Round New Zealand and on to Australia's east coast

While the observations of the Transit of Venus were not as conclusive or accurate as had been hoped, once they were complete, Cook's sealed orders for the second part of his voyage took him to New Zealand.

Over nearly five months (6 October 1769 to 31 March 1770) Cook circumnavigated New Zealand, charting the entire coastline, and conclusively proving that the islands were not the western coast of the fabled continent. 

Continuing to sail west, the Endeavour reached the south-eastern coast of Australia on 19 April 1770, and followed it, charting the coast. On 29 April she reached Stingray Harbour, where the expedition spent a week, and Joseph Banks and his naturalists collected a large enough variety of specimens to justify specimens renaming the anchorage Botany Bay. 

After a second landing at Bustard Bay and a third near Cape Townshend late on the night of 11 June the Endeavour struck a coral reef near Cape Tribulation at high tide. 

Two tides later the ship was hauled off after ballast, cannons and anything that could be spared had been jettisoned. The hole in the hull was fothered with an oakum-filled sail,  and after three days she was beached in the Endeavour River, the site of modern-day Cooktown. 

Repairs and gales kept them there for seven weeks but, once the work was complete and the winds eased, the Endeavour continued her northward run, finding an exit through the barrier reef into the open sea, then returning to relative safety within the reef under dramatic circumstances.

Homeward Bound

© Ian Hughes 2017