netkingcol

thinking outside the tank

Captain Cook in Google Earth: exploring Botany Bay

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Cook's landing place in Botany Bay

April 29th, 1770; Lieutenant James Cook brought Endeavour to anchor in 5 fathoms 2 miles within the entrance to Botany Bay. Already they have seen people on the north and south points of the bay and Cook was keen to make contact with them. From his journal:

Saw, as we came in, on both points of the bay, several of the Natives and a few hutts; Men, Women, and Children on the South Shore abreast of the Ship, to which place I went in the Boats in hopes of speaking with them, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Tupia. As we approached the Shore they all made off, except 2 Men, who seem’d resolved to oppose our landing. As soon as I saw this I order’d the boats to lay upon their Oars, in order to speak to them; but this was to little purpose, for neither us nor Tupia could understand one word they said. We then threw them some nails, beads, etc., ashore, which they took up, and seem’d not ill pleased with, in so much that I thought that they beckon’d to us to come ashore; but in this we were mistaken, for as soon as we put the boat in they again came to oppose us, upon which I fir’d a musquet between the 2, which had no other effect than to make them retire back, where bundles of their darts lay, and one of them took up a stone and threw at us, which caused my firing a second musquet, load with small shott; and altho’ some of the shott struck the man, yet it had no other effect than making him lay hold on a target. Immediately after this we landed, which we had no sooner done than they throw’d 2 darts at us; this obliged me to fire a third shott, soon after which they both made off, but not in such haste but what we might have taken one; but Mr. Banks being of opinion that the darts were poisoned, made me cautious how I advanced into the woods.

I have started to add the exploration of Botany Bay to my latest Google Earth tour. The screenshot above shows Endeavour anchored in Botany Bay close to the place where Cook first set foot on Australia.

Copyright © Colin Hazlehurst, 2012

If you would like to follow Cook’s voyage, you will need to install the latest version of Google Earth on your computer; then go to the Captain Cook blog  and click on the links on the right-hand side of the page, under the ‘Google Earth’ heading. After the animation is loaded in Google Earth, you need to expand an entry in the Table of Contents. You will see a ‘Play’ icon which you double-click to start the animation. Don’t forget to enable your speakers to hear the spoken journal.

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Written by netkingcol

January 19, 2012 at 10:45 am

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