Monday, April 2, 2018

The Ledecky Page -- April 2, 2018

The importance of this story is not the fact that Katie Ledecky is turning pro, but rather that she got this much coverage in The Washington Post.
“It’s rare that an athlete turns pro and they have a business on Day 1,” Levy said. “We feel we have the luxury — and Katie feels this way, too — in being very strategic and trying to put together a plan first and then find the right partner companies that fit what she wants to do moving forward.”
In other words, Ledecky won’t race into partnerships for a quick paycheck. She’ll have some leverage and can seek long-term deals, perhaps looking for companies that might want to stick with her for the next Olympic cycle as well.
The Sailing Page

Captain Cook, Alistair MacLean, c. 1972

We Are Sailing, Rod Stewart

James Cook: 1728 - 1779

Three global voyages:
  • 1768 - 1771
  • 1772 - 1775
  • 1776 - 1779 (killed in Hawaii

Nelson and Cook are the two most revered names in the annals of the Royal Navy.

Chapter 1: The Able Seaman
  • the greatest combination of seaman, explorer, navigator and cartographer that the world has known
  • born in 1728; obscure village in Yorkshire
  • apprenticed to John and Henry Walker, shipowners, Whitby, specialized in the colliery trade
  • participated in the US revolutionary war
  • left Canada for the last time in 1767
Chapter 2: The Vanishing Continent
  • to observe the passage of Venus between the sun and earth on 3 June 1769
  • previous voyage, 1762, unsatisfactory to useless
  • Royal Society now wanted to try it again
  • but the real reason: Royal Navy's admiralty attempt to stifle French colonialism
  • a third reason: at the time, a widely held belief that there was a very large continent in the southern hemisphere, a temperate continent that extended up almost to South America and New Zealand; occupied most of the south Pacific
  • the Earl of Pembroke, a Whitby collier; renamed the Endeavor Bark, but no one ever called her anything but the Endeavor
  • 100 souls on board
  • plan to view the transit of Venus at Tahiti, which was fine, as long as Cook turned south to look for the big continent
  • Plymouth to Madeira, September 13; to South America, to Cape Horn
  • January 12, 1769: incredibly bleak desolation that is Tierra del Fuego
  • through the Le Maire Strait and round Cape Horn
  • April 13, 1769, eight months after leaving England, arrived at Tahiti
Chapter 3: Charting New Zealand
  • Tahiti and transit of Venus
  • six weeks at Tahiti
  • then, the secret mission: to turn south -- go as far south as latitude 40 degrees in search of the Southern Continent
  • 1,500 miles south; to 40 degrees south
  • frustrated that nothing was found; Alexander Dalrymple's theory was badly dented
  • then they spotted what was to be called New Zealand
  • Cook knew it was New Zealand; New Zealand was known to exist but that was about all
  • Tasman, the only other Pacific explorer who came anywhere near Cook's stature as a navigator and seaman, had visited New Zealand 126 years earlier -- epic voyage from Batavia in the Dutch East Indies, to the discovery of Tasmania -- Tasman assumed it was joined to Australia
  • no one had seen New Zealand since Tasman
  • Tasman did not circle New Zealand; did not know it was an island; did not even investigate the passage between North and South Island, now known as Cook Strait
  • first Europeans to set foot on New Zealand; Tasman did not set foot on New Zealand; Maoris were unremittingly hostile
  • Maoris still hostile
  • Poverty Bay: three times Cook tried to stay on land; never successful; sailed away
  • Cape Runaway
  • the exploration and charting of New Zealand continues
Chapter 4: Australia and the Great Barrier Reef
  • three ways home
  • by way of Cape Horn -- long and dangerous passage; south side of Australia
  • via the Cape of Good Hope -- not interested; had already been done by Tasman
  • up eastern coast of Australia, west south of New Guinea, and south of Malaysia/Indonesia to Cape of Good Hope
  • Bass Strait
  • the Great Barrier Reef
  • Batavia: Djakarta, after the Dutch lost control of the East Indies after WWII
  • Cape Town, March 14, 1771
  • arrives England, July 12, 1771
Chapter 5: Antarctica and Polynesia
  • upon return, Cook promoted to Commander and given command of the HMS Scorpion
  • prepared for a new expedition to the South Seas
  • still looking for that Southern Continent
  • two more Whitby collier-type vessels purchased for the trip
  • departed July 13, 1772, almost exactly one year later
  • returned to England, July 30, 1775, after slightly more than three years
  • it was, and still remains, the greatest voyage of exploration in history (this book was c. 1972, three years after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, 1969)
Chapter 6: The North-West Passage
  • upon return, made a Fellow of the Royal Society
  • given the Copley Gold Medal (advancement of health; scurvy)
  • promoted to post-captain in command of HMS Kent, a 74-gun cruiser
  • the Admiralty turned attention to the North-West Passage; had tried before
  • 1742: a Swede serving in the Russian Navy, had established that a strait existed between Asia and what is now known as Alaska
  • two-pronged attack: one from the Atlantic Ocean; one from the Pacific Ocean
  • the Atlantic approach: the frigate Lion 
  • the Pacific approach: the Resolution and the Discovery (a new one, another Whitby collier)
  • July 12, 1776, four years after the end of the previous voyage; set sails for the Pacific
  • to Tahiti
  • to the Friendly Islands in April; remained there until mid-July, 1777; stayed there because the Admiralty set the date for the Atlantic prong to meet up with the Pacific prong in the summer of 1778
  • December 7, 1777: discovers a new island; names it Christmas Island
  • January 18, 1778: sighted Hawaii -- Cook called them the two westernmost islands the Sandwich Islands after his friend, patron and First Lord, the Earl of Sandwich -- but they are now known as the Hawaiian Islands
  • February 2, 1778: headed northeast for New Albion -- the west coast of North America; reached it March 6, 21778, between the 44th and 45th parallel
  • due to foul weather missed both the mouth of the Columbia River and Juan de Fuca Strait, which leads up to present city of Vancouver
  • up to Alaska
  • unable to find the North-West Passage; ice setting in
  • returned to the Sandwich Islands, arriving there October 24, 1778
  • Cook deified by the Hawaiians upon his arrival
  • but problems arose
  • Cook taken prisoner by the Hawaiians
  • clubbed/killed by Koa, the high priest
  • Cook was 50 years old
  • buried at sea, February 22, 1779
  • the Resolution and the Discovery tried on more time to find the North-West Passage; unsuccessful
  • returned to England, October 4, 1780

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