(More customer reviews)Are you looking to buy Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and His Rivals in the South Pacific? Here is the right place to find the great deals. we can offer discounts of up to 90% on Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and His Rivals in the South Pacific. Check out the link below:
Historian Geoffrey Blainey tells us the amazing story of Cooks assignment to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus. He left in 1768 and did not arrive home from his voyage around the world until 1771. Along the way, he not only fulfilled his publicly stated assignment, but the secret mission to discover the continent the scientists of the day sure existed in the vast expanse of the South Pacific. Why would there be such empty space? Why would there be so much land in the Northern Hemisphere but so little in the South? What about those rumors of Jewish traders from a huge land not far from Tahiti (only discovered by the Europeans in 1767 by Samuel Wallis). Of course, today, anybody can see that the map there is almost all water with specks of land. You can even observe the area using photos from space. No continent. No Jewish traders. But in 1768 the speculation was absolutely reasonable.
The rumors of the continent also led to a French mission to the area by Jean de Surville in his ship the St. Jean-Baptiste. Where Cook on the Endeavour (a converted coal carrier) was sent on a mission of exploration and discovery, de Surville was on a mission of commerce. His ship was loaded with goods to sell and trade with the rumored Jews. De Surville sailed from Pondicherry, India. Cook and de Surville knew nothing of each other, and despite sailing within a few dozen miles of each other at one point, ever saw each other. Both thought they were alone in the vast expanse of the South Pacific Ocean.
Blainey also brings in the other explorers who laid the foundation for these two voyages and makes the work they did and what it was like on those ships come alive. This was very tough duty. Cook hit an outcrop of coral that very nearly sunk his ship. The men of his crew worked hard to keep the ship afloat and got extremely lucky more than once. Both crews suffered from scurvy, but Cook much less so because he went to land more often. The discovery of the outline of New Zealand and the long eastern coast of Australia is fascinating stuff. I guess I am partial to Queensland history because I lived there from 1973-1975 and know the land from Brisbane up to Townsville (I never got as far north as Cooktown or even Cairns.
How the voyages ended and what happened to the Captains is covered well in the book, but its main focus is on this first voyage of Cook and the voyage of de Surville from Pondicherry to Peru.
This is a superb story, valuable history, and a terrific read. I hope you take the time to enjoy it. Learning that is also this enjoyable deserves our support.
Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and His Rivals in the South Pacific Overview
Want to learn more information about Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and His Rivals in the South Pacific?
>> Click Here to See All Customer Reviews & Ratings Now