Ocean Hermit – sailing, solitude and stories

My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.

November 27, 1774 – distance record

On November 27th, 1774, Cook’s ship Resolution set a new record for the distance run in 24 hours. This was towards the end of his second voyage (1772-75) on the run … Continue reading

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November 11, 1763 – every sailor’s dread

Most sailors have experienced this at least once  – and felt the sickening dread when they realize their vessel is no longer tethered to the bottom. Dragging the anchor need … Continue reading

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Tuesday, December 21, 1762

December 21, 1762 – on this day James Cook, aged 34, married Elizabeth Batts, aged 21, in St. Margaret’s Church, Barking, on the east side of London. Elizabeth was the … Continue reading

December 21, 2016 · 2 Comments

November 5th, 1770 – the first to die in Batavia

When HMS Endeavour sailed into Batavia (near present-day Jakarta on Java Island, Indonesia) the ship was barely seaworthy and quite incapable of sailing halfway around the world back to England. The … Continue reading

November 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

September 18th – important date for Canada and for James Cook

September 18th  1768  French surrendered their garrison at Quebec on the St. Lawrence river and effectively handed over Canada to the English. The formal end of the Seven Years’ War … Continue reading

October 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

Tuesday, October 25, 1768, James Cook crosses the Line

October 25th, 1768,  Cook crossed the Line for the first time, something he was to do four more times in his life. Crossing the Line has long been an event … Continue reading

October 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

October 11th, 1770 Cook anchors in Batavia

  October 11th, 1770, Cook and his crew aboard HMS Endeavour dropped anchor in Batavia, the capital of the Dutch East Indies (now near Jakarta, on the island of Java, … Continue reading

October 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

An obscure detail of Canadian history

September 7, 1572 – on this date Canada’s earliest recorded commercial transaction was made when an unknown Basque fisherman bought four scallops in beautiful, but often foggy, Chateau Bay, Labrador. … Continue reading

September 7, 2016 · 1 Comment

How superstitious are you?

How superstitious are you?  Sailors have a reputation for being superstitious – believing everything from not whistling on a boat (it brings up the wind) to not changing the name … Continue reading

September 1, 2016 · 1 Comment

June 3, 1769 – Observing the Transit of Venus

The official purpose of Cook’s first voyage around the world was to observe the Transit of Venus in Tahiti in order to aid astronomical calculations, specifically the calculation of a … Continue reading

June 3, 2016 · 1 Comment