Sailor Profile: Captain James Cook

We recently started an interesting series talking about some of the most influential sailors of all time, kicking off with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to single-handedly sail non-stop around the globe. Today, we shall carry on our series by jumping back in time to the 18th century and looking at Captain James Cook.

Born in 1728, James Cook grew up in Yorkshire as the son of a farm worker. At the age of 17, he moved to the coast, setting up home in Whitby. This is where, in 1755, Cook enlisted in the Royal Navy where he learnt to survey and chart coastal waters. He quickly worked his way up through the ranks, and at age 29 he was promoted to ship’s master.

He was then involved in the Seven Years War when he commanded a captured ship for the Royal Navy, and five years later he was given command of the first expedition to the Pacific. It wasn’t long until he discovered and charted New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef, which deserves to be applauded, as it is now known to be one of the world’s most dangerous areas to navigate.

Cook’s career didn’t end there, and it certainly didn’t slow down. On his voyage to explore Antarctica, he charted Tonga, Easter Island, New Caledonia, the South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia.

Sadly, in 1779, while exploring Hawaii, Cook was killed by natives when he attempted to take the King hostage due to a quarrel over a stolen boat. As he led the King to the shore, he was attacked by the islanders and killed.

Today, Captain James Cook is recognised as having done more to fill the map of the world than any other explorer in history. His brave voyages paved the way for generations of sailors and explorers who would have been, quite literally, lost if it wasn’t for his hard work and dedication at sea.

Here at Offshore Supply, we, along with the many generations of sailors who have come after Captain James Cook, appreciate and admire the work he did that helped to map the world. Things have come a long way since the 18th century, so as experts in marine chandlery we are able to kit your vessel out with everything you may need. For more information about any of our products or services, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 01524 862010 to speak to a member of our team.