SYDNEY, Australia (AP) – A replica of the ship that British explorer James Cook sailed when he discovered Australia more than 200 years ago got stuck in a sandbar off Sydney on Sunday, five months after leaving Britain to retrace the historic voyage.

The tall ship Endeavour was stuck for four hours in Botany Bay near a monument commemorating Cook’s visit to the port on April 29, 1770. Cook was a lieutenant in Britain’s Royal Navy at the time.

Rod Kemp, Australia’s arts and sport minister, who spent the day on board, said it was fitting that the crew enjoyed a perfect viewing of the landing place of Port Kurnell.

“Kurnell was a special place for Cook and the boat stuck on the sand bank in full view of the memorial, so there you go,” Kemp said. “Fortunately the boat was able to get clear water and she’s still completely seaworthy.”

The boat set sail from Britain in November to retrace the voyage of the original Endeavour when it discovered Australia. It followed Cook’s route, traveling to South America, Tahiti, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand before reaching Australia’s east coast.

While the boat missed firing broadsides from her cannon in a welcome-home parade, hundreds of people still waited dockside for her arrival at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Kemp said the Australian government would contribute $576,000 a year to allow the replica Endeavour to operate tours from its base outside the museum in Sydney’s Darling Harbor.


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