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Books > Earth & environment > Geography > Geographical discovery & exploration

Almost Human - The Astonishing Tale Of Homo Naledi (Paperback): Lee Berger, John Hawks Almost Human - The Astonishing Tale Of Homo Naledi (Paperback)
Lee Berger, John Hawks 5
R295 R245 Discovery Miles 2 450 Save R50 (17%) In stock

Almost Human is the personal story of a charismatic and visionary palaeontologist, a rich and readable narrative about science, exploration, and what it means to be human.

In 2013, Wits University reasearch professor Lee Berger caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave near Johannesburg. He put out a call around the world for collaborators – men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of ‘underground astronauts’, Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known pre-hominids with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species: Homo naledi.

The cave proved to be the richest pre-hominid site ever discovered, full of implications that challenge how we define ourselves as human. Did these ancestors of ours bury their dead? If so, they must have had an awareness of death, a level of self-knowledge: the very characteristic we used to define ourselves as human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us?

Addressing these questions, Berger counters the arguments of those colleagues who have questioned his controversial interpretations and astounding finds.

The Promise of the Grand Canyon - John Wesley Powell's Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West (Hardcover):... The Promise of the Grand Canyon - John Wesley Powell's Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West (Hardcover)
John F. Ross
R503 R377 Discovery Miles 3 770 Save R126 (25%) Within 7 - 11 working days
Rocket Men - The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon (Hardcover):... Rocket Men - The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon (Hardcover)
Robert Kurson
R480 R363 Discovery Miles 3 630 Save R117 (24%) Within 7 - 11 working days
I May Be Some Time - The Story Behind the Antarctic Tragedy of Captain Scott (Paperback): Francis Spufford I May Be Some Time - The Story Behind the Antarctic Tragedy of Captain Scott (Paperback)
Francis Spufford 1
R226 R181 Discovery Miles 1 810 Save R45 (20%) Within 7 - 12 working days

When Captain Scott died in 1912 on his way back from the South Pole, his story became a myth embedded in the national imagination. Everyone remembers the doomed Captain Oates's last words: 'I'm just going outside, and I may be some time.' Francis Spufford's celebrated and prize-winning history shows how Scott's death was the culmination of a national enchantment with vast empty spaces, the beauty of untrodden snow, and perilous journeys to the end of the earth.

Wildlife of the Arctic (Paperback): Richard Sale Wildlife of the Arctic (Paperback)
Richard Sale 1
R442 R305 Discovery Miles 3 050 Save R137 (31%) Within 7 - 12 working days

This book celebrates the Arctic, exploring the natural history that has so inspired generations. Early travellers to the Arctic brought back tales of amazing creatures and of the endurance required of visitors, the Arctic becoming a land of inspiration and imagination. Adventurers test themselves against it. Its wildlife still amazes - when film and television show Earth's natural wonders it is always the polar regions that draw the biggest audiences. But today the Arctic is in retreat. Humanity's relentless exploitation of the Earth's resources in the pursuit of progress has, it seems, altered the climate and threatens the ice and ice-living organisms. It is a cliche that the loss of a species diminishes us, but it is true nonetheless. Even to people who have never seen a Polar Bear its loss will be immeasurable as the bear is iconic, both defining and reflecting the Arctic. This Traveller's Guide is designed to give visitors a handy identification guide to the wildlife they might see as they travel around, including stunning photography and detailed descriptions of each species.

Pacific - The Ocean of the Future (Paperback): Simon Winchester Pacific - The Ocean of the Future (Paperback)
Simon Winchester 1
R259 R168 Discovery Miles 1 680 Save R91 (35%) Within 7 - 12 working days

Travelling the circumference of the truly gigantic Pacific, Simon Winchester tells the story of the world's largest body of water, and - in matters economic, political and military - the ocean of the future.The Pacific is a world of tsunamis and Magellan, of the Bounty mutiny and the Boeing Company. It is the stuff of the towering Captain Cook and his wide-ranging network of exploring voyages, Robert Louis Stevenson and Admiral Halsey. It is the place of Paul Gauguin and the explosion of the largest-ever American atomic bomb, on Bikini atoll, in 1951. It has an astonishing recent past, an uncertain present and a hugely important future.The ocean and its peoples are the new lifeblood, fizz and thrill of America - which draws so many of its minds and so much of its manners from the sea - while the inexorable rise of the ancient center of the world, China, is a fixating fascination. The presence of rogue states - North Korea most notoriously today - suggest that the focus of the responsible world is shifting away from the conventional post-war obsessions with Europe and the Middle East, and towards a new set of urgencies. Navigating the newly evolving patterns of commerce and trade, the world's most violent weather and the fascinating histories, problems and potentials of the many Pacific states, Simon Winchester's thrilling journey is a grand depiction of the future ocean.

The Great Explorers - Forty of the Greatest Men and Women Who Changed Our Perception of the World (Paperback): Robin... The Great Explorers - Forty of the Greatest Men and Women Who Changed Our Perception of the World (Paperback)
Robin Hanbury-Tenison 1
R223 R178 Discovery Miles 1 780 Save R45 (20%) Within 7 - 12 working days

What inspires explorers to push back the boundaries of the known world? Why do they risk their lives in unforgiving conditions far from home? How do they survive at the limits of human endurance? Who are the great pioneers of land, sea and space? Where next? This book charts the great expeditions of forty of the world's most intrepid explorers, from da Gama to Gagarin. Gertrude Bell plotted the desert sands, politics and poetry of Arabia; Francis Garnier was driven almost insane on the banks of the Mekong; Edward Wilson twice tried to reach the South Pole with Scott; Nain Singh mapped the vast spaces of Tibet, counting every step. Written by a host of distinguished travel writers, broadcasters and historians, here are journeys to savour from every corner of the earth - and beyond.

The Lost Pilots - The Spectacular Rise and Scandalous Fall of Aviation's Golden Couple (Hardcover): Corey Mead The Lost Pilots - The Spectacular Rise and Scandalous Fall of Aviation's Golden Couple (Hardcover)
Corey Mead
R468 R351 Discovery Miles 3 510 Save R117 (25%) Within 7 - 11 working days
Discoveries - The Voyages of Captain Cook (Paperback): Nicholas Thomas Discoveries - The Voyages of Captain Cook (Paperback)
Nicholas Thomas 1
R248 R171 Discovery Miles 1 710 Save R77 (31%) Within 7 - 12 working days

Cook's great voyages marked the end of an era in world history. As he sailed into Hawaii in January 1778 he made contact with the last of the human civilizations to grow up independently of the rest of the world. But equally for the Polynesians and Melanesians of the Pacific, Cook's arrival in their midst merely marked a further (if disastrous) twist in diverse histories already many centuries old. In this immensely enjoyable and absorbing book Cook's journeys are reimagined, attempting toleave behind (or master) our later preoccupations to let us see what Cook and his associates experienced and what the societies he encountered experienced - from the Beothuks of Newfoundland to the Tongans of the Friendly Islands.

Shark Drunk (Paperback): Morten Stroksnes Shark Drunk (Paperback)
Morten Stroksnes
R281 R215 Discovery Miles 2 150 Save R66 (23%) Within 7 - 11 working days
Undaunted Courage - The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier (Paperback, Reissue): Stephen E.... Undaunted Courage - The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier (Paperback, Reissue)
Stephen E. Ambrose 1
R210 R137 Discovery Miles 1 370 Save R73 (35%) Within 7 - 12 working days

'This was much more than a bunch of guys out on an exploring and collecting expedition. This was a military expedition into hostile territory'. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a pioneering voyage across the Great Plains and into the Rockies. It was completely uncharted territory; a wild, vast land ruled by the Indians. Charismatic and brave, Lewis was the perfect choice and he experienced the savage North American continent before any other white man. UNDAUNTED COURAGE is the tale of a hero, but it is also a tragedy. Lewis may have received a hero's welcome on his return to Washington in 1806, but his discoveries did not match the president's fantasies of sweeping, fertile plains ripe for the taking. Feeling the expedition had been a failure, Lewis took to drink and piled up debts. Full of colourful characters - Jefferson, the president obsessed with conquering the west; William Clark, the rugged frontiersman; Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition; Drouillard, the French-Indian hunter - this is one of the great adventure stories of all time and it shot to the top of the US bestseller charts. Drama, suspense, danger and diplomacy combine with romance and personal tragedy making UNDAUNTED COURAGE an outstanding work of scholarship and a thrilling adventure.

The Stranger in the Woods - The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit (Paperback): Michael Finkel The Stranger in the Woods - The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit (Paperback)
Michael Finkel
R291 R184 Discovery Miles 1 840 Save R107 (37%) Within 7 - 12 working days
Colder - The Illustrated Story Of Britain's Greatest Arctic Explorer (Hardcover): Ranulph Fiennes Colder - The Illustrated Story Of Britain's Greatest Arctic Explorer (Hardcover)
Ranulph Fiennes 1
R575 R362 Discovery Miles 3 620 Save R213 (37%) Within 7 - 12 working days

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is arguably the UK's greatest polar explorer and adventurer, whose never-say-die approach to life has enabled him to endure conditions most of us could never handle. His many successes of exploring the vastness of the icy southern hemisphere, and the polar ice cap, as well as scientifically monitoring how the human body copes in such extreme conditions has pushed him to the forefront of his field. Equally he has taken on several challenges purely for raising vast amounts of money, such as scaling Mount Everest. These adventures were thrillingly captured in his bestselling narrative memoir Cold.

Colder is the fully illustrated edition of Fiennes' memoirs, compete with personal photographs, maps and diary notes of his adventures. New narrative is supported with personal photography from his many polar expeditions. Detailed maps showcasing his routes across the various landscapes he has traversed, as well as extended captions provide perfect analysis of what he has achieved.

Colder is the perfect coffee table guide to understanding how great his achievements are in the history of man's exploration of extreme Earth.

Burke and Wills - The Triumph and Tragedy of Australia's Most Famous Explorers (Paperback): Peter Fitzsimons Burke and Wills - The Triumph and Tragedy of Australia's Most Famous Explorers (Paperback)
Peter Fitzsimons 1
R466 R368 Discovery Miles 3 680 Save R98 (21%) Within 7 - 12 working days

'They have left here today!' he calls to the others. When King puts his hand down above the ashes of the fire, it is to find it still hot. There is even a tiny flame flickering from the end of one log. They must have left just hours ago.' MELBOURNE, 20 AUGUST 1860. In an ambitious quest to be the first Europeans to cross the harsh Australian continent, the Victorian Exploring Expedition sets off, farewelled by 15,000 cheering well-wishers. Led by Robert O'Hara Burke, a brave man totally lacking in the bush skills necessary for his task; surveyor and meteorologist William Wills; and 17 others, the expedition took 20 tons of equipment carried on six wagons, 23 horses and 26 camels. Almost immediately plagued by disputes and sackings, the expeditioners battled the extremes of the Australian landscape and weather: its deserts, the boggy mangrove swamps of the Gulf, the searing heat and flooding rains. Food ran short and, unable to live off the land, the men nevertheless mostly spurned the offers of help from the local Indigenous people. In desperation, leaving the rest of the party at the expedition's depot on Coopers Creek, Burke, Wills and John King made a dash for the Gulf in December 1860. Bad luck and bad management would see them miss by just hours a rendezvous back at Coopers Creek, leaving them stranded in the wilderness with practically no supplies. Only King survived to tell the tale. Yet, despite their tragic fates, the names of Burke and Wills have become synonymous with perseverance and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. They live on in Australia's history - and their story remains immediate and compelling.

Never Quit - From Alaskan Wilderness Rescues to Afghanistan Firefights as an Elite Special Ops PJ (Paperback): Jimmy Settle Never Quit - From Alaskan Wilderness Rescues to Afghanistan Firefights as an Elite Special Ops PJ (Paperback)
Jimmy Settle
R284 R218 Discovery Miles 2 180 Save R66 (23%) Within 7 - 11 working days
Maps of Medieval Thought - The Hereford Paradigm (Paperback, New edition): Naomi Reed Kline Maps of Medieval Thought - The Hereford Paradigm (Paperback, New edition)
Naomi Reed Kline
R450 R423 Discovery Miles 4 230 Save R27 (6%) Within 7 - 12 working days

Filled with information and lore, mappae mundi present an encyclopaedic panorama of the conceptual "landscape" of the middle ages. Previously objects of study for cartographers and geographers, the value of medieval maps to scholars in other fields is now recognised and this book, written from an art historical perspective, illuminates the medieval view of the world represented in a group of maps of c.1300. Naomi Kline's detailed examination of the literary, visual, oral and textual evidence of the Hereford mappa mundi and others like it, such as the Psalter Maps, the '"Sawley Map," and the Ebstorf Map, places them within the larger context of medieval art and intellectual history. The mappa mundi in Hereford cathedral is at the heart of this study: it has more than one thousand texts and images of geographical subjects, monuments, animals, plants, peoples, biblical sites and incidents, legendary material, historical information and much more; distinctions between "real" and "fantastic" are fluid; time and space are telescoped, presenting past, present, and future. Naomi Kline provides, for the first time, a full and detailed analysis of the images and texts of the Hereford map which, thus deciphered, allow comparison with related mappae mundi as well as with other texts and images. NAOMI REED KLINE is Professor of Art History at Plymouth State College.

Great Nadar - The Man Behind the Camera (Paperback): Adam Begley Great Nadar - The Man Behind the Camera (Paperback)
Adam Begley
R249 R167 Discovery Miles 1 670 Save R82 (33%) Within 7 - 12 working days

A recent French biography begins, Who doesn't know Nadar? In France, that's a rhetorical question. Of all of the legendary figures who thrived in mid-19th-century Paris-a cohort that includes Victor Hugo, Baudelaire, Gustave Courbet, and Alexandre Dumas-Nadar was perhaps the most innovative, the most restless, the most modern. The first great portrait photographer, a pioneering balloonist, the first person to take an aerial photograph, and the prime mover behind the first airmail service, Nadar was one of the original celebrity artist-entrepreneurs. A kind of 19th-century Andy Warhol, he knew everyone worth knowing and photographed them all, conferring on posterity psychologically compelling portraits of Manet, Sarah Bernhardt, Delacroix, Daumier and countless others-a priceless panorama of Parisian celebrity. Born Gaspard-FUlix Tournachon, he adopted the pseudonym Nadar as a young bohemian, when he was a budding writer and cartoonist. Later he affixed the name Nadar to the fapade of his opulent photographic studio in giant script, the illuminated letters ten feet tall, the whole sign fifty feet long, a garish red beacon on the boulevard. Nadar became known to all of Europe and even across the Atlantic when he launched "The Giant," a gas balloon the size of a twelve-story building, the largest of its time. With his daring exploits aboard his humongous balloon (including a catastrophic crash that made headlines around the world), he gave his friend Jules Verne the model for one of his most dynamic heroes. The Great Nadar is a brilliant, lavishly illustrated biography of a larger-than-life figure, a visionary whose outsized talent and canny self-promotion put him way ahead of his time.

Voyages in World History, Volume II, Brief (Paperback, Brief ed): Kenneth R. Curtis, Valerie Hansen Voyages in World History, Volume II, Brief (Paperback, Brief ed)
Kenneth R. Curtis, Valerie Hansen
R546 R474 Discovery Miles 4 740 Save R72 (13%) Within 8 - 13 working days

VOYAGES IN WORLD HISTORY, BRIEF EDITION, is a mainstream world history text that masterfully uses the theme of movement--the journeys of peoples, ideas, and goods--to help the reader make sense of the overwhelming range of people, places, and events throughout history. Each chapter begins with, and is framed around, the story of a person who traveled within the time period and region of the chapter. Readers will enjoy the stories and will also learn to critically evaluate the traveler's observations and attitudes. VOYAGES IN WORLD HISTORY includes a primary source feature called "Movement of Ideas," which helps the reader to analyze original sources by providing multiple explanations of significant ideas throughout history.

Shackleton (A Ladybird Expert Book) (Hardcover): Ben Saunders Shackleton (A Ladybird Expert Book) (Hardcover)
Ben Saunders 1
R201 R117 Discovery Miles 1 170 Save R84 (42%) Within 7 - 12 working days

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Shackleton is a clear, simple and enlightening introduction to perhaps the most extraordinary survival stories of all time. Polar explorer Ben Saunders draws on his own experience of the Antarctic to bring to life the history, dangers and challenges of Shackleton's Endurance expedition. Inside, you'll discover how Shackleton, by successfully bringing all his men home in the face of near insurmountable odds, earned his reputation as one of the greatest leaders in history. Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture. Other books currently available in the Ladybird Expert series include: * Climate Change * Quantum Mechanics * Evolution * Battle of Britain For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

The Way of a Ship - A Square-Rigger Voyage in the Last Days of Sail (Paperback): Derek Lundy The Way of a Ship - A Square-Rigger Voyage in the Last Days of Sail (Paperback)
Derek Lundy
R238 R195 Discovery Miles 1 950 Save R43 (18%) Within 7 - 15 working days

When, as a young man in the 1880s, Benjamin Lundy signed up for duty aboard a square-rigged commercial sailing vessel, he began a journey more exciting, and more terrifying, than he could have ever imagined: a treacherous, white-knuckle passage around that notorious "graveyard of ships," Cape Horn.

A century later, Derek Lundy, author of the bestselling "Godforsaken Sea" and an accomplished amateur seaman himself, set out to recount his forebear's journey. "The Way of a Ship" is a mesmerizing account of life on board a square-rigger, a remarkable reconstruction of a harrowing voyage through the most dangerous waters. Derek Lundy's masterful account evokes the excitement, romance, and brutality of a bygone era -- "a fantastic ride through one of the greatest moments in the history of adventure" ("Seattle Times").

Pacific - The Ocean of the Future (Hardcover): Simon Winchester Pacific - The Ocean of the Future (Hardcover)
Simon Winchester 1
R563 R386 Discovery Miles 3 860 Save R177 (31%) Within 7 - 12 working days

Travelling the circumference of the truly gigantic Pacific, Simon Winchester tells the story of the world's largest body of water, and - in matters economic, political and military - the ocean of the future.The Pacific is a world of tsunamis and Magellan, of the Bounty mutiny and the Boeing Company. It is the stuff of the towering Captain Cook and his wide-ranging network of exploring voyages, Robert Louis Stevenson and Admiral Halsey. It is the place of Paul Gauguin and the explosion of the largest-ever American atomic bomb, on Bikini atoll, in 1951. It has an astonishing recent past, an uncertain present and a hugely important future.The ocean and its peoples are the new lifeblood, fizz and thrill of America - which draws so many of its minds and so much of its manners from the sea - while the inexorable rise of the ancient center of the world, China, is a fixating fascination. The presence of rogue states - North Korea most notoriously today - suggest that the focus of the responsible world is shifting away from the conventional post-war obsessions with Europe and the Middle East, and towards a new set of urgencies. Navigating the newly evolving patterns of commerce and trade, the world's most violent weather and the fascinating histories, problems and potentials of the many Pacific states, Simon Winchester's thrilling journey is a grand depiction of the future ocean.

James Cook: The Voyages (Hardcover): William Frame, Laura Walker James Cook: The Voyages (Hardcover)
William Frame, Laura Walker 1
R907 R664 Discovery Miles 6 640 Save R243 (27%) Within 7 - 12 working days

This landmark book is published to coincide with a major exhibition marking the 250th anniversary of Cook's first voyage. A stunningly illustrated, object-centred history, this book offers a once in a generation opportunity to discover the uniquely rich Captain Cook collection of the British Library. The authors explore a series of themes including the navigation and charting of the Pacific; first encounters between Western and indigenous cultures; the representation of the voyages in art; and scientific discovery and the natural world. Themes of cultural encounter and scientific discovery are interwoven with the personal stories of the key protagonists, including James Cook and Joseph Banks. The illustrations include drawings by all the artists employed on the voyage, as well as the only surviving paintings by Tupaia, a Polynesian high priest who joined Cook's ship at Tahiti and sailed to New Zealand and Australia.

Incredible Adventure and Exploration Stories - Tales of Daring across the Globe (Paperback): Veronica Alvarado Incredible Adventure and Exploration Stories - Tales of Daring across the Globe (Paperback)
Veronica Alvarado
R306 R237 Discovery Miles 2 370 Save R69 (23%) Within 7 - 11 working days

An exciting collection of dangerous adventures, harrowing travels, and heart-stopping journeys, Incredible Adventure and Exploration Stories compiles tales from around the globe that are sure to amaze. Popular and well-known tales of exploration venturing overland and across the sea are featured, as well as mythic tales and mesmerizing sagas from folk history and popular legend. Also included are accounts of polar expeditions, American heroes mapping uncharted territories, European navigators traveling to faraway lands. Stories are included from powerful writers such as: Herman Melville Jules Verne Arthur Conan Doyle Joseph Conrad Daniel Defoe And many more! With three dozen photographs that beautifully illustrates the tales, Incredible Adventure and Exploration Stories is the perfect gift for any reader with a love of travel.

Voyages in World History, Volume I, Brief (Paperback, Breif ed): Kenneth R. Curtis Voyages in World History, Volume I, Brief (Paperback, Breif ed)
Kenneth R. Curtis
R767 R651 Discovery Miles 6 510 Save R116 (15%) Within 8 - 13 working days

VOYAGES IN WORLD HISTORY, BRIEF EDITION, is a mainstream world history text that masterfully uses the theme of movement--the journeys of peoples, ideas, and goods--to help the reader make sense of the overwhelming range of people, places, and events throughout history. Each chapter begins with, and is framed around, the story of a person who traveled within the time period and region of the chapter. Readers will enjoy the stories and will also learn to critically evaluate the traveler's observations and attitudes. VOYAGES IN WORLD HISTORY includes a primary source feature called "Movement of Ideas," which helps the reader to analyze original sources by providing multiple explanations of significant ideas throughout history.

Juan de Fuca's Strait - Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams (Paperback, 2nd): Barry Gough Juan de Fuca's Strait - Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams (Paperback, 2nd)
Barry Gough
R481 R380 Discovery Miles 3 800 Save R101 (21%) Within 7 - 15 working days

The tale begins in sixteenth-century Venice, when explorer Juan de Fuca encountered English merchant Michael Lok and relayed a fantastic story of a marine passageway that connected the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. This tale would be the catalyst for centuries of dreaming, and exacerbate English and Spanish rivalry.
The search for the fabled Northwest Passage inspired explorers to seek out fame, adventure, knowledge and riches. Likewise, the empires of Spain and Great Britain were impelled by the hopes of finding a naval trade route that would connect Europe to Asia, thus securing their dominance over the other as an economic power. The story of the Northwest Passage is one of significant figures and great empires, jostling for a distant corner of North America.
Gough provides meticulously researched insight, delving into diplomatic records, narratives of explorers and commercial aspirants, legal affidavits and court records to illuminate the journeys of Martin Frobisher, James Cook, Francis Drake, Manuel Quimper, Jose Mar?a Narv?ez, George Vancouver and Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, among others.
A sea venture tied up with piracy, political loyalty and betrayal, all bound up in a web of international intrigue, "Juan de Fuca's Strait" is an indispensable contribution to the history of discovery on the Northwest Coast.
From Chapter 8, "Captain Vancouver and the Salish Sea"
""The enchantment experienced by the navigators grew as they entered farther into the strait. It was a wonderful world that had opened to them--of vast surroundings, spacious inland seas, numerous channels and islands of untold number. From the mast tops or from the decks of the ships, the sailors gazed on magnificent forests and great mountains, some to the north (now known as the Cascades) and some inland from where they were. At sea level they were thousands of feet below the great Olympic range, with its own sentinel, named by Meares Mount Olympus. To the north, and in the immediate space that stretched out before them, lay the great slumbering strait connecting the Pacific and the Salish Sea. Native canoes there were, of that we are sure. No other sail was to be seen anywhere, no commercial traffic. It was an empty shipping lane. Across that body of water lay the continent, possibly (actually, as they were to learn after months of inquiry, it was a great island, later named Vancouver Island). What fantastic visions must have passed through the minds of the ships' companies. Thoughts of despair may also have crossed their minds: how were they to complete the exploration of this complex body of water and rock? What, indeed, were its secrets, and could these be unravelled?
The challenges of command were daunting, and how was the whole to be arranged for this limitless exploration? Those who run George Vancouver down for his despotism fail to appreciate that this was no summer cruise among pleasant islands and lovely passages. He was answerable to the Admiralty and to King George III."
"

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