By Charles J. Shields
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Additional info for James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific (Explorers of New Worlds)
Now here was another ship of visitors. But the Tahitians warmed up when they recognized one of Cook’s lieutenants who had served under Captain Wallis. For the next few months, the crew and islanders settled into a comfortable living arrangement. The Tahitians had a very open society, with little importance placed on ownership of property. Cook had to order his men not to take advantage of them, but for their part, the sailors complained of being robbed and pickpocketed by the natives. Cook stressed the importance of being friendly.
Eventually most of the crew, including Cook and Banks, were sick and weak. By the time the Endeavour set out for Cape Town, South Africa, on the day after Christmas, seven men had died. Twenty-two more succumbed Cook Ch. 4 11/25/08 3:08 PM Page 39 Tahiti and the Secret Orders 39 Captain Cook lands in Botany Bay, Australia, in April 1770. By 1788, Botany Bay would become the unhappy destination of convicts deported from England. to disease during the voyage, including the the astronomer Green and artist Parkinson.
A few days later, Cook found he was in the middle of dozens of islands, at least 75, lying close together. He named them the Society Islands and claimed them for Britain. The Endeavour sailed on in a southerly direction through the South Pacific. Cook steered to 40 degrees latitude, where the geographers at the Royal Society expected a continent. But no sign of land poked above the horizon. The weather turned sour. Cook turned northward and continued west. At the end of September, pieces of floating seaweed appeared on the water and seabirds squawked overhead, meaning land was near.
James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific (Explorers of New Worlds) by Charles J. Shields