A replica of one of the most famous ships in the history of maritime exploration will be arriving into its new home of Whitby on Friday night.
The HM Bark Endeavour replica has spent several weeks in a dry dock being refurbished ahead of its arrival in town.
The vessel had been due to sail in last Friday, but there was too much wind in the sails as the progress was halted due to strong gusts on the North Sea.
It is now expected to arrive in the harbour at around 7pm on Friday, coinciding with the high tide.
It should reach Whitby around 5.30pm but will wait for the high water before entering the piers.
While the Australian-built Endeavour replica has visited Whitby on three separate occasions in 1997, 2002 and 2003, the town will welcome the only other life-size version in the world to the quayside where it will be moored permanently and reopened to visitors on 1 July.
An extensive refurbishment of the ship has been taking place on Teesside.
The ship has been freshly painted, the three masts have been repaired and returned to the skyline and 4,500 metres of rope together with 450 metres of stainless steel wire are being fitted as part of the rigging.
Once in Whitby, where the original Endeavour was built and where Cook began his sea-faring career, the ship will have a final fit-out before opening its doors as a visitor attraction,The ship was put up for auction last year and bought for £155,000 by Whitby businessman, Andrew Fiddler, beating bids from Dubai, Portsmouth and London, which safeguarded the vessel’s future as a North East visitor attraction.
Mr Fiddler said: “It will be fantastic to see the Endeavour coming through the harbour entrance knowing that this replica will be staying put in its rightful home which also happens to be where Cook began his maritime career.
“The ship was in a pretty poor shape when we purchased her, with rotting wood, worn fittings and spaces that didn’t do justice to the story. While we’ve retained and restored many of the features, we’re planning to bring the story to life in new ways.Rather than a museum the Endeavour will be an exciting and entertaining learning attraction that captures the imaginations of children and adults alike. It will be contemporary while blending in with the ship’s surroundings and will perfectly complement the existing Captain Cook landmarks and attractions in the area.”
Cllr Derek Bastiman, leader of Scarborough Borough Council said: “Andrew’s ambitious project to bring the Endeavour to Whitby and transform it into a first class visitor attraction has been a hugely exciting one to follow and one which we are very proud to be involved in. It will be a fantastic addition to Whitby’s tourism offer and we look forward to continuing to support Andrew and his team in the run up to the official opening this summer.”
The replica, the only one in the Northern Hemisphere, was first constructed in 1993.