Goss lugger to return home

Spirit of Mystery to return to Cornwall in April

Tuesday March 2nd 2010, Author: Stuart Elford, Location: United Kingdom

Spirit of Mystery, the little wooden boat sailed by Pete Goss and his family crew to Australia last year in a re-enactment of a historic voyage 155 years ago, is to return home to Cornwall.

The 37-foot Mounts Bay lugger is currently in Port Kembla, Australia, being prepared for loading aboard a container ship bound for Holland. There she will be unloaded and finish the journey under sail to her spiritual home in Cornwall.

The tough little ship survived storms and a knockdown in the Southern Ocean while sailing the 11,800 mile voyage, which shone a spotlight on the bravery of seven Cornishman who made the journey to seek out a better life and become the smallest migrant vessel ever to make it to Australia.

Spirit of Mystery is made of locally sourced wood and has history literally built into her. The keel, stem and stern were made from a tough hardwood called Ekki. Fallen Cornish Oak makes up the frames, with larch for the planking and ash for the tiller and sweeps. Pete sourced a piece of oak from Nelson's Victory, teak from the Cutty Sark and a part of the rigging from the SS Great Britain. With so much local history and so many happy memories in her, Pete decided she should return to Cornwall rather than dry up under the burning Australian sun.

Pete said that he was excited about getting her home in time for the sailing season in the UK: “I have to say I have wrestled with the decision as to whether I should sail her home or ship her ever since we arrived in Melbourne. My heart wanted to sail her but looking at life, commitments and other projects I have in the pipeline, it was readily apparent that I didn't have the time slot. Once I had made it the decision just felt right and I am now really excited about getting her home, we have missed her.”

An added bonus for Pete is that the ship is returning complete with her dinghy Tacker, which was feared lost forever in the Southern Ocean knockdown. This incident turned out to be the start of her own little adventure. The intrepid little boat drifted over a thousand miles and turned up in King Island between Tasmania and Australia, where she was spotted by local boys and after much detective work and some restoration reunited with Spirit of Mystery.

Spirit of Mystery will arrive in Holland towards the end of April thanks to Seven Star Yacht Transport, where she will be prepared for the final push home. Pete hopes that he can be on board to sail Spirit up the Tamar and complete an amazing global voyage for the little wooden boat with a big heart.

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