By: Peter Aughton
Cook was the greatest explorer of his age and his voyages of discovery are the stuff of legend. During two long journeys, he circumnavigated the globe twice, charted the east coast of Australia, the whole of New Zealand and many islands in the Pacific. "The Fatal Voyage" is the story of Cook's final journey when he led his most dangerous and fabled expedition to search for the elusive Pacific entrance to the North West Passage. He set sail from England in July 1776 and along the way discovered the Hawaiian archipelago before mapping and charting the formidable north west coast of America, from Vancouver Island to the frozen northern coastline of Alaska. He sailed through the Bering Straits and although his ships reached the entrance to the North West Passage they were defeated by a sheer wall of ice blocking their way. Cook returned to Hawaii to rest, but a series of misjudgments between his men and the islanders sparked a violent clash in which Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay. Peter Aughton has here used letters, log records and the diaries of those involved in the voyage to tell an enthralling account of James Cook's last days at sea and reveal the extraordinary legacy he left behind.
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