The painting shows the replica of the topsail schooner Enterprize with all sails, other than the course and topgallant, set and sailing in a freshening breeze along the coast of Victoria. Crew will be preparing to reduce sail taking in the flying jib and main gaff topsail.
My interest in Enterprize has come about through my regular volunteering as a crew member on the ship.
The original Enterprize is the ship that brought the first european settlers to Melbourne in 1835. The original ship, built in Hobart in 1829 by William Pender, carried cargo. In April 1835, John Pascoe Fawkner purchased Enterprize to search for a suitable settlement site in the Port Phillip District. Initially a settlement site was sought around Western Port and on the eastern side of Port Phillip. Eventually, on 15 August 1835, Enterprize entered the Yarra River, and after warping upstream (hauling on ropes attached to the river bank), she moored at the foot of the present day William Street. On the 30 August 1835 the 9 settlers disembarked to build their store and clear land to grow vegetables. Settlement at Melbourne had begun.
Construction of the replica started with the laying of the keel in1991 and official launching in 1997. The ship is constructed primarily of recycled materials, and is operated as part of a non profit trust to allow the public to experience sailing on an 1800’s type sailing ship, and is berthed in Williamstown, Melbourne.
Further details and specifications can be obtained at the Enterprize Ship Trust website.