PA­CIFIC EX­PLO­RATION

Yachting Monthly - - BOOK CLUB -

Neil Rigby, Pieter van der Merwe, Glyn Wil­liams Ad­lard Coles/na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum

Three cen­turies of Euro­pean ex­plo­ration are nar­rated here: from Bal­boa strid­ing into the ‘Mar del Sud’ to Fitzroy’s la­bo­ri­ous, es­sen­tial sur­veys of the Patag­o­nian coast. From Antarc­tic to Arc­tic via the So­ci­ety Is­lands and Aus­trala­sia, James Cook is the dom­i­nant fig­ure. The pre-cook years are only briefly sketched but the ac­counts of nav­i­ga­tors who fol­lowed in his wake tes­tify to the in­spi­ra­tional ef­fect of his voy­ages as well as their con­tri­bu­tion to knowl­edge. Com­plet­ing the story with Dar­win in the Galapagos Is­lands presents this pe­riod of ex­plo­ration as piv­otal to our un­der­stand­ing, not only of an ocean, but of our place in the uni­verse.

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