Captain Cook's Ship Found Off Rhode Island

September 26, 2018

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The HMS Endeavour that Captain Cook sailed in an attempt to locate the southern continent in the 18th century has been found off the coast of Rhode Island.

It's not that he was that far off course, but because the ship had been sold to the Royal Navy and was used in the Revolutionary War. In 1778 the British intentionally sunk that ship, along with dozens of others, in an attempt to blockade the French from gaining access to Rhode Island Harbor.

And while the wreckage was discovered in 1993, it has taken the last 25 years to attempt to ascertain which one was Cook's famed vessel. With the help of documents turned up in 2016, marine archeologists believe they're getting close.

Since the HMS Endeavour was built at a shipyard in northern England, mostly of English oak, so oak timbers on a ship of the right size in the right place provided a significant clue. And while not much of the actual ship is left, even a fraction of the hull could help fill in some details about its history.