Home > CCS in Canada 2015

CCS in Canada 2015


Captain Cook Seminar – Saturday, March 7th, 2015


Fourteen keen “Cook-a-holics” or “Cookies”, as some refer to themselves, met for a wonderful day on March 6, 2015.  It was full of learning and discussion on all types of topics related to Captain James Cook’s explorations.  The day was organized by Randy Komar at the beautiful Tigh-Na-Mara Resort & Spa, Parksville, BC. 


Randy started off the morning with an account of the events that ensued after the Mutiny on the Bounty, and what happened to Captain Bligh, master in Resolution during Cook’s Third Voyage. 


Catherine Gilbert, a historian with the Campbell River museum, and an author, then gave a talk entitled, “Naming the Named”.  She spoke about how several places along our west coast got their names.  Many of the Spanish names we encounter, such as Galiano, Valdez and Cortes, came about because of the extensive exploration and mapping by the Spanish and Mexicans.  It was interesting to hear the story about how Captain George Vancouver gave the name “Desolation Sound” because he felt it was such a desolate, bleak place.  When Catherine showed a photo of that area on a sunny, summer day, it was hard to imagine that he could have found it such a miserable place!


After a wonderful lunch, Robin Inglis, former director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, spoke about John Webber, artist on Cook’s Third Voyage—a talk he will also be giving at Anchorage in June this year. 


It was very interesting to learn how the artist took his preliminary sketches of the people and events he encountered, and then created a second painting and then a third one for the engraving.  To my mind, sometimes a person’s face changed so dramatically in the process that it didn’t look like the same person anymore.  Of all the artists who had sailed with Cook during his three voyages, Webber was the one whose images were most realistic and almost photographic. 


William Hodges, the artist on the Second Voyage, created lush pictures with stylized figures that more closely resembled ancient Greeks than Coastal Indians.  Webber’s work is important for being so accurate.  Robin also talked about the importance of the drawings of the mountains and coastlines; they were used for years by mariners to tell where they were in the area. 


Our seminar ended in the late afternoon with Bob Reilly, a retired teacher from Courtenay on Vancouver Island, and our newest Society member.  His talk was about the boat, Beaver, and his family connection to her through his great grandfather.  He spoke about Beaver’s importance in the fur trade, the Hudson Bay Company, and how it controlled trade from Alaska to California.  Bob showed us a piece of greenheart wood that had come from Beaver when it was no longer in use.  This rot-resistant wood is so hard that it is incredibly difficult to cut.  His great-grandfather had made his square chunk into a checkerboard.  Bob’s talk was filled with humour and vivid description, making it a great ending to a full day of learning. 


Maggie Komar

Randy Komar, Don Reksten, Leona Taylor, Bob Reilly, Robin Inglis, Heather Glenden, Don Hicks, Mary Anne Hayton,
Hal Hicks, Catherine Gilbert, Eileen Reilly, Maggie Komar and Jan Bergink

Robin Inglis

Bob Reilly with a piece of wood from deck of Beaver

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 25, volume 38, number 2 (2015).

For more information email Randy Komar

Sort by:
profile photo
I have been interested in Captain Cook for many years . My husband comes from Middlesbrough.
We spent our honeymoon in Whitby and as avid travellers we have visited and photographed many of the places Cook explored. I have made a digital presentation of these and shown at libraries in Saskatoon. We will be in Sidney BC from April 11 to 18th and wonder if there are members there.
By Jeanette Dean on 4/6/2016 6:23:02 AM Like:0 DisLike:0

Unsolicited e-mail warning

It has come to our attention that spam mailers (senders of bulk unsolicited e-mail) have been forging their mail with this domain as the point of origin. As a matter of policy, we do not send out e-mail from our domain name. If you have received an email that appears to be from "@CaptainCookSociety.com" it was forged and sent without our consent, knowledge, or the use of our servers.