Captain James Cook 5
Continued on from Captain Cook Part 4
Around 11 pm Endeavour smashes into the jagged coral of the Great Barrier Reef. If Cook cannot get the their wooden sailing ship off the reef, then they will face certain death. Water is gushing in and they throw stores over board and start bailing. They manage to get her off the reef and they plug the hole with a sail. They sail for three days for the land where he can see fire. He sails into the Endeavour River after picking his way through the treacherous coral reefs. The place is now called Cooktown where he brought in the Endeavour to fix the hole in his ship.
The place was deserted and he beached the ship and put her over on the side. Carpenters started work on the hull in order to repair the ship. Captain Cook has a treasure trove of scientific knowledge and exhibits on board. James Cook and his crew spend nearly two months in Cooktown and they observe the weird animals of New Holland. They saw strange creatures like the kangaroo and finally contacts the local aborigines. But Cook and his crew took too much and the aborigines are not too impressed at the white men taking too many sea turtles. They wanted their share of the turtles and reacted badly by becoming angry.
Cook documents the life style of the aboriginal people and noticed that they were happy and all were equal. Cook navigates the Endeavour out through the outer reefs of the Barrier Reef into open sea. When he comes back into land, he claims it for Britain. Some say that it was a theft of a continent from indigenous people. He sails on to Batavia on the island of Java. But Batavia was a cesspit. The water was full of ooze and sewage, and soon after disease struck and men started to die. Tupaia died. He takes on water and leaves, but that water is infected and men still continue to die. The next five months sees a host of deaths on the ship on their way home to England.
March 13 1771, there are barely enough men to sail the ship into port. He is now sailing a death ship. As Cook buries the last of his men, his daughter has died back home in London. His wife Elizabeth has no idea when her husband will return. July 12 1771, Endeavour sights the white cliffs of Dover and the scientific voyage of the Endeavour is over. Cook returns to the bustling city of London a changed man. He reports to his masters at the Admiralty and hands over his logs, journals, and charts.
But Cook wants to go back again to the Pacific to determine once and for all whether there was a great southern land or not. When Captain James Cook comes home to his wife Elizabeth, he finds out about the children that have died. Joseph Bans however is the real star of the voyage and the great scientist is to be given two ships for further voyages of exploration. Cook receives news from the Admiralty and is promoted to Commander. On his first voyage Cook had added New Zealand and Australia to the map of the world. He wanted to clear up the issue of the great southern land.
The Voyages of Captain James Cook Part 6 continued