Captain Cook Circumnavigation #2
Cook's second circumnavigation in the Resolution lasted from 13 July 1772 up to 30 July 1775 - three years at sea. He made the first eastabout circumnavigation of the world, was the first one into the Antarctic Circle. Because Bougainville had stopped at Tahiti, the British Admiralty wanted Cook to lay claim to the Society Islands for England. Tahiti was touted as the best place as a base for exploration of the Pacific, it had fine harbours, had a good supply of food, water and timber, and the natives were relatively friendly. The Admiralty bought two more Whitby colliers and they were renamed the Resolution(462 tons) and the Adventure(340 tons).
The Resolution and the Adventure left Plymouth Harbor in the middle of 1772 and sailed to the Cape of Good Hope where they anchored on 30 October, reprovisioning for three weeks. Cook left Cape Town on 22 November and sailed south looking for land in the uncharted southern ocean. Water rationing was brought in and the crew received extra clothing to protect them from the extreme cold weather. On 17 December he passed the Antartic Circle, discovering that the sea does not freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and that icebergs are made of fresh water. Cook sailed 75 minutes into the Antarctic Circle before having to heave off to the north east. He did not know that he had come within 75 miles of the continent of Antarctica, quite a remarkable achievment.
On 8th February 1773 Cook in the Resolution lost sight of the Adventure and fired their guns for days but to no avail. Cook sailed for New Zealand with the Roaring Forties at his back, the Resolution screaming along at a manic pace through a sea studded with icebergs. The Resolution finally reached Dusky Bay, New Zealand, on 26th March after sailing over ten thousand miles in 122 days. Cook stayed here for a month hunting and collecting supplies. The Resolution then left for Queen Charlotte sound and on 18 May she met up again with the Adventure. The crew were not impressed that Cook did not intend to stay for the winter and on 7 June the Resolution and the Adventure sailed east into the dirty weather of the South Pacific Winter. They sailed half way to south america before Cook ordered a course change to the north.
In August Cook made the Tuamotus and sailed west to Tahiti. Cook spent a month at several places in Tahiti and left on 17 September loaded up with supplies for the long voyage ahead. Cook reached New Zealand during wild storms in October and limped into Queen Charlotte Sound on 3 November. They had lost the Adventure, but had to leave on 25 November. Cook spent the summer looking for lands and twice he went into the Antarctic Circle but found nothing but empty sea. Cook eventually had to change course to the north west and went back into the tropics. Cook then went to the Marquesas, Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji , New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, then back to New Zealand in the spring.
On 10 November 1774 sailed from New Zealand for the Horn, rounded it quite peacefully and on 14 January 1775 discovered South Georgia Island. He then headed south east back into the ice but saw no more land. He steered for the Cape of Good Hope and anchored in Table Bay on 22 March. After five weeks he sailed for England completing his second circumnavigation at the end of July 1775.
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