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A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World - Volume 1

James Cook

Book Overview: 

Having, on his first voyage, discovered Australia, Cook still had to contend with those who maintained that the Terra Australians Incognita (the unknown Southern Continent) was a reality. To finally settle the issue, the British Admiralty sent Cook out again into the vast Southern Ocean with two sailing ships totaling only about 800 tons. Listen as Cook, equipped with one of the first chronometers, pushes his small vessel not merely into the Roaring Forties or the Furious Fifties but becomes the first explorer to penetrate the Antarctic Circle, reaching an incredible Latitude 71 degrees South, just failing to discover Antarctica.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .twithstanding the weather was pretty clear, and we had kept firing guns, and burning false fires, all night. I therefore gave over looking for her, made sail, and steered S.E., with a very fresh gale at W. by N., accompanied with a high sea from the same direction.

While we were beating about here; we frequently saw penguins and divers, which made us conjecture the land was not far off; but in what direction it was not possible for us to tell. As we advanced to the south, we lost the penguins, and most of the divers; and, as usual, met with abundance of albatrosses, blue peterels, sheer-waters, &c.

The 11th, at noon, and in the latitude of 51° 15' S., longitude 67° 20' E., we again met with penguins: and saw an egg bird, which we also look upon to be a sign of the vicinity of land. I continued to steer to the S.E., with a fresh gale in the north-west quarter, attended with a long hollow swell, and frequent showers of . . . Read More