Part one: in which I do some research
TRIP REPORT: Day trip to Cooktown, far North Queensland November 2009
First, I would like to thank the one person who answered my plea for information on the possibility of a day trip to this place, from my base in sunny down town Atherton. Your advice “Don’t bother”, was not very helpful, I must say, and not in keeping with the usual TA community efforts. Well, it takes all kinds, but, I’ve got your number GRUMBLEBUM007. Just you wait until you want some information. And, I’ve got friends who are watching too!
I would like to provide a little historical background to the settlement of Cooktown. That’s exactly what you’re going to get: a little bit. My deep research threw up this fascinating information:
In August, 1768, Elizabeth Cook noticed that her spouse Capt. James Cook, whom she fondly called “Cappy”, was getting a tad restive. So, she wasn’t entirely surprised when one evening after their usual dinner of small beer (what the heck IS small beer?), mutton and toad-in-the-hole, he turned to her and the brood of kiddies clustered at his knee, and said “I’m just going down to the corner store .. I’m out of cigarettes.” Well, that would be the last she saw or heard from him until July 1771. And, of course, he left his mobile phone at home, so who knows where he was, or got up to? He had slipped the GPS into his Capt Cook Coat, so she couldn’t even get a clue from that. Well, as now can be revealed, he was roving the high and low seas, bumping into places like Tahiti, New Zealand and the east coast of Oz. This is a critical phase of my story, because, as he was cruising around the Great Barrier Reef, with his snorkeling gear at the ready, darned if he didn’t smack into a great dirty piece of coral. Oh, not him personally, the boat or ship or whatever you call those big things that float on water. (No, not a duck, silly.) Anyhoo, this required him to get serious and find a place to heave into, to fix the great, dirty hole in the ship. Oh, another tid-bit of this jigsaw puzzle. The boat/ship was named the Endeavour, neat name, eh? And, you’ll never guess … the place he found to hove in happened to be the mouth of the Endeavour River. Talk about your coincidences!! Sort of makes you go all funny, I reckon. But wait, you’re probably ‘way ahead of me! Yes, that place, with no one there but Cooky and his merry men , just happened to be Cooktown. I just go all gaga at this. I mean, he could have landed at the Derwent River, near Launceston, and his whole story would not have been anywhere near as fascinating.
Ok, I know you’re anxiously waiting for the action part of this report, but I have to go chase some of those pesky cane toads. So, I’ll be back to tell you about the riveting trip TO Cooktown. Bye for now.