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The first voyage of Captain Cook

The first voyage of Captain Cook

James Cook's legendary journey around the world proved to be enormously valuable for science.

History

Keywords

James Cook, Venus, HMS Endeavour, Endeavour, HM Bark Endeavour, Vénusz-áthaladás, Charles Green, Joseph Banks, Sydney Parkinson, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Föld körüli út, circumnavigation of the Earth, Royal Society, Admiralitás, astronomy, 18th century, England, Great Britain, history, geography, természettudomány, Sun, illusztrátor, scurvy, csillagászati teleszkóp, Plymouth, vérhasjárvány, sailing boat, watercraft, captain, battleship, expedition, observatory, animals, növényvilág, modern history, ballast, cabin, vitorla, árbóc

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Questions

  • What was the original name of HMS Endeavour?
  • What was the name of Endeavour in the last years of her career?
  • Where did the ship strike a reef in 1770?
  • What other vehicle was named Endeavour?
  • How many masts did HMS Endeavour have?
  • How long was HMS Endeavour?
  • Who occupied the British throne at the time of the departure of Cook’s first journey?
  • What institution financed Cook’s first journey?
  • The exploration of which part of the world was one of the tasks of Captain Cook during his first journey?
  • In which year did HMS Endeavour set sail from Plymouth harbour?
  • Which ocean was the first Captain Cook sailed through during his legendary journey?
  • In which port did HMS Endeavour NOT dock during Cook’s first journey?
  • Which island did HMS Endeavour NOT sail past during Cook’s first journey?
  • In which port was the ship sunk?
  • What caused the mot of the deaths among the crew?
  • How long did Captain Cook's first journey take?
  • What kind of expedition was Captain Cook's journey?
  • The transit of which planet across the Sun was one of the major goals of the Expedition?
  • Why were the results of the expedition’s astronomical observations inaccurate?
  • Which island was chosen as the location to carry out the observation of the transit of Venus?
  • What was the name of the expedition’s astronomer?
  • What was the name of the expedition’s botanist
  • How many people sailed from Plymouth on the expedition?
  • What was NOT named after James Cook?
  • What nationality was James Cook?
  • True or false? James Cook was the first sea captain to circumnavigate Antarctica.
  • Who made most of the illustrations during the expedition?
  • How many people died of scurvy during Cook’s first expedition?
  • Which of the following was reached first by James Cook, among European explorers?

Scenes

James Cook

HMS Endeavour

  • staysail
  • mainmast
  • square sail
  • rear mast
  • spanker
  • flag
  • stern
  • rudder
  • wheel
  • hull
  • deck
  • lifeboat
  • keel
  • ship's bell
  • bow
  • anchor
  • bowsprit
  • jib
  • crow's nest
  • foremast
  • great cabin - The most comfortable cabin, where the captain, the scientists and the illustrators worked and had their meals.
  • James Cook 's cabin
  • first lieutenant's cabin
  • surgeon's cabin
  • gunner's cabin
  • scientists' and illustrators' cabins
  • lower deck - It housed the dining room and living quarters of the crew. It was furnished with hammocks and tables hung from the ceiling.
  • bilge
  • ballast - A weight serving to balance the ship, placed at the bottom. Stones were usually used for this purpose.
  • provisions
  • sail room
  • boatswain's cabin
  • boatswain's storeroom

HMS Endeavour was a barque, originally built as a collier and named Earl of Pembroke. She was launched in 1764, then four years later she was purchased by the British Royal Navy. There she was renamed as HMS Endeavour and converted into a research vessel for a planned scientific mission.

The captain of the ship during the legendary voyage, taking place between 1768 and 1771, was James Cook. The ship was selected by Cook himself, because of her sturdy build, deep hold and flat bottom which made her well-suited to sailing in shallow waters.

The three-masted ship was 106 feet (32 m) long with a beam of 29 feet (7.92 m). She was completely refitted for the expedition and equipped with 22 cannons and guns in total.

After the historic expedition, Endeavour was used as a transatlantic cargo ship, then she was sold into private hands and renamed Lord Sandwich. Later, in the American War of Independence, she was used as a troop transport ship by the Royal Navy and finally sunk in 1778 at Newport, Rhode Island, to prevent the French fleet from entering the harbour.

Interesting facts:

- In the Royal Navy registers, the name of the ship was His Majesty's Bark the Endeavour to distinguish her from a smaller, single-masted ship also called HMS Endeavour.

- On 11 June 1770, the ship struck a reef in the Great Barrier Reef system. She was badly damaged and it took a lot of effort to save her. The reef is today called Endeavour Reef.

- In 1994, a replica of HMS Endeavour was launched in Australia. She has since travelled twice around the world and today she is harboured in the port of Sydney and serves as a museum ship of the Australian National Maritime Museum.

- The New Zealand 50-cent coin features HMS Endeavour on its reverse.

- A now-retired NASA orbiter, Space Shuttle Endeavour was named after HMS Endeavour.

Route

  • Plymouth - A port city on the South Coast of England. HMS Endeavour departed from this port on 26 August 1768 and returned here nearly 3 years later.
  • Rio de Janeiro - In mid-November 1768 Endeavour arrived at this Brazilian port city.
  • Cape Horn - Reaching the southern tip of South America, the ship sailed around Cape Horn instead of through the Strait of Magellan. They rounded Cape Horn at the end of January 1769.
  • Tahiti - Endeavour reached Tahiti on 13 April 1769. It was here that the most important scientific purpose of the expedition, the observation of the passage of Venus, was realised (3 June 1769). The ship and its crew stayed on the island for 3 months.
  • New Zealand - On 6 October 1769, the passengers sighted the North Island of New Zealand. It was here that they observed the passage of Mercury across the Sun.
  • Australia - HMS Endeavour reached the Australian coast in April 1770.
  • Batavia - The ship arrived at the port of Batavia (present-day Jakarta, Indonesia) in October 1770. This city was the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company.
  • Cape Town - HMS Endeavour rounded the Cape of Good Hope in March 1771, and then arrived at Cape Town.

The expedition was commissioned by King George III and financed by the Royal Society. Its main purpose was to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun at a Pacific location, but the Admiralty also assigned Cook a confidential task to search the South Pacific for the postulated 'Unknown Southern Continent', Terra Australis Incognita.

The ship departed from the port of Plymouth, England in August 1768. After a short stop in Madeira, she continued her journey across the Atlantic Ocean and arrived in the port of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in mid-November. By January, she had sailed around the southern tip of South America and reached the Pacific Ocean. At the middle of April, the ship anchored off the island of Tahiti, where the crew spent 3 months. The next destination was New Zealand, in October. After charting the islands, the journey continued to East Australia, where the ship arrived in April 1770. Unfortunately, however, on 11 June, the Endeavour struck a reef, she was badly damaged and it took a huge effort to save her.

After repairing the ship, she continued their journey. Passing along New Guinea and Java, the expedition arrived in Batavia, present-day Jakarta, the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company, in mid-October. During the two and a half-months spent there, several members of the crew caught malaria and died. After replenishing drinking water and food reserves on Panaitan Island, they set off for the Indian Ocean. However, a dysentery epidemic broke out on the ship, taking numerous victims.
In March 1771, HMS Endeavour sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and, after a stop in Cape Town, it sailed off the Atlantic Ocean. Nearly three years after her departure, she arrived at the port of Plymouth in July 1771.

Passengers

  • James Cook
  • Charles Green
  • Joseph Banks
  • Sydney Parkinson

The expedition started with 94 people on board, with two people later joining them. In total, there were 72 sailors, 13 marines and 11 civilian passengers aboard the ship.

During the journey, 43 people lost their lives, most of them in the dysentery epidemic that broke out in early 1771.

While the main cause of deaths during earlier long-distance sea journeys was scurvy, noone died of this disease aboard HMS Endeavour. This was because Captain Cook persuaded his crew and passengers to consume fruits and sauerkraut every day, and its Vitamin C content prevented scurvy.

Venus transit

  • Venus
  • Sun
  • the orbit of Venus
  • the transit of Venus – 3 June 1769

Venus is one of the planets of the Solar System, the second closest to the Sun. It is a terrestrial planet. It is very similar to the Earth, both in size and mass, and it is often called the sister of Earth.

Since Venus is one of the brightest celestial bodies, it was named after the Ancient Roman goddess of beauty.

The planet's orbital period is 224.7 days and its average distance from the Sun is 108,200,000 km. Similarly to the Moon, it has a cycle going through phases. Viewed from the Earth, Venus appears either to the left or the right of the Sun, as it orbits. This is why some ancient astronomers believed what they observed were two different celestial bodies. The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was the first to realise that the two 'stars' were one and the same.

One of the major scientific goals of the expedition led by Captain Cook was to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun from the Pacific Ocean. The Royal Society charged astronomer Charles Green with the task. Green received two astronomical telescopes, a portable observatory, an astronomical clock and other instruments in order to make precise observations. Simultaneously, the observation was carried out in Europe too, in order to calculate the distance between the two celestial objects.

The transit of Venus took place on 3 June 1769. For the observation, Charles Green positioned the three telescopes at three locations to avoid disturbance by unfavourable weather conditions. Unfortunately, however, the atmosphere of Venus blurred its outlines, making it impossible to make precise observations.

Narration

HMS Endeavour was a barque, originally built as a collier and named Earl of Pembroke. She was launched in 1764, then four years later she was purchased by the British Royal Navy. There she was renamed as HMS Endeavour and converted into a research vessel for a planned scientific mission.

The expedition was commissioned by King George III and financed by the Royal Society. Its main purpose was to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun at a Pacific location, but the Admiralty also assigned Cook a confidential task to search the South Pacific for the postulated 'Unknown Southern Continent', Terra Australis Incognita.

The ship departed from the port of Plymouth, England in August 1768. After a short stop in Madeira, she continued her journey across the Atlantic Ocean and arrived in the port of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in mid-November.

By January, she had sailed around the southern tip of South America and reached the Pacific Ocean. At the middle of April, the ship anchored off the island of Tahiti, where the crew spent 3 months. The next destination was New Zealand, in October. After charting the islands, the journey continued to East Australia, where the ship arrived in April 1770. Unfortunately, however, on 11 June, the Endeavour struck a reef, she was badly damaged and it took a huge effort to save her.

After repairing the ship, she continued their journey. Passing along New Guinea and Java, the expedition arrived in Batavia, present-day Jakarta, the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company, in mid-October. During the two and a half-months spent there, several members of the crew caught malaria and died. After replenishing drinking water and food reserves on Panaitan Island, they set off for the Indian Ocean. However, a dysentery epidemic broke out on the ship, taking numerous victims.
In March 1771, HMS Endeavour sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and, after a stop in Cape Town, it sailed off the Atlantic Ocean. Nearly three years after her departure, she arrived at the port of Plymouth in July 1771.

The transit of Venus took place on 3 June 1769. For the observation, Charles Green positioned the three telescopes at three locations to avoid disturbance by unfavourable weather conditions. Unfortunately, however, the atmosphere of Venus blurred its outlines, making it impossible to make precise observations.

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