We're Off To Sea...

...No, not the Wizard of Oz, but back to Ramsgate!

Over the period Friday May 27th to Monday May 30th there is a Dunkirk Little Ships event in Ramsgate, and Endeavour will be there. Quite apart from the excellent hospitality and opportunity to see other boats and talk with skippers, there are the voyages there and back: passages available to Trust members.

For availability and full details ring Paul Gilson on 01702 711530 or Peter Dolby on 01702 473781.

When it snows...

...it snows - and Endeavour was inches thick in the white stuff. 

It's A Small World

Mike King keeps his yacht Hypatia in Holland and whilst there he attended a gathering of 27 Dutch yachts in the Walcheren port of Veere. He was wearing his Endeavour T-shirt when a female crew member of one of the Dutch barges said, “Wow – the Endeavour. I’ve heard lots about you. A friend of mine lived in Southend and helped to raise money for the boat’s restoration”.

Amazing!

Very Sad

Those of you at the re-christening on Bell Wharf will remember the Salvation Army lady who led some of the prayers.

National media recently published her murder in Hong Kong - a terrible cessation of life for a lovely lady. Our thoughts and prayers go to all her family, friends and colleagues.

Education

Education plays a large part in our childrens’ lives and it is important that they are aware of not only our rich local but also our national history and heritage.

Peter Dolby spends a lot of time going into local schools telling pupils all about Endeavour and the part she played in the rescue of servicemen from the Dunkirk beaches. “It is always a pleasure to stand in front of a class and to see the thirst for knowledge of these youngsters and to answer the many questions at the end of each presentation” he says.

To Sail or Not?

When Endeavour was launched she was the first Leigh cockle boat with an engine. This enabled her to get back on the tide no matter what the wind direction or force.

This advantage was realised by other owners and so many boats were modified and eventually engines became the norm.

Question: When we show Endeavour at events, should she just be motoring or sailing?

There is no doubt that she looks excellent either way, but Mike King thinks that, whenever possible, the sails should be up, and she should be gliding along just using wind power.

What do you think? Both Peter Dolby and Mike King would be interested, so get in touch with them and let them know.

Endeavour 007

In a rather strange book about Southend during the war years, it is suggested that Endeavour was used as a secret service boat carrying out under-cover work!

Without being too specific, it is said that there is a belief that she was slipped into the shallows of France at night to allow engineers to check out potential landing sites for D-Day. There are well authenticated reports that such checks were made by Royal Engineers, but was Endeavour involved?

We doubt it, but someone out there might know.

The suggestion that LO41 should be painted over and L007 substituted is not being taken too seriously!!!

70th Anniversary - Return of Little Ships to Dunkirk 2010 - Paul Gilson

Part 1 – Voyage from Leigh-on-Sea to Ramsgate

This trip was the big one. The media had been hyping this up for weeks. This was the 70th anniversary of "Operation Dynamo – The Miracle of Dunkirk" when the "Dunkirk Little Ships" return to France to commemorate the troops rescued from the beaches.

We are more used to the Endeavour now. She is a good sea boat but she is very wet. There is nowhere to hide, you are part of the boat and you have to take it on the chin.

For this trip my crew had some changes. I still had Peter Dolby and Finlay Marshall but I also had two of the Osborne family, Graham and Trevor.

Their family had owned the Renown and a relation had been lost when she hit a mine while under tow in 1940. Finally, Cameron McGregor, alias Jimbo, a fine figure of a man, our translator and speaker of many tongues, some of which other people could understand, especially the French and Germans. Jimbo and I had played rugby together for many years. I was loose head prop and he was my second row. We knew each other intimately he would say.

The format was the same as five years earlier. We could leave Leigh on Tuesday or have the fall back day as Wednesday for our outward bound trip to Ramsgate. I had been watching the changing weather forecasts for over a week and it had not changed much.

Fresh to strong easterly for Tuesday, freshening throughout the day and very fresh on Wednesday.

I was not looking forward to this at all. We had put some gear on board on Monday evening so we only had to put on board water to drink, food and the bags of clothes that we had to wear.

 When I put my blazer on board I made every effort to hang it up so it would not be creased at the many of the functions that we would be attending. As others put their gear on board, they followed suit and hung their best clothes in the same place as mine. The other cases were placed in the hold and covered with a large canvas to keep them dry.

The hatches were placed and covered with a canvas cover; she should then be water tight. This was going to be very wet. "Everyone must put on their life jacket and full wet weather gear. It is not quite as windy as last time, but we will be straight into it - it would have been ok but someone forgot to put on a wheelhouse!" I was desperate to get going.

(To Be Continued)