In 1854 seven Cornish fisherman had decided to leave behind the hard times they were experiencing at home and try their luck in the Australian gold rush. They were all shareholders in a fishing boat, a 37 foot Mounts Bay lugger called Mystery. The group were considering selling the boat to pay for their passages when it was suggested over a pint in the pub that they should just set sail in the Mystery.
The group set sail on 18th November 1854 and covered the 11,800 nautical miles to Melbourne in 116 days, stopping only in Cape Town for supplies and repairs.
153 years later sailor and adventurer Pete Goss was looking for a new challenge when he came across the story of the Mystery and decided to re enact the voyage. The project commenced in August 2007 with design and building of the boat. Spirit of Mystery was launched on 21st June . The boat is a close replica of the original Mystery. No plans were used to build these boats in 1854 and no craft from that era have survived to the present although the basic dimensions of Mystery are known. Fortunately plans for a Mounts Bay lugger were found in a report into a 1848 storm in Scotland which sank 124 boats greatly assisting designer and builder Chris Rees.
Since then the crew of 4 have sailed this replica boat from Cornwell in England to Melbourne Australia and then, up the east coast of New South Wales. I was lucky enough to get these pics when it visited Jervis Bay. From here it will head to Sydney where it can be seen at the boat show.
You can find out more about this amazing trip on the official “Spirit of Mystery” web site. http://www.petegoss.com/mystery/
All instruments and rigging shown here were from “Spirit of Mystery”.
Featured in Naval Architecture.