Interesting Facts About The Legendary Captain James Cook

james-cook-5Captain 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.

jamesCaptain 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.

Life And Death Of Captain James Cook

cookdeathCaptain James Cook is renown around the world for his dangerous expedition across unchartered territories in the eighteenth century. He managed to visit six continents during his voyages across the ocean. His expeditions consisted of three voyages across the Pacific Ocean over a span of around eleven years from 1768 to 1779. He mapped the coastlines of Newfoundland, New Zealand in addition to the southeast coast of Australia. He used his superior cartographic and surveying skills to create large scale maps which then went on to be used by sailors for over two hundred years.

james-lifeCaptain James Cook displayed physical courage and ability to lead men in adverse conditions which helped him sail across thousands of miles of uncharted oceans across the globe. During his first voyage, he successfully observed Venus cross the sun which was actually a cover up for his actual goal which was to discover a southern continent. It was during his first journey that he made contact with New Zealand and Australia, but as he travelled further south towards Antarctica, he had to turn back due to the cold. His second voyage enabled him to discover the Hawaiian Islands which he initially named the Sandwich Islands.

Captain Cook’s third and final voyage was made to find the Northwest Passage across North America. Even though this mission was not accomplished, Cook managed to make some other noteworthy discoveries during the voyage. After his third voyage, Cook returned to the Hawaii Island at Kealakekua Bay. After he had stayed there for a month, he attempted to resume his explorations, but due to the breaking of the mast of his ship he had to return to the Bay for repairs to be done. Eventually, Cook and his crew ran into some trouble, and he was stabbed to death as a result of his attempt to kidnap the King of Hawaii.

The First Voyage Of Captain James Cook

james-cook-voyageCaptain James Cook set forth on his first voyage from England Plymouth Harbour on 26th August 1768. The HMB Endeavour had a crew made up of ninety-four men who had been instructed to set sail for Tahiti to observe as well as record the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. Captain James Cook was an accomplished navigator, surveyor and astronomer who commanded the ship and issued instructions to the crew. Interestingly, the mission of observing the Venus transit was to cover up for the real mission of the voyage which was to explore the Southern Ocean for unknown southern land.

james-cook1Captain Cook had been issued instructions from the Admiralty to explore the unchartered waters of the Southern Ocean in a bid to discover new land. His superior skills in surveying and cartography were one of the reasons for being entrusted with such a dangerous mission. Once the Endeavour reached Tahiti in April of 1769, the crew were able to observe the transit of Venus across the sun on June 3. The ship was then commandeered towards the south by Captain Cook and mapped New Zealand before spotting Australia on the 19th of April 1770 and claiming it for the British Crown. Cook named it New South Wales. Cook and his crew finally returned to England in July 1771 after a voyage that lasted for three years.

The Unfortunate Death Of Captain James Cook

download-1485-low_jamescook-2The third voyage of Captain James Cook took him to Kealakekua Bay of the Hawaii Island where he was eventually murdered by the natives of the island during his attempt to kidnap the King of Hawaii. In 1778 Cook was the first European to set foot on the Hawaiian Islands. Initially, Cook and his crew were given a warm welcome by the islanders. Cook restocked his ship with provisions by bartering with the natives using metal. The ship was then commandeered by Cook back to the ocean to continue with his voyage.

cooknavyAfter a year, Cook returned to the Kealakekua Bay. This Bay was considered sacred by the islanders under the protection of Lono, the fertility god of the Hawaiians. Cook and his crew took advantage of the islanders’ religious beliefs and good will and exploited them for three months. When one of the crew members died unexpectedly, the islanders recognized the Europeans as mere mortals and relations between them became strained. Following this strain in relations, Cook set sail on February 4, 1779, from Kealakekua Bay but had to return after a week at sea due to damages caused by rough sea waters.

The natives of the Island welcomed Cook and his crew back by hurling stones. The natives also managed to steal a small cutter vessel from the ship forcing the Europeans to negotiate with King Kalaniopuu for the return of the vessel. In an attempt to take control of the situation, Cook set forth to kidnap the King and his attempt was failed as he was killed by the natives. His ship returned to England immediately following this incident.