Captain James Cook is well known throughout the world for his daring voyages across the oceans in the eighteenth century. He created detailed maps of Newfoundland, New Zealand as well as the southeast coast of Australia. He has the honour of being the first European to make contact with the east coast of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands. His talents in cartography and surveying helped him create maps which were used by sailors for over two hundred years.
Captain James Cook was born on October 27, 1728, in Yorkshire, England. His father’s name was also James Cook and was a farmer. Captain James Cook grew up with his seven siblings.IN 1747 he met ship owners Henry and John Walker who employed him as a merchant navy apprentice. This enabled him to learn trigonometry, algebra, navigation, algebra and astronomy which were to prove quite useful to him in his future expeditions. Most of his apprenticeship was spent aboard the collier sailing between London and Tyne. After he had completed his apprenticeship, he volunteered for the Royal Navy in 1755.
Captain James Cook’s talent for surveying and cartography became apparent during his service in the Royal Navy. The large scale map prepared by him of the Newfoundland coastline was proved accurate in addition to having precise triangulation to obtain land outlines. He was quite determined to discover new territories of the world and wanted to venture further than any man had gone.
During his first voyage to the Pacific Ocean, he observed the Venus transit across the Sun and tried to determine longitude, which failed to be successful. His second expedition proved more fruitful as he was able to map the entire coastline of New Zealand as well as make contact with east coast Australia.
His third voyage even though he did not sight the Northwest Passage which was the original mission, he managed to make other discoveries including being the first European to make contact with the Hawaiian Islands. Captain James Cook was married
to Elizabeth Batts in 1762 and they had six children together.