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.
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 towards Cape Horn and home.
Cook and company had already circumnavigated New Zealand, and charted much of the coast, and sailed around Antarctica. Ice conditions prevented Resolution approaching the continent, though Cook correctly predicted that a land continent existed to the south of the ice. Antarctica was not the “great southern continent” so many theoretical explorers had said must exist to balance the earth on its axis. Cook proved conclusively that it was a myth.
Resolution was a North Sea collier (a “Whitby cat”) originally named Marquis of Granby and bought by the Royal Navy in 1771 for £4,151 (about £500,00 / US$630,000 today). Her new name was to have been Drake, but not wanting to antagonize the Spanish, she became Resolution on Christmas day, 1771.
Of the ship’s record day’s run, Lieutenant Clerke wrote:
We’ve had a fine steady Gale and following sea these 24 Hours and run the greatest distance we’ve ever reach’d in this ship”.
The distance was 183 miles. That’s an average speed of 7.6 knots.
Length over all 110 feet 8 in (73.73 m)
Keel 96 feet 6 in (28.5m)
Beam 30 feet 6 in (9.3 m)
Draught: 13 feet 1 in (3.99m)
She had a crew of 92 seaman and 20 marines.