Posted by: mikeyfreedom | November 5, 2007

Take a Captain Cook!

Take a Captain Cook! – a euphemism, meaning “to take a look” and indeed Captain Cook went forward under orders of the Royal Navy to take a look into the South Pacific.

Such a saying however has been used exhaustively in Australia for who knows how long and who did coin this saying?……………… Is something i doubt nobody can ascertain?

Though………………… This saying is heard less and less today, a saying that was largely based within an Australian Anglo/Celtic centric society that looked to Cook as a founding father, an icon, a symbol of empirical greatness and as a link to the Mother land and Monarchy.

A sentiment that is in decline in some parts and on fervent increase else where it would seem, tainted by nationalistic reaction and misguided patriotism by Politicians and the public. History should of course be acknowledged and taught, though not venerated through bias and romantic notions that are guilty of omitted facts, in an attempt to rewrite history and present it in a non offensive and pasteurized form!

And it is true that Cook makes for a easy target and so many take aim, and in doing so are we rewriting the history of Cook through modern misinformed public opinion and political correctness, to err on both sides is a position of ignorance!

Before Capt. James Cook’s fate in Hawai’i upon the 14Th of February 1779, he had managed to establish himself as a superior surveyor and impeccable in his cartographic skills, becoming noted by those of rank, which in turn lead to his expedient appointment as a Captain within the Royal Navy.

What was remarkable about this was the fact that Cook’s background was not of aristocracy, but one of humble circumstances, his father being a Scottish farm laborer, whose employer patronised James’ education to the age of 13. And so due to such it would not of been a familiar thing for such a person to enter into the well guarded and coveted ranks of England’s elite!

It was a uncommon appointment, based on ability and not nobility or connections and wealth!

James Cook, portrait by Nathaniel Dance, c. 1775,

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Much has been said, written, researched and spoken of when it comes to the person, nature, work, surveying and the exploratory work of Capt. James Cook.

With out a doubt his accomplishments place him firmly as a great explorer, though also as a man of his times, times in which life and notions of race where greatly different to now!

History can be hidden, written, proclaimed or covered up – though eventually things can come to light! Shedding a new perspective on old conclusions!

This painting by Cleveley was found in 2004, it depicts Captain Cook as a some what violent man he has been said by others. Other Paintings of Cook’s death show him running from the Hawaiian crowds, they appearing to be in pursuit of him and his crew?

It could also be put that either side was in a position of defense or attack, such arguments serve naught to alter his end nor the state of affairs that afflict Polynesians today in wake of Cook’s expeditions!

Though Cook at many times expressed regret and concern over his experiences in the Pacific and the effects of such upon History and so unlike others of his rank and those superior to him, he showed a compassion and intuitive insight at times, in turn operating with a concern that were not often expressed by other men of his time. It would seem that he was a man that indeed pondered and wrestled much in thought and decision making!

A honest man in comparison to others that would sail after his time, whose exploits would bring great change and devastation to many in the Pacific!

His deeds, the words of historians and the lives and sentiments of Pacific people will always be at odds in discussion and conclusion, pride and emotion are not so readily agreed upon, though truth in as far as we can perceive, should be sought despite what horrible truths await us!

And in accepting such………………….. history may be written in truth!


Channel 2, the ABC TV station here in NSW – Australia, are airing a documentary series on the 18th Century explorer – so far it has proven to be a welcomed and balanced account!

The remaining two parts of the documentary will be aired on:
– 7:30pm Sunday, November 4
– 7:30pm Sunday, November 11

“Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery is a four-part documentary series which traces the private and professional life of Britain’s greatest sailor, examining his triumphs and defeats, his hopes and disappointments, and the unlikely rise to social prominence of a man born into rural poverty.

Cook expert and bestselling British author Vanessa Collingridge, searches for the man behind the legend as she traces his story in a series that is part biography and part travelogue.

A hero to some, a villain to others, this son of an English farm labourer described more of the globe than any other man in three incredible voyages, and pushed the borders of the British Empire to the ends of the earth. In this landmark television series we discover who Cook was, and we meet the remarkable woman behind the imperial icon, his wife Elizabeth, who survived him by 56 years.

We step back into the 18th century to experience what it was like to navigate uncharted and unknown waters in search of a legendary Great Southern Continent and then a North West Passage through the Arctic ice; as well as to be among the first Europeans to visit exotic Pacific islands like Tahiti.

Witness Cook’s discovery of Hawaii. Sail the uncharted coast of New Zealand. Land with Captain Cook at Botany Bay as he claims Australia for king and country – a ‘discovery’ that goes unquestioned for over a century.

Meet the direct descendants of the indigenous peoples of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Hawaii who Cook met 240 years ago. Learn what sea-life was like for the sailors and scientists who made it all possible, including the celebrated gentleman-botanist Joseph Banks, and a young naval officer named William Bligh.

It’s a tale of obsession and discovery, respect and brutality, courage and madness, from the pomp and splendour of the royal courts of England, to Cook’s death on a beach on the far side of the world.

Starring Matt Young as Captain James Cook, Bridget Bezanson as Elizabeth Cook, Jay Dawson as Joseph Banks, Andrew Hunt as Dr Solander, Daniel Jamieson as Sydney Parkinson and Pulou Vaituutuu as Tupaia.”

reveiw from

An offering before Capt.Cook in the Sandwich Islands ( Hawaii )



  1. Mike, as always, mahalo nui loa for the insight. I hope to find a copy of this Stateside. If you hear anything about it moving Westward, please let me know.

  2. Aloha e Mikey!

    Hey, I was doing some reading online and came across some stuff on Tame Iti. Can you give me your opinion on the whole thing? I would like to know about the situation on the whole — with media spin. Mahalo!

  3. man – i just spent a whole hour typing my take on the whole issue and it some how got lost between posting? – aaaaahhhhh!

    well in short – i think he is a political prisoner!

    New terrorist laws are ridiculous!

    they subvert our rights and make us subject to a perversion of law that only serves to control us – not serve us!

    The use of terror in the terminology and media only serves to gather support from the public through ignorance and fear!

    Tama Iti’s struggle is just and right!

    His activism is justified as a Maori in Aotearoa!

    I do not support violence and i hate guns, though both was used to great affect upon the Maori in history and so the government in this should put there hands up and say ” guilty we are!” – ask for forgiveness and make reconciliation and compensation to Tangata Whenua – the people of the land!

    But this ain’t going to happen and so people like tame Iti we continue!

    Though – this is just the beginning!

    we are living in evil and deceitful days, where laws are changed under the guise of protecting the public, but really our rights are being stolen and so the aim is control!

    may sound extreme but welcome to 1984!

    The loudest fall first first in this brave new world – and then when the ones that fight for the people are gone – who is left standing?

    Tame is a political prisoner!

    And in the words of one politician ” this is bullshit!”

    Tame lives in the Tuhoe region, children of the mist, the tuhoe like most country people hunt and so use guns – when i was in NZ i was taken hunting, normal behaviour there, they teach their kids to hunt – having a gun doesn’t make you a terrorist – to Tame he doesn’t always recognize the Pakeha Government and so resents its laws – he will not always submit to them – for he never voted for them and only sees there existence a s reminder of his peoples present struggles

    Hence ” Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou: Struggle Without End”

    remember your question about my flag bro?

    all of this will only reinforce Tame’s and others resolve in all of this!

  4. Aloha no!

    Somehow, I knew that this was the case. I read the bit about him being arrested under the Firearms Act and the Terrorist Suppression Act and felt an immediate rise of injustice. The word ‘Terrorist’ is being bandied about the same way that ‘Communist’ was thrown here and there during the ’50s!

    For six years, we have already stood idly by and let our governments — the ones that we have voted for, no less — continue to suppress our rights as human beings, blind us with words of justice and peace while they lead us into their cattle cars, take us not into consideration, but into imprisonment within our own borders and altogether enslave the minds of the masses with consoling words that everything that is foreign or different is, by its very nature, destructive.

    That is not to say that prior to 9/11 everything was ok; everything was far from it! But with that single act of terror, the face of the world changed and we are left to defend our freedoms against the very governments we have erected!

    Thomas Jefferson said, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” Is that not what is happening now?

    With Tame Iti, I feel as though the government just went looking for a way to make him their scape goat since he is so outspoken against the atrocities that have befallen his people. With this raid, they believe that they have silenced him. Perhaps this is backfiring in their faces and they are too ignorant to realize it.

    I agree with you about the NZ government putting up hands and pleading guilty — I am also of the mind that Hawaii needs to secede from the Union and set up a new government for the Hawaiian people — but I fear that neither one will happen.

    Thank you for the crash course in education, bro. I hope things are well with you.

  5. Aloha ea e, bro,

    Mahalo nui loa for the discussion mate, always good to yarn with you!

    Yeah i think we are on the same page here brother! 🙂

    BUT…..As Benjamin Franklin said long ago ” those who surrender
    freedom for security deserve neither.” , many of the public do not
    challenge these changes and except them as done in their service!

    How mindless we have become?

    I am more and more convinced that the state and heart of mankind
    has not changed one bit since God sent this galaxy into orbit long

    Stay koa!


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