Captain James Cook


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Captain James Cook (1728 – 1779) was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer, ultimately rising to the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy.


Photo Credit: Flickr.com

The Royal Society then hired James Cook to travel to the Pacific Ocean to observe and record the transit of Venus across the Sun. The expedition sailed westward from England in 1768, rounded Cape Horn and continued westward across the Pacific to arrive at Tahiti on 13 April 1769, where the observations of the Venus Transit was made. The then sailed down the complete New Zealand coastline. From New Zealand, he then sailed west, reaching the south-eastern coast of the Australian continent on 19 April 1770, and in doing so his expedition became the first recorded Europeans to have encountered its eastern coastline. On 29 April 1770 Cook and crew made their first landfall on the mainland of the continent at a place now known as the Kurnell Peninsula, which he named Botany Bay (modern day Sydney). It is here that James Cook made first contact with an Aboriginal tribe.

The voyage continued, sailing through Torres Strait and on 22 August he landed on Possession Island, where he claimed the entire coastline he had just explored as British territory. He returned to England via Batavia (modern Jakarta, Indonesia), the Cape of Good Hope and the island of Saint Helena, arriving on 12 July 1771. Cook’s journals were published upon his return, and he became something of a hero among the scientific community.

Captain James Cook was killed somewhere in Hawaii by natives during his last expedition.

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