Attempting to re-capture and live the history of the original Mystery, Pete and his crew designed and built a replica of the Mounts Bay lugger which seven Cornishmen sailed to Melbourne, chasing their dream of a better life in the gold rush of 1854.
Pete’s Spirit of Mystery left Newlyn bound for Australia on 20 October 2008 and Pete and his family of crew (again capturing the true essence of the original seven crew - as they were all related) reached Melbourne on 9 March 2009.
After navigating the North Atlantic and encountering the gales and hazards of the southern ocean, tackling the dangers of the notorious Cape of Good Hope, charting their route by the stars, and coping with a serious knock-down which resulted in damage and a broken leg, they achieved their dream.
Pete says it has been a romantic adventure: “From dragging the first pieces of oak out of the woods to shaking hands with direct descendants of the original crew in Melbourne, this was a roller coaster ride that encompassed everything from education and social history projects to the drama of sailing through storms and the excitement of whales broaching beside the boat.”
“Following in the footsteps of these great Cornishmen who 155 years ago tackled monstrous conditions without any of the food and equipment we had the luxury of taking – we weren’t quite prepared to eat salt pork and run the risk of scurvy so we did enjoy real food and wore Musto Gore-Tex waterproofs – was a dream too good not to realise.”
“After giving my last lecture at the Museum before I left, it seemed only fitting to give the first on my return, particularly as I have such a close relationship with the Maritime Museum, which saw 1800 kids pass through the Spirit of Mystery as part of a Cornwall Playing for Success programme. I only wish the Spirit of Mystery was with me, but she’s residing in warmer climates for the moment – although I’m sure she’ll make an appearance on the Museum’s pontoon one day.”
Tickets for this exclusive lecture at 7pm on Monday 28 May start at £8 for children (6-15) and £12 for adults with all of the profits going to the Cornwall Playing for Success charity of which Pete is a founding trustee.
Playing for Success is a national out-of-school-hours education initiative, aimed at raising literacy, numeracy and IT skills in children who have unrealised potential. They often don’t quite connect with school, leaving them feeling disaffected and demoralised. PFS uses sport to bridge that gap with dramatic results, as Pete explains: “On a ten week out-of-school-hours programme, they improve their literacy and numeracy scores by between 17 and 24 months. However, the real ‘fairy dust’ is self-esteem, which is carried back to school with long-term results.”
To enjoy the lecture and a two course buffet, prices are £16 or £20. An open bar is available.
Tickets are limited and are available on 01326 214546.