Captain James Cook was a well known British explorer and navigator
with a little formal education. He was born on the 27th October 1728
and died on the 14th February 1779. His parents were James Cook
and Grace Pace. He was married to Elizabeth Batts and had 6
children. Their names were James Cook, Nathaniel Cook, Elizabeth
Cook, Joseph Cook, George Cook and Hugh Cook.
Captain James Cook sailed around to far reach of the world reaching
all seven continents during his lifetime. He traveled on three very
lengthy journeys with two different sailing ships, encountering
hardship and triumph along the way.
In 1766, the Royal Society hired James Cook to travel to an island in
the Pacific Ocean to observe and record the transit of Venus across
the Sun. Cook led the expedition with his new ship, the Endeavour,
with a crew of about 80 and a team of 11 scientists.
On his first voyage he rounded Cape Horn, the most dangerous part
of the sea on Earth in 1768, with good weather and no troubles with
wind. He took excellent care of his ship and crew when on the
voyage. They did their work along with catching of sharks and
dolphins, shooting of birds and dealing with the storms that came
along their way.
Then he rounded, an island called George III, now known as Tahiti
in 1769. They were one of the first to receive such things as tattoos.
This is probably where sailors first received their trademark sign, the
tattoo on their upper arm. It was here in Tahiti where James Cook
successfully observed the eclipse of Venus, Earth, and the Sun on
June 3 and also mapped the Tahitian coast.
Cook than arrived at Poverty Bay in New Zealand and here
the native Maori people did not welcome them and
became hostile. From there he turned north again and
Cook circumnavigated the two islands. He discovered the
South Island and all the way, accurately charted the coast.
He then sailed west, reaching the south-eastern coast of
the Australian continent and became the first recorded
Europeans to have encountered its eastern coastline. On
the 22nd of August 1770, he landed on Possession Island,
where he claimed the whole island British territory and
named the island as Cape York. He also claimed all of
Eastern Australia for Britain and named the new territory,
New South Wales. Cook and his Endeavour crew made
their way to England slowly and landed on July 13, 1771.
Shortly after his return, he was promoted to the rank of commander
and then notified that he had been chosen to lead the mission to
find out if the southern hemisphere had any land or only had water.
On his second voyage, Commander James cook sailed with 2 ships
called Resolution and Adventure.
The two ships arrived at Cape Town, South Africa and then
continued south, crossing the Antarctic Circle. Captain Cook also
became one of the first people to cross the Antarctic Circle, one of
the five major circles of latitude that marks maps of the Earth.
Because of ice they were forced to sail north and reached Dusky Bay,
New Zealand in March. Cook then pushed south and landed in
Eastern Islands in 1774 and then in Marquesas. He sailed west from
Tahiti to confirm the discoveries of the explorer Quiros. He also
discovered many of the Tuamoutu Islands, Society Islands, Tonga,
and Fiji Islands until reaching what he named the New Hebrides
(Vanuatu). From here he sailed south and found New Caledonia.
Before rounding Cape Horn Cook claimed the Kerguelen Island as
for Britain, and returned to England in July 1775.
The purpose of the third voyage was to seek out an existing
Northwest Passage (the passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific
Ocean) and map all he found. He sailed in his ship called Resolution
again with another ship called Discovery. He sailed to New Zealand
and confirmed the existence of Kerguelen Island and he also
discovered the Cook Islands, Christmas Island and some smaller
Hawaiian Islands. He also discovered the Earl of Sandwich,
From there both the ships anchored in Kealakekua Bay, on the Kona
coast of the island of Hawaii. Here his boats were stolen for iron, the
boats were burnt and all the iron was taken. Here Cook was stabbed
to death. Resolution and Discovery returned home in October 1780
commanded by John Gore, a veteran of Cook's first voyage, and
Captain James King. Cook's account of his third and final voyage was
completed upon their return by King.
The routes of Captain James Cook's voyages. The first voyage is
shown in red, second voyage in green, and third voyage in blue. The
route of Cook's crew following his death is shown as a dashed blue
A special thanks to www.wikipedia.org & www.cptcook.com which
helped me with this presentation.