Captain James Cook

Captain James Cook was a British explorer who became to mean a lot for Australia.

He was a cartographer before he started exploring and making voyages to the Pacific Ocean, making the first recorded European exploration of Hawaii, New Zealand, and the east coast of Australia.

He was born in 1728 in Yorkshire in England. When he was young he learned astronomy, trigonometry, geometry and algebra, and started sailing when he was 18. Captain James Cook
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He worked on the Baltic Sea, trading ships, before he joined the Royal Navy. He married and had six children. The last home of his parents' - Cooks' Cottage - is now in Melbourne.

After working as a catrographer in Newfoundland, he took up his career as an explorer, captain and navigator, and started doing world exploration.

The First Voyage of Captain James Cook

His first voyage (1768–1771) went south along the Atlantic Ocean, past the southern tip of South America, and west to Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia.

He circumnavigated and mapped New Zealand, before arriving in Botany Bay, south of Sydney, where he made his first contact with Aboriginal People.

He then started sailing north along Australia's eastern coastline. In the far north, his ship got damaged on the Great Barrier Reef, and the crew pulled it into the mouth of the river that became Endeavour River in today's Cooktown. The crew camped for almost seven weeks while the ship was repaired, and the stay became known as "Australia's first white settlement".
Repairs Being Carried out on Cook's Ship the Endeavour
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When the ship had been repaired they continued sailing north, to Torres Strait, where they stopped at what became Possession Island, where Cook claimed the eastern coast of Australia for England.

They then continued their voyage west via Indonesia, and the tip of southern Africa, to England.

The Second Voyage of Captain James Cook

His second voyage (1772–1775) went around the Earth in the opposite direction, and further south, much of the time in Antarctic waters, and also made a loop around the South Pacific Islands (stopping at Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Norfolk, Eastern and Friendly Islands).

Cook's Resolution
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He never got to the coast of Antarctica, concluding the large Terra Australias was only a myth. He also visited South Africa and Georgia on his way back home. On his return he had all chances to retire but he wanted back to the sea.

The Third Voyage of Captain James Cook

The third voyage (1776–1779), although originally aimed at the discovery of north of Canada, again went to south of Africa, then south of Australia and past New Zealand, and then north from there to Hawaii, and then to the coast of California, Oregon, Alaska and Canada - until Bering Strait. They could not get through Bering Strait to the Northwest Passage, so they turned south, and returned to Hawaii.
The End of James Cook
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After about a month they left Hawaii but returned again because their ship mast broke and they needed to repair it. Returning the third time was not so popular and after tensions arose Cook was killed on 14. February 1779.

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