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Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679 to 1859
  Captain Cook's First Voyage 1768-1771

The Endeavor, ashore for repairs off
the northeast coast of Australia.

from An Account of the Voyages
... in the Southern Hemisphere ... by Captain Cook.
London: Printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1773.

As he headed north along the east coast of Australia, the Endeavor was damaged as Cook navigated the treacherous and then uncharted Great Barrier Reef. While the ship was being repaired, the crew explored the area.


Australia provided more plants that were new to the botanists than any other place visited during the voyage. They collected so many that Joseph Banks was required to use special techniques to preserve them, laying them out on sails from the ship to dry in the sun. Here, as at every anchorage, Banks also collected greens to supplement the diet of the crew. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) was not identified as the reason until the 20th century, but trial and error had proven the value of both citrus fruit and green vegetables against scurvy, and Cook applied that knowledge judiciously. He ordered his men to eat fresh greens when available; if they refused, they were occasionally flogged. This was the first long voyage to be distinguished by its success in losing no men to the dread disease.


Cook: Page 9 of 16. The first voyage.
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