Adventurer Pete Goss reaches next stage of latest project and unveils the 37ft Cornish lugger 6/6/08

Sailor and adventurer Pete Goss MBE has reached the next stage in his latest project as he prepares to unveil the 37-foot Cornish lugger ‘Spirit of Mystery’.

Today the wooden boat, which has been built by local craftsmen in a shed at Innsworke Mill Boat Yard in Millbrook near Torpoint in South East Cornwall, will be pulled outside in preparation for its launch later this month. It will be the first time that the vessel has been seen in all her glory. Carefully drawing the 16-tonne boat from its birthplace on wooden rollers, much as the Egyptians moved the stone of the pyramids, the team will guide Spirit of Mystery into the boat yard so that the masts can be stepped and final touches added.

Pete says that while there is a certain degree of anticipation after nearly ten months of building, it is a job that cannot be rushed. Starting in the morning, the operation could take all day or be wrapped up by lunchtime. Either way, Spirit of Mystery is well on target for its launch on Saturday 21 June and a packed program of events is lined up during the summer ahead of its intrepid voyage to Australia planned for late October.

“It will be great day for the team and we look forward to being able to look at the boat from a distance and see her lines,” said Pete. “We know she looks good on paper and close up, but there is nothing like being able to stand back and really appreciate her in all her glory. We are grateful to our project sponsors who will be announced at the launch.”

As with all of Pete’s projects it will be open to the general public and the launch will be a 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.

Anyone can attend 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 said: “The launch draws closer by the day and I can’t wait to take her for a sail. The project has generated interest from around the world and I hope people will come along on 21st June, join in the fun and follow the project on the website,”

Pete has built Spirit of Mystery to commemorate 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 18 November 1854, the Mystery travelled about 11,800 nautical miles in 116 days before arriving in Melbourne on 14 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.