"No sea can hurt her..."
(The famous words of Captain James Cook referring to the H.M.S. Endeavour
In 1768 Lieutenant James Cook, RN, set sail ENDEAVOUR
on a voyage of exploration and
scientific investigation. After observing the transit of Venus across the sun at Otaheite in the
Pacific, Cook sailed south- west to disprove the existence of a "Great South Land". By 1770
Cook had reached New Zealand.
He circumnavigated and completely charted the north and south islands before continuing west.
In April, he sighted the east coast of New Holland (now called Australia) and sailed north along
the coast before anchoring in what he named Botany Bay. He then continued north to Cape York
and on to Batavia in the then Dutch East Indies (Jakarta, Indonesia). During the four months
voyage along the coast Cook charted the coastline from Point Hicks (Victoria) to Cape York
(Queensland) and proclaimed the eastern part of the continent for Great Britain.
Cook was not the first person nor even the first European to "discover" Australia, but he was the
first to accurately chart a substantial part of the coastline and to fix the continent in relation to
known waters. His explorations have also been given significance because, due to a variety of
circumstances, they were followed up within a few years by a British expedition to settle the
"new" continent. For these reasons, Cook is considered a major figure in Australia's modern
history. Numerous places in Australasia, particularly on the east Australian coast and New
Zealand, have been named after him or his vessel, and many of the names he gave to parts of the
Australian east coast in 1770 are still used (e.g. Cape Tribulation, Botany Bay, the Whitsundays).
Cook's 1768-1771 voyage in ENDEAVOUR
is also considered to be of general historical
importance because of its great contributions to the world's knowledge of seamanship and
navigation, as well as geography. On this voyage Cook became the first captain to calculate his
longitudinal position with accuracy, using a complex mathematical formula developed in the
1760s. He was also the first to substantially reduce scurvy among his crew, a serious, sometimes
fatal result of dietary deficiency on long voyages. Cook is considered to be one of the greatest
explorers and is ranked with Vasco de Gama and Columbus.
In 1776, the last of his many voyages was to prove fatal. Cook anchored in Hawaii with his ship the
and as a result of a misunderstanding, he was killed by a dagger blow in the back.H.M.S. Endeavour - From Wikipedia: Details Here.
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