Day 2 - Saturday March 5th
The Saturday programme was held at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club (RVYC) in the Main Lounge.
The day started with setting up a table with displays of “Nootka Connection” books and magazines, handing out name tags, and the sale of raffle tickets. Leona Taylor welcomed the 35 registrants to the RVYC and laid out the order of proceedings for the day. Speakers were warned of her determination to “run a tight ship” and keep to the schedule. All speakers were awarded a name tag, a souvenir gift, a Friendly Cove card, and lunch for their efforts.
The first presentation of the morning got everyone’s attention with a title of “Thomas Manby and the Sexploration of the Pacific”. Dennis Flewelling, a student of history at University of Victoria (UVic) and a retired police officer, based his talk on the unpublished journal of Thomas Manby, Captain Vancouver’s 21 year old lieutenant on his 1791 voyage to New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, and the northwest coast of America. Manby took delight in writing of his dalliances with the island women and provided insight into the relationships with inhabitants that developed when the crews reached ports of call―details generally omitted or downplayed in the published expedition accounts.
Michael Layland, a maritime historian specializing in cartography who has written a book about the area,10 talked about “Cook’s Precursors in the Waters off Nootka”. He described with fascinating historical maps and journals the known and suspected explorations in the northeast Pacific from 400 AD to the mid-1700s.
After a delicious buffet lunch prepared and served by Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Dr. John Lutz, chair of the History Department at UVic, spoke on the topic “First Contact, Second Thoughts: Indigenous Stories of Cook and his Contemporaries on the Northwest Coast”. He compared the accounts of first contact by Europeans and indigenous peoples. based in part on oral history accounts from the local people.
Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier, also at UVic, is a professor of Spanish literature who has been studying exploration of the northeast Pacific (especially by the Spanish) from 1774 to 1793. His topic was “The Last Spaniard at Nootka: Jose Tobar y Tamariz Sails to the Pacific Northwest in 1796”. Tobar sailed to Nootka in the schooner Sutil and endangered international affairs by taking with him five escaped Botany Bay prisoners “loaned” to him by an American captain. Among them was the
scoundrel revolutionary* Thomas Muir.
After a coffee break and raffling of a number books and memorabilia relating to Captain Cook, Robin Inglis spoke about “Cook’s Curiosities: artifacts collected at Nootka Sound in 1778, then and now”. He is an internationally respected expert on the Spanish presence in the North Pacific, with many books to his credit. Robin showed us a slide presentation of a fascinating selection of Cook artifacts from Nootka Sound that are held by museums all over the world. These artifacts included clothing, masks, ceremonial pieces, tools, containers, toys, and items used for warfare, fishing and hunting.
One unique item was modelled by a participant, Deidre Simmons, who wore a Captain Cook sweater that she had purchased at an auction several years ago. It was hand dyed wool and knitted to show a map of Cook’s voyages, even including an “X marks the spot” of his demise.