In 2011, it will be 241 years since Captain James Cook and his crew discovered Australia. He only visited once, staying at Botany Bay for a few days, while scientists collected some plants. He then set sail north, passing the beautiful beach where I live at Surfers Paradise. Today, the beach is full of people swimming and sunbathing. I look out from my window and see the Pacific Ocean and the route that Captain Cook took.
Wanting to get home quickly after a long voyage, he set full sail ahead. As he sailed to the north of Australia , there was a dreadful noise and the boat started to sink. Cook had crashed his boat into the coral reef and it was almost wrecked. The crew managed to get on shore, near the place now named Town Of 1770, commemorating the year of the disaster. Today, it is a great place to visit for coral reef cruises. In 1770, it took over two months to mend the HMS Bark Endeavour, their boat shown in the picture above, before they could set sail again.
It was with good luck and skill that Captain Cook and this crew survived. On his return to England, he and James Banks, the botanist, gave a glowing account of the new land they had discovered. Eighteen years later, the British Government decided to send over 700 convicts to Botany Bay to serve their criminal sentences in a new colony. The journey took over nine months.
It was another two and half years before the British sent another boat to see if the convicts and colonists had survived. Some of them had, but only just as they were starving. That was how the colony started and eventually became the exciting city of Sydney in the beautiful country of Australia. As a citizen, I give thanks to Captain Cook and his crew, whose exploration has enabled me and many others to enjoy the pleasures of this great land.
Thanks to dreama for the use of the Flickr photo.