timeline boat

First transatlantic voyage

On the 1 of October 1974, The Golden Hinde set sail from Falmouth, bound for San Francisco. Having been constructed to be a centrepiece for the 400th anniversary celebrations of Drake’s landing in San Francisco, this was the first step to realising that objective. The voyage was fraught with hazards; storms and poor weather contributing to make the trip as authentic as possible for this faithful reconstruction of Drake’s ship. On the 8th of March 1975, 160 days later, The Golden Hinde dropped anchor in San Francisco Bay.


Rounding the globe

In 1979, The Golden Hinde sailed from California for Japan, to star in the filming of ‘Shogun’, where it is reputed she played two parts; painted one colour one side and a different colour on the other. Filming complete, she headed back across the Indian Ocean to British waters. With over 30,000 miles under her keel, she was consigned to short-haul passages around the British Isles until 1985, when adventure came calling again.


The second ‘Circumnavigation’

After hopping around Britain for 5 years, The Golden Hinde set sail for the Caribbean in late 1985. 8 weeks later she had sailed into St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. A contract with Expo 86 in Vancouver precipitated a dash for Panama and a 14-week voyage up Central and North America which included a brief detour to the Galapagos. Expo 86 was a success and as the centre-piece of the Marine Plaza the ship drew up to 6,000 visitors a day. The Golden Hinde then spent 3 months visiting ports in Canadian waters before arriving in Seattle in early 2007. At every port, the ship was hugely popular with the local press, visitors and schools, bringing up to 400 students a day to learn about Drake, at times there were 2-hour queues to board the ship. We were sailing for new ports at least every fortnight, summer and winter, often being tested by the weather, in order to meet arrival celebration schedules. At the end of 1988, she sailed from San Diego to Panama, through the canal and up to Texas. Port visits continued along the Gulf Coast, including a sortie up the Mississippi to New Orleans and beyond to Baton Rouge. The Golden Hinde continued around Florida and then spent two years on the Eastern seaboard as far north as Atlantic City. In December 1991, she returned to Britain, completing her 3rd Atlantic crossing, but the first going Eastward.

Winding down

The next 5 years were spent sailing port to port around the British Isles, occasionally wintering in Salford Quays, Manchester where the Hinde was able to develop the educational programs that it still provides today. In 1996 an invitation to bring The Golden Hinde to London was made and in light of changing rules for wooden sailing ships, it was decided that her itinerant lifestyle maybe had to change. Since occupying St Mary Overie Dock by London Bridge, she has only left once, in 2003 to open the Southampton International Boat Show. From starting port visits as a travelling educational museum in the early 1980s, other ships have attempted to follow our path, but the Hinde still reigns supreme with her circumnavigation, lack of modern systems and visitor appeal. She has a colourful history of her own; a faithful reconstruction and one Drake would be proud of. The Golden Hinde stands as a monument to those whose need for adventure took them around the world nearly 450 years ago.