Thursday, August 19

Captain James Cook: Explorer and Navigator

There are some people who set a purpose for their life. Then no matter how many difficulties they face, they devote their whole life to the attainment of that objective. The name of Captain James Cook also comes in such people. He was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer. Apart from this, he was also the captain of the Royal Navy.

Captain James cook

James Cook’s childhood

James was born on 27 October 1728 in a village in Yorkshire, England. His father was a farmworker When James was 13 years old, his father put him to study at a clothing store. James had only one dream since childhood that he would do exploratory work by becoming a sailor. That’s why James did not like the clothes shop at all. Along with this, he also used to work with his father related to farming management. Looking out the window of the shop where James worked, he felt the charm of the sea.

After working for 18 months, James left that job as a clothing store. He went to work on the ship. Walkers, who were Quakers, were the main local shipowners in the coal trade. He took James as a merchant navy apprentice in his fleet of small ships. At the age of 27, he joined the Navy. It was his dream to get on the ship, so he was very fond of his work. Due to his true passion for the work, he was made the master of the ship after four years.

James’s first voyage

Traveling from place to place by ship greatly increased the geographical knowledge of James. He was talented since childhood and he was very fond of work as well. So he made maps of the ocean that surrounds New Foundland. Those maps were very nice For this, James was appointed by the Royal Society of London as the captain of a ship called Endeavour, which went to the Southern Pacific Ocean in 1768. That ship was very special. He was known for some scientific discoveries. There were 80 sailors and 3 scientists on that ship. James was very happy to be the captain of the ship. He always wanted that he should get a chance to do some courageous and exploratory work. He got this opportunity for the first time after becoming the captain of Endeavor.

Captain James
source: history.com

James’s first discovery

In due course, Endeavor crossed the Atlantic Ocean and reached the southern tip of South America. That tip is today called the horn headland. It is believed that via the southern end of the Horn Islands, he entered the Pacific Ocean and reached Tahiti. From there the ship passed between the two islands of New Zealand. James looked at their edges. James was a true man. He loved humans. He had told his shipmates that when they went to an island, they should behave well with the tribals there. Due to the good behavior of James and his companions, the aborigines of New Zealand also behaved friendly with them. So James Cook managed to make a full round of New Zealand. And thus he became the first person to make accurate maps of both islands.

This waterway between the northern and southern islands of New Zealand is called the “Cook Strait” after Cook. Cook not only explored these islands but went beyond that to discover Australia. Even before him, some explorers had traveled to Australia, but they found only the barren regions of the north and west of Australia. East and North Fertile Parts of Australia to James.

Cook’s great discovery related to scurvy.

An important work of James Cook was the discovery of the fertile part of Australia. That part is now called New South Wales. During his first voyage, James found a cure for a deadly disease called scurvy. The sailors of the ship usually made a living by eating salted meat and moldy biscuits. By eating that food continuously, he became a victim of a terrible disease called scurvy. If this disease was not treated promptly, it would have become incurable. James realized that due to lack of fresh fruits, meat and vegetables, sailors got the scurvy disease. Once his ship stopped at Tiqueira del Fuego, south of Argentina, James asked some of his sailors to go ashore to collect weeds and vegetables available. When the sailors ate their food mixed with grass and green vegetables obtained from the forest, then they did not get that disease.

After that discovery of James, people started using fresh fruits and green vegetables in their disease. In the search for food, James also discovered that the juice of venison, vinegar, orange, and lemon proves to be very beneficial in scurvy disease. After this discovery, British ships started carrying lemon juice in casks.

James’s second voyage

When Cook made his visit, he was in an under-office position. After that successful visit, King George III of England gave him the rank of commander. It was also decided that James Cook would now go to explore the southern continent. James took two ships for this voyage. One was named Resolution and the other was named Adventure. On 13 July 1772, both these ships started their journey from the port of Plymouth. The purpose of this trip was to discover some mysterious island at the southern end of the sea.

James Cook
source: britannica.com

Cook and his companions undertook a hard sea voyage of a thousand days in a row. They passed through cold regions. Cook first circumnavigated the Pacific Ocean. He discovered some islands and made maps of them all. Then came back to Horn Island. At the same time, he found the island where most of the world’s whale fish are found. The name of this island is South Georgia. When James returned to England in 1773, the king was pleased and gave him the rank of Captain. After this, he became famous as “Captain James Cook”. He was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society. It is considered the biggest honor in the world of science.

Captain James’s third voyage

After this Captain James Cook set out on his third voyage. In this voyage, James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, formerly known as the Sandwich Islands. During a search in the Arctic Sea, the Aborigines there stole a boat from the Discovery ship. The captain had decided that after talking to the chief there, he would take back the ship. But later on the beach, they started quarreling about something. The tribals started throwing stones at the sailors Cook fired a self-defense pistol which killed a tribal. Then the enraged and agitated tribesmen lashed out at James Cook. He was stabbed in the back and because of that, he died.

Captain James Cook
source: pinterest.com

Captain James Cook was a great explorer. His name is associated with the places he discovered. that name always reminds him.

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