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Woodenboat News


Posted: 8  Jul. 2008


After months of building, the waiting is nearly over for sailor and adventurer Pete Goss MBE, who will be launching the 37-foot Cornish lugger ‘Spirit of Mystery’ this Saturday (21st June) in Millbrook, near Torpoint, South East Cornwall.

The anticipation is building as the wooden boat, which has been made by local craftsmen under designer and shipwright Chris Rees, will be tested for the first time as it is gently lowered into the water at Millbrook. The event is planned to be a fun, family affair with something for everyone. Starting at 5pm on the longest day of the year, the Spirit of Mystery will be gently lowered into the water at high tide – 7pm.

The full crew will also be afloat together for the first time as they step aboard Spirit of Mystery and feel the history beneath their feet. Like the original crew, who were all related by either blood or marriage, it will be a family affair with the crew comprising: Pete Goss; his younger brother Andy; Pete’s youngest son Eliot (who will be 14 when they set sail; and Pete’s brother in law Andy Maidment.

Pete said: “This is the first real test for the boat and we can’t wait to see her on the water. Spirit of Mystery is a real community affair; many people have donated items such as wood for the hull, lead for ballast or just time, enthusiasm and energy to the project, which has generated interest from around the world. I hope people will come along on 21st June to show their support, join in the fun and follow the project on the website, petegoss.com.”

Anyone can attend the launch and there will be activities and entertainment for people of all ages including a children’s play area with bouncy castle, face-painting, magician/entertainer and design-a-badge competition. In addition, a climbing wall, canoe-trips, charity raffle, shop, Royal Marines bugler/drummer and a live band are on hand with refreshments including a licensed bar, barbeque and tea/coffee. Plymouth Sound and the Black Thunder team will be broadcasting from the event, which is set to be a fantastic day out for all the family.

Entry is free and parking for 400 cars has been arranged at the Millbrook Football Club, which is where people can take part in all the activities, see the launch and help Pete countdown to the moment when Spirit of Mystery’s hull touches the water for the first time.

Pete has built Spirit of Mystery to shine a light on the bravery of the seven Cornishmen who made the heroic journey to Melbourne to escape poverty and seek out a new life in Australia. Leaving Newlyn on Saturday 18th November 1854, the Mystery travelled about 11,800 nautical miles in 116 days before arriving in Melbourne on 14th March 1855. Pete will follow in their wake in a boat that has had history literally built into it, as Pete has sourced wood from Nelson's Victory and the Cutty Sark, and a part of the rigging from the SS Great Britain.

The project will also be a useful tool for the Cornwall Playing for Success charity, of which Pete is a founding trustee. Not only will it raise awareness of the out of school hours education initiative, the children will also follow the adventure and therefore learn about local and social history, boat building, navigation and a host of other subjects as part of the ‘Sense of Place’ program.

Further details about the project, the launch and details of where people can see Spirit of Mystery are on Pete’s website at www.petegoss.com.




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