June 11, 1770
Captain Cook picked himself up off the deck and straightened his clothing. There was no mistaking what had just happened. He strode for’ard, his crew parting to make way, and looked over the port gunwale.
“God damn it.”
Endeavour’s stern was in deep water but the bow was not. It seemed scarcely more than a single fathom in places.
“Alright, let’s get to it. Take in the sails. Hoist out the boats. I want soundings all around the ship. Hicks? Where are you? I want a damage report in 30 seconds. Gore, I want the stream and coasting anchors off the starboard bow. We’ll pull ourselves off.”
The deck bloomed into a confused blur of perfectly coordinated activity.
“Hicks! Where’s that damage report?”
Moments later, Zach Hicks popped up from below deck. “It’s bad, Captain. The ship’s been holed. Water’s pouring in. I’ve had two pumps manned but we might need a third.”
“Can she be repaired at sea?”
“I don’t believe so, sir.”
“Damn. Let’s get her in to shore as quickly as possible, then.”