Archives for February 2023


The first New Zealand shipwreck recorded by Europeans was that of the sealing supply vessel Endeavour in Fiordland’s Dusky Sound. On the 18th of September 1795, Endeavour left Sydney for Dusky Sound, accompanied by the 150-ton brig Fancy.  The pair of little ships had scarcely cleared Sydney when the captain discovered Endeavour had shipped 41 stowaways, including one woman.

The voyage was a nightmare with the stormy Tasman Sea inflicting much damage to the two ships. On reaching Dusky Sound, the two captains noticed a partially completed ship on a slipway. It had been abandoned by sealers at some earlier date but it was in much better state than Endeavour. All hands turned to building huts to accommodate the crews of Endeavour and Fancy, as well as the stowaways and the passengers that Endeavour had been carrying. Those up for the hard work turned to stripping the badly damaged Endeavour of everything of value and this was accomplished except for the loss of two cannons. These weapons lay in the deep water of Facile Harbour until 1984 when they were recovered by Kelly Tarlton. read more