crew, thanks to a theatrical workshop. Supported by HSBC, these workshops will teach the pupils about local maritime history, food, navigation and Cornwall's boat-building heritage.
Pete, his crew and Spirit of the Mystery set sail for Australia via Cape Town in just a few weeks. The 37ft wooden lugger follows in the wake of seven Cornishmen who made a heroic journey from Newlyn to Australia more than 150 years ago. Leaving Newlyn in November 1854, the Mystery travelled 11,800 nautical miles in 116 days before arriving in Melbourne in March 1855. The only break in the voyage was a week in Cape Town for repairs and replenishment before heading into the Southern Ocean. Pete will be re-enacting this journey in his Spirit of the Mystery in the most authentic ways possible: the replica boat is built by Chris Rees using local wood to the original drawings. There is no engine and the crew will navigate only by the stars and the sun.
After the schools' fortnight in September, Spirit of the Mystery will return to the Museum from the 16th to the 19th October, during the Falmouth Oyster Festival, where again people will be able to see the boat on the Museum’s pontoon. Pete will also be giving a talk about his latest voyage in the Museum’s lecture theatre on Friday 17th October at 6.30pm.
It's not just the kids who get treated to the boat, by the way - visitiors will also be able to get close to the boat and her crew from 3-5pm every weekday from the 15th to 26th September (excluding the 19th), and she’s also available for viewing from 10am to 5pm at weekends. Have a look at the Museum website for more details - this is one of the finest opportunities this year to see Cornwall’s maritime heritage come to life.