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CCS in Canada 2021


CCS members taking part in the Zoom call in March 2021.
Hal Hicks, Maggie and Randy Komar, Doug Cook, Catherine Gilbert, Keith Porter,
Jeanette Dean, Larry Vivian, Mal Nicolson, Jan Birgink, Ian Boreham,
Graeme Brown, James Corbet, Cliff Thornton, Dave Nicandri, Martin La Rocque,
Blair Haggart, John Richardson, Eve Savory, Jerry Yucht, Gary Geipel,
and Alan Kemp.


Last year when we had the 6th annual meeting of our group, little did we know that the whole world would be shutting down only days later with the Covid virus.  A year later, we came together again only electronically.


The 7th Annual Meeting of the West Coast Captain Cook Society was held on March 6, 2021.  Of the 22 attendees, most tuned in on Zoom from places along the west coast of Canada and the USA from the Comox Valley, BC, to southern California.  However, it was truly a global call with attendees from as far away as Australia, New Zealand and the UK.  There were also some people tuning in from the rest of Canada, mainly Toronto, Winnipeg, Saska­toon and Kelowna, and from Pennsylvania, USA. 


Our special guests included Ian Boreham, editor of Cook’s Log, Cliff Thornton, CCS Past President, both in the UK, and the Membership Chairs for Australia, Canada and the USA—Malcolm Nicol­son, John Richardson, and our good friend Jerry Yucht, respectively.


We were very privileged to have three guest speakers, each of whom gave a very interesting talk on some aspect of world history that was connected to Captain Cook. 

James Corbet

The first speaker was James Corbet of Kelowna, BC, who spoke about the Kanakas, the Hawaiian people who ended up settling in parts of British Columbia in the mid-1800s.  James mentioned many place names in BC and beyond that have connections to the Kanakas.

Catherine Gilbert

Catherine Gilbert, a local author, historian and lecturer with a fascination for maritime history on Vancouver Island, was the next speaker.  Her topic was “The Nootka Crisis, or Why we don’t speak Spanish”.  She showed many excellent slides that explained the Spanish presence on the West Coast, with maps detailing the various routes the explorers took. 

David Nicandri

The last speaker was David Nicandri of Seattle, WA, who was the Executive Director of the Wash­ington State Historical Society until his retirement in 2011.  He has authored several books on exploration, and was co-editor of an anthology of essays on Captain Cook in the Arctic.1  Last year he published a book about Lewis & Clark, and their ties to Cook, Vancouver and Mackenzie,2 which was the subject of his talk to our group.  Last year David also authored “Captain Cook Reframed: Voyaging to the Icy Latitudes”.3  Those two recent books were the basis of his talk to our group.  David has been a frequent contributor to Cook’s Log, and he is currently working on a sequel to his “Cook-book”.


David told us that he was the person who coined the term “palm-tree paradigm”, which is the stereo­type believed by many about Cook.  However, David emphasized that many of Cook’s most important contributions to our knowledge of the world came from his explorations in the icy polar latitudes.  He was one of the premier polar ice scientists of his day.


David revealed something about the extraordinary and very specific focus of Cook’s explorations.  He noted that people who discount the importance of Cook’s Third Voyage for not finding the Columbia River or Strait of Juan de Fuca fail to realize that those places were not part of his stated mission, which was to find the Northwest Passage.  For anyone interested in hearing more on this topic, some of Dave Nicandri’s presentations are on YouTube.4 


It was fascinating to learn from these three talks different perspectives on the importance and influence of Cook’s explorations, his cartography, and the abundance of knowledge that he acquired during his voyages. 


We are looking forward to our next meeting of the West Coast Captain Cook Society this fall, Saturday, November 13, 2021.  Once again it will be held at 12:00 pm Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is 8:00 pm GMT.  We will have another great line-up of presenters.  One presenter will be marine artist John M. Horton, who has been involved in works around the world but mainly in the West Coast of British Columbia.5 


You don’t want to miss this exciting meeting of “Cookies”.  Every member of the CCS is welcome to attend, wherever you live in the world.


If you would like to get on our emailing list for broadcasts, and the link to the next Zoom meeting, just send your details to us.


Maggie and Randy Komar

Email: kjuice@shaw.ca




  1. Barnett, James K. and Nicandri, David L. (ed). Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook & the Northwest Passage.University of Washington Press.2015.
  2. Nicandri, David L.Lewis & Clark Reframed: Examining Ties to Cook, Vancouver and Mackenzie.WSU Press.2020.
  3. Nicandri, David L.Captain Cook Reframed: Voyaging to the Icy Latitudes.UBC Press.2020.
  4. www.youtube.com/channel/UCIaaQ895LjckK41nt7MmIzA/videos
  5. www.johnhorton.ca

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 45, volume 44, number 2 (2021).

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