Opposite the Captain Cook Hotel entrance on K Street.
A sculpture, slightly below street level, in the form of three sailing ships with explanatory plaques.
Designs in the concrete walls trace the history of Cook’s three voyages.
Walter J Hickel built the Captain Cook Hotel in 1965 after the earthquake. In 1966 he was elected Governor of Alaska.
The sculptor was Installed in 1977.
The sculptor Josef Princiotta.
On plaques around the monument, in an old script:
First, the dedication plaque:
THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN COOK
"Dedicated to the Children of the World who sail
uncharted waters, explore new horizons, and in the joy
of these moments improve the lot of all mankind. Such
a man was Captain Cook."
WALTER J. HICKEL 1977
SCULPTURE BY JOSEF PRINCIOTTA
WITH SUSAN MCKITTRICK - JIM FROEHLICH – DEAN
The other three plaques describe Cook’s three voyages:
THE FIRST VOYAGE
One of the world's true greats was Captain James Cook, son of an English farmer whose daring explorations and brilliant intellectual achievement make his memory part of the history of nearly every continent on earth. Sailing from Plymouth, England on May 27, 1768 on his ship the "Endeavour", he rounded Cape Horn and Sailed West to Tahiti, where he completed his first mission, the observation of the transit of the planet Venus between the earth and the sun on June 3, 1769.
Leaving Tahiti he opened his secret orders and started his second mission, "You are to proceed to the southward... until you arrive in the latitude of 40°, unless you sooner fall in with (the Southern Continent)... failing that, proceed Westward to New Zealand and learn whether it is part of the unknown Southern Continent..."
Upon reaching latitude 40° 20' South and finding no land, he proceeded Westward to New Zealand and to Australia, where he took possession of the entire East coast for England. Leaving Australia, he proceeded to Batavia (Java) then around the Cape of Good Hope to return to England where he was acclaimed by the public, and King George III on July 18, 1771.
THE SECOND VOYAGE
Sailing from Plymouth on July 13, 1772 on his ship the "Resolution", accompanied by a second ship, the "Adventure", commanded by Captain Tobias Furneaux, Captain James Cook undertook the mission to circumnavigate the Earth from West to East and in doing so to discover the unknown but supposedly habitable Southern Continent.
Rounding the Southern tip of Africa and proceeding South below the Antarctic Circle, Cook and his men were turned back by storms and icebergs 60 feet high and proceeded to New Zealand. He had sailed to the farthest point South penetrated by a ship to that date, February 1773.
Aided by his use of the Quadrant and the first extensive use of the chronometer, Cook charted his way North to Tahiti, the Society Islands, back to New Zealand, and again to the Antarctic, where in January of 1774 he made his most southerly penetration to latitude 71° 10'.
Returning to England by way of Easter Island, the Marquesas Islands, Tahiti, the New Hebrides, New Zealand, Cape Horn, the South Georgia Islands, and Cape Town, he dropped anchor in Plymouth on July 30, 1775, completing the longest voyage of its kind in history, 3 years and 18 days. During this trip not one crewman lost his life from scurvy. Because of Cook's research, this medical victory won him the highest honor of the Royal Society, the "Sir Godfrey Copley" gold medal.
THE THIRD VOYAGE
Setting forth again from Plymouth on July 12, 1776, Captain James Cook, aboard the "Resolution", began his third and final voyage. Following a rendezvous at the tip of South Africa with his consort ship, the "Discovery", captained by Charles Clerk, Cook headed for Tahiti.
Leaving Tahiti, Cook forged on toward his prime mission, finding a Northern Passage. His first discovery North of the equator he named the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and on March 7, 1778, he sighted the shores of North America at 44° 30' North (the Oregon coast). Sailing north he discovered Nootka Sound, (Alaska), Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet, and was disappointed that Turnagain Arm was not the long sought Northern Passage. On June 1, 1778 Cook took possession of this area of Alaska emplanting the British Flag on Point Possession across from Turnagain Arm from what is now the City of Anchorage.
Cook continued north through the Aleutian Islands, up the Bering Strait to cross the Arctic Circle and penetrate to latitude 70° 44' North where he was stopped by the Arctic ice pack.
Traveling south again to Hawaii, Captain James Cook met his death at the hands of the Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay on February 14, 1779. His crew made their sorrowful way home, landing at Deptford England on October 6, 1780, four years and three months from the date of departure.
GPS Coordinates: 61.209687, -149.901676
Cook’s Log, page 8, vol. 37, no. 2 (2014)
Image gallery (click to enlarge)