Age of exploration
James Cook was born on 27th October, 1728, in Morton-in-Cleveland, Yorkshire, England. He was the son of a farmer of Scottish decent [mravov]. As a young teenager, Cook was apprenticed to a seafaring family [zauceny do moreplavectva]. In 1755, he joined Great Britain's Royal Navy and soon proved himself an expert navigator. Later, he was chosen by the Royal Society of London to undertake a scientific journey to Tahiti to observe and document the planet Venus as it passed between the earth and the sun. These observations would help scientists calculate the distance of the earth from the sun.
On 25th August 1768, Cook departed England abroad the Endeavour with 94 crewmen and scientists. He was carrying secret orders from the Royal Navy to be opened upon completion of his scientific mission.
Cook was determined to keep his crew healthy. He insisted his men eat onions and pickled cabbage every day, and made sure that the ship kept fresh fruit and vegetables on board. He ordered his men to bathe every day, to clean their clothing, and to air out their bedding. He did not know the scientific reasons behind these measures, but he knew they worked to prevent scurvy and other diseases in his crew.
On 11th April 1769, the Endeavour arrived on the shores of Tahiti. After viewing the passing of Venus between the earth and sun for several weeks, Cook opened a sealed envelope with Royal Navy's orders. He was to seek out the famous southern continent and claim it to England. Early mapmakers in 1570s assumed there were two major continents at each of the earth's poles. Dutch explorers searched for the southern continent in the 17th century, but did not find it. Cook left Tahiti on 13th July and headed southwest to find the southern continent if it existed.
When James Cook reached New Zealand on 6th October, the native Maori people proved too be unfriendly and his crew was forced to fire on them. The Endeavour spent a few months exploring New Zealand and proved it was not part of the great southern continent. On 9th April , Cook explored and documented the location of Australia. While sailing around this great continent, the Endeavour ran aground [narazit na dno] on the Great Barrier Reef. After months of exploring the coastline of Australia, Cook concluded that this continent was not the great southern continent.