'Captain James Cook is one of the greatest maritime explorers of all time - only the acclaimed fifteenth-century explorers, Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama, can stand with him. Bestselling author of Fatal Storm, Bligh and Flinders, Rob Mundle explores the life and travels of James Cook in a major new biography for lovers of adventure and the romance of sail. Over three remarkable voyages of discovery into the Pacific in the latter part of the eighteenth century, Cook unravelled the centuries-old mystery surrounding the existence of the great south land, Terra Australis Incognita; became the first explorer to circumnavigate New Zealand and prove it comprised two main islands; discovered the Hawaiian Islands; and much more. Cook was a man who pursued a teenager's dream that evolved from a chance encounter in a small seafront village on the east coast of England. It was a dream that became a reality and transported him to legendary status among all who mapped the world, on land and sea. Through the combination of hard-won skills as a seafarer, the talents of a self-taught navigator and surveyor, and an exceptional ability to lead and care for his men, Cook contributed to changing the shape of the world map more than anyone else.' (Publisher's blurb)
Dedication: In memory of President John F. Kennedy, who reminded us:
All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came.