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Captain James Cook’s circumnavigation of South Island, New Zealand

A few months ago, we showed you the awesome tour that Colin Hazlehurst put together of Captain James Cook’s circumnavigation of North Island, New Zealand. Colin has now completed the tour of Cook’s South Island circumnavigation, and it’s equally impressive.

To see the file for yourself, simply download this KML file. Colin has also put together a blog showing Cook’s day-by-day journal, which is pretty neat.
I encourage you to check out those links to learn more, and below is some info from Colin that tells more about this voyage that Cook made.

On February 9, 1770, Endeavour reached Cape Turnagain after completing the circumnavigation of North Island, New Zealand. Cook turned southward with the intention of sailing round Tovy Poenammu (South Island), a voyage which the people of Queen Charlotte’s Sound had told him could be achieved in 3 or 4 days. The belief in this possibility persisted until 19Feb1770 when land was seen stretching off to the south-west, showing Cook that there was more to discover in that direction.

The voyage down the east side of the island identified the major features of the coast: Cape Campbell, Banks Island (actually a peninsula), Cape Saunders, and South Cape. On two occasions, exploratory trips were made away from the coast towards the south-east, in which direction people thought they could see land. What they saw turned out to be cloud which dissipated as the sun rose.

As when rounding North Cape on North Island, Endeavour was buffeted by storms and encountered strong swells as she rounded South Cape, and this convinced Cook that there was no land for a considerable distance to the south-west and that they had indeed reached the southernmost point of the land.

On the west coast they saw many of the bays that are now called the New Zealand Sounds, but were prevented from anchoring either by winds sweeping them past (Dusky Bay) or the uncertainty of being able to sail out at will (Doubtful Bay). There was much mist and fog as they explored this coast and typically they would hove to at night to avoid running aground.

Endeavour anchored for a few days in Admiralty Bay, not far from Queen Charlotte Sound. After refreshing the supplies of wood and water, Cook left the shores of New Zealand from Cape Farewell with the intention of exploring the east coast of New Holland (Australia).

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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