Back in Time is a newspaper type column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.
For this incident, we go back in time to 1768.
Plymouth, Friday, 26 August: On a mission so audacious, as yet unknown to any man in the civilized world, newly-promoted Lieutenant James Cook set sail from Plymouth-Dock on a journey to the far reaches of the South. Commissioned by the Royal Society and the British Admiralty, Cook set sail earlier this morning with a crew of ninety-four on the research vessel, HMS Endeavour to better observe the transit of planet Venus across the Sun.
The voyage is said to go round the cusp of Cape Horn, the southern-most tip of the Americas, beyond which no man has ever been known to explore and conclude on the tiny, aboriginal island of Tahiti in the great, Southern-Pacific Ocean. Highly renowned astronomer, Charles Green is said to have accompanied Cook on this hellacious journey to the as-yet undocumented Southern ocean.
“May the Gods giveth courage to our most wondrous explorers as those gents chart the unknown. Pray, that the Gods giveth these men clear skies and quiet seas on their mission to observe the planet Venus,” the Royal Society said in a statement. It is rumored that the Society has paid one hundred guinea gratuity to Cook for his participation. However, this rumour is yet to be substantiated.
Lieutenant Cook is widely regarded as a fine master of a ship, who has had a distinguished record of service in the British Royal Navy. Cook served with distinction under Captain Robert Craig, and was instrumental in the Conquest of Canada and Newfoundland form 1758-63. “Any voyage or expedition or voyage is fortunate to has’t a sire as qualified as Lieutenant Cook. His cartographic skills art unparalleled and that gent is one of the few to has’t a deep understanding of both land, and sea,” said Craig, now retiring at his estate in Cornwall.
If Lieutenant Cook succeeds in his mission to Tahiti, it will open more opportunities and avenues to many more expeditions and explorations to the far corners of the world. If successful in his endeavour, Cook will have his name written in immemorial with the likes of Magellan, Columbus and Vasco De Gama.
Post-Scriptum: Captain Cook, as he would be called later in his life successfully completed his expedition to Tahiti in the Southern Pacific Ocean. What he would be remembered for however, would be his expedition to the as-yet unexplored and unknown land down under. Cook and his crew became the first recognized contingent of explorers to set foot on Australia & New Zealand (After all, the few who had were Asians and thus, Aboriginals in the eyes of the sanctimonious Europeans) . Later on with his second and third voyages, he would discover more lands from Antarctica to Alaska, until he met his unfortunate death on the islands of Hawaii.
Cook remains until date, one of the most influential explorers and cartographers, with his expertise contributing and conforming to much of the present-day knowledge of unexplored and uninhabited lands. His journey may have opened the doors to a greater Imperialistic push by the Europeans down South but, his travels also signified the all-conquering human spirit, to go boldly where no man has gone before.