Geocaching in Sydney - 5

16 August 2017 - Captain Cook's Landing Place in Kurnell

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Welcome to Geocaching in Sydney, an irregular podcast about my geocaching adventures in the greater Sydney area. My name is Edwin, I play this game under the name of Team MavEtJu which includes my kids and everybody else who is with me at that moment.

Today's trip was in Kurnell, the birthplace of Australia. I explored the landing place of Captain Cook and a couple of the monuments.

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James Cook and a handful of scientists had been sent to Tahiti by the British Admiralty in the ship "Endeavour" to observe the transit of Venus, and some additional secret orders (which were to be opened when at sea) were to search for the Southern Continent. Six months were spent circumnavigating New Zealand before Cook chose to return to England via the east coast of New Holland. He sailed west until he encountered the south-east point of the Australian continent on April 19th, 1770. After ten days sailing north along the coast he discovered a bay and sent a party to find a channel. On the afternoon of the following day the "Endeavour" anchored "under the south shore about two miles within the entrance in five fathoms", which is about 9 meters. Welcome to Kurnell!

Cook took a landing party ashore and as tradition had, the first European to step ashore on the east coast was Isaac Smith, a cousin of Captain Cook's wife. The landing was not without incident as it was opposed by two aborigines who threw spears at the party. A return of musket shots was fired over their heads but they continued advancing and one blast of small shot was directed at their legs after which they withdrew. The expedition spent eight days in Botany Bay. Joseph Banks, an english botanist, and Daniel Solander, a swedish scientist, feverishly collected specimens. The ship's water supply was replenished and Cook explored and surveyed the district. On May 1st, a seaman named Forby Sutherland died from tuberculosis and was buried ashore.

When Cook landed, he noted that the Aborigines had dug a hole in the sand for water and Cook's men began to collect water from this soak but it proved insufficient for their purposes.

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The Monument to Cook's Landing was erected in 1870 by Thomas Holt, a Kurnell landowner, to celebrate the centenary of Cook's visit. Behind Cook's Monument there are several pine trees from New Caledonia, A-rau-ca-ria Coo-kii. On the monument are three plaques, the fourth one is missing.

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Further north-east of the landing place is a large grass field with on it a flagpole with the Australian flag, the New South Wales flag and the Australian Aboriginal flag.

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After solving the puzzle I cycled back towards the other side of Botany Bay where I found the container and logged it.

Compared with the rest of Sydney, Kurnell stayed very isolated: It was reachable via a ferry from La Perouse or via a 4WD track via the sand dunes towards Cronulla. In 1953 with the building of the oil refinery it got first connected via a proper road.

What is next on the agenda? On 19 August there are various international Geocaching day event: Ziggiau hosts one at Salt Pan Reserve at Riverwood, between Punchbowl and Padstow. There are two in Bowral, one but Muppet95 and one by 154 Crows. And there is one in Rhodes near the Parramatta river by RangerD and JoPS87. On 20 August is the AGM of GeocachingNSW at Carlingford, see the geocachingnsw.asn.au website for more details. I hope to see you at one of them!