It's one thing to sail across an ocean when you have accurate nautical charts, GPS, radio communications, and weather routing. It's quite a different thing to cross an ocean without any of those aids to navigation. Captain Cook sailed the uncharted waters of the Pacific with vessels that did not sail to windward, and with infinite patience and unstoppable persistence, he explored and charted the waters and islands of the Pacific. He sailed where no European had sailed before on the Blue Marble called earth.
When we sailed up the Great Barrier Reef, we eventually arrived at Lizard Island. We spent several days here as we sailed in the wake of Captain Cook along the Ozzie coast. Here is the story of Captain Cook and Lizard Island.
Captain Cook almost lost his ship, the Endeavor, as he sailed up the Australian coast inside the Great Barrier Reef. He was exploring uncharted waters, and on 10 June, 1770 he ran out of luck when the Endeavor struck a reef.
The reef rose steeply from the seabed and was undetectable until it was too late. The ship started taking on water and was in danger of sinking.
On the positive side, the Endeavor struck the reef at high tide, and that meant there was time to deal with the breach in the hull as the tide went out. Cook's crew lightened ship by throwing heavy canons and stores overboard, so that when high tide returned they might be able to float off the reef.
They manned their emergency pumps, and created a type of collision mat to put on the outside of the hull to stem the leak. They ran out kedge anchors, and worked furiously to refloat Endeavor at high tide.
All of the work paid off, because eventually they kedged off the reef and their temporary hull patch controlled the flow of water so they did not sink.
After they escaped the reef, they sailed north to the mouth of a large river where they careened their ship and made repairs.
It turned out that in spite of their bad luck, good fortune had smiled on the Endeavor because a large fist sized piece of coral had penetrated the hull and lodged in the hole, sealing the breach to a significant degree. If the coral hadn't lodged in the hull, it 's likely the Endeavor would have sunk.
After completing repairs, Cook sailed north searching for an opening that would let him navigate eastward through reef strewn waters and back into the Coral Sea.
Unfortunately, Cook didn’t know how far north the Great Barrier Reef extended since he was voyaging in uncharted waters.
It turned out that the reef is nearly 1200 miles long. In addition, ships like the Endeavor did not sail well to windward, and to escape, Captain Cook needed to sail against the prevailing trade winds.
As he continued north along the Ozzie coast, he finally came to Lizard Island which turned out to be his salvation.
Lizard has a good anchorage, and best of all, it's high enough to give an excellent view of the reef for miles in all directions. He spent a couple of hours climbing to the top of Lizard, and when he surveyed the reef to the east, to his great relief, he found a break in the reef through which he could safely take his ship. All he had to do was wait for good weather and a favorable wind, and he would escape the clutches of the Great Barrier Reef.
When you climb to the top of the island today, a monument points your eyes in the direction of Cook’s passage through the reef.
Take your binoculars to the top of the hill in the afternoon, and with the sun to your back, you will easily see Cook's escape route.
If you want to sail in the wake of Captain Cook, just sail through the break in the reef as you head out into the Coral Sea on your own voyage of discovery.
Sailing in the wake of explorers like Captain Cook encourages me to live my dreams.
Captain Cook had no end to adversity in his life, but he always did what the had to do as he sailed on the ocean of his dreams.
You and I are just like Captain Cook.
If we are going to live our dreams, there will be no end to adversity in our lives, and we may as well expect it and get used to it.
There's a hundred percent chance that we are going to hit a few reefs, and we will need to make emergency repairs more than once as we navigate through our life. But that's ok. After all, we are on a voyage of discovery, and we are sailing in uncharted waters.
If we live as if our dreams are possible and work each day to make them happen, we will find an opening in our barrier reefs, and before long, we will be sailing downwind on the ocean of our dreams.
Dr. Dave is the Encourager In Chief of the Positive Thinking Network. He believes there are no limits. There are only limiting beliefs. Dr. Dave is committed to make a positive difference in your life. The wheel of change always turns in the direction of what you put into your mind, and Dr. Dave and the Positive Thinking Network have the resources to turn your life in a positive direction. It's time to develop a persistently positive focus so that you can have a consistently positive mind. It's time to change your world.
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