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Captain Cook's Journal 1772-75 A Voyage Towards The South Pole Volumes 1 and 2

PDF From Introduction:

As the greatest danger to be apprehended and provided against, on a voyage of discovery, especially to the most distant parts of the globe, is that of the ship's being liable to be run a-ground on an unknown, desert, or perhaps savage coast; so no consideration should be set in competition with that of her being of a construction of the safest kind, in which the officers may, with the least hazard, venture upon a strange coast. A ship of this kind must not be of a great draught of water, yet of a sufficient burden and capacity to carry a proper quantity of provisions and necessaries for her complement of men, and for the time requisite to perform the voyage.
She must also be of a construction that will bear to take the ground; and of a size, which in case of necessity, may be safely and conveniently laid on shore, to repair any accidental damage or defect. These properties are not to be found in ships of war of forty guns, nor in frigates, nor in East India Company's ships, nor in large three-decked West India ships, nor indeed in any other but North-country-built ships, or such as are built for the coal-trade, which are peculiarly adapted to this purpose.
In such a vessel an able sea-officer will be most venturesome, and better enabled to fulfil his instructions, than he possibly can (or indeed than would be prudent for him to attempt) in one of any other sort or size.
Upon the whole, I am firmly of opinion, that no ships are so proper for discoveries in distant unknown parts, as those constructed as was the Endeavour, in which I performed my former voyage. For no ships of any other kind can contain stores and provisions sufficient (in proportion to the necessary number of men,) considering the length of time it will be necessary they should last. And, even if another kind of ships could stow a sufficiency, yet on arriving at the parts for discovery, they would still, from the nature of their construction and size, be less fit for the purpose.
Hence, it may be concluded, so little progress had been hitherto made in discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere. For all ships which attempted it before the Endeavour, were unfit for it; although the officers employed in them had done the utmost in their power.
It was upon this consideration that the Endeavour was chosen for that voyage. It was to those properties in her that those on board owed their preservation; and hence we were enabled to prosecute discoveries in those seas so much longer than any other ship ever did, or could do. And, although discovery was not the first object of that voyage, I could venture to traverse a far greater space of sea, til then unnavigated; to discover greater tracts of country in high and low south latitudes, and to persevere longer in exploring and surveying more correctly the extensive coasts of those new-discovered countries, than any former navigator perhaps had done during one voyage.
In short, these properties in the ships, with perseverance and resolution in their commanders, will enable them to execute their orders; to go beyond former discoverers; and continue to Britain the reputation of taking the lead of nations, in exploring the globe.
These considerations concurring with Lord Sandwich's opinion on the same subject, the Admiralty determined to have two such ships as are here recommended. Accordingly two were purchased of Captain William Hammond of Hull. They were both built at Whitby, by the same person who built the Endeavour, being about fourteen or sixteen months old at the time they were purchased, and were, in my opinion, as well adapted to the intended service, as if they had been built for the purpose. The largest of the two was four hundred and sixty-two tons burden. She was named Resolution, and sent to Deptford to be equipped. The other was three hundred and thirty-six tons burden.

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