I travelled to the UK from Canada to attend my first meeting of the CCS, and built my vacation in the North of England and Wales around it. The warm welcome I received from the Secretary and fellow members on the Friday afternoon was auspicious as it continued through the whole weekend with all the other 50 members and their partners that I was privileged to meet and spend time. The conversations I had with the diverse group attending were most informative as they described their particular areas of interest in Captain Cook's life and journeys.
I personally found all the subjects covered by the speakers on Saturday to be very instructive. It was obvious they all have acquired considerable knowledge and expertise in the subject matters covered. Trying to get to the truth in history, whether from written sources or through paintings and engravings (which are often done from second-hand accounts and sometimes with a political spin placed on them), takes special effort. Many of the speakers have gone back and sought out available original data sources and physical evidence, such as daily routine records kept at the time, which they then used to support their work and formulate their opinions. These results were then presented to the meeting in an educational and interesting way.
A model made by Steve Ragnall of where the Cook party spent its time on the Big Island of Hawai'i showed the layout of the area and structures at that time. He had constructed it after extensive research. I hope to visit this particular site and other related sites in Hawai'i at some future time. The model layout was presented to the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum during the meeting.
I took the opportunity on Sunday to drive to Whitby and visit the Captain Cook Memorial Museum. It was of particular interest as it had a special exhibition "Cook and Canada". I also visited the Whitby Museum in Pannet Park, which keeps its visitors interested for many hours with its thousands of exhibits in diverse areas of interest.
Altogether I found this a very successful and most enjoyable first visit to the CCS UK weekend meeting and I look forward to attending again in the future. I will then have to allot more time to visit other museums and areas of interest to CCS members and also enjoy the attractive North Yorkshire coast and towns.
All photos by Alwyn Peel and Charlie Auth
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 28, volume 33, number 1 (2010).