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.