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The British explorer Captain Cook had been commissioned by the British Government to circumnavigate the world and to determine whether New Zealand was connected to a great southern landmass, or "Terra Australis." During the years 1772-1775, he was on his second voyage on the H.M.S. Resolution to the South Pacific. On that voyage he charted the eastern coast of Australia, and in 1773 discovered a set of islands, he named "New Scotland" (renamed "New Caledonia" by French settlers). Six years after he discovered the islands, on his third visit to the Hawaiian Islands, Cook became embroiled with the natives, and, in defeat, was boiled in a cauldron.

The islands of New Caledonia form an archipelago lying 1200 km to the east of Australia,and its indigenous Melanesian natives are known as the Kanaks. The youth of village performed island dances for the passengers visiting from the Seabourn Odyssey. In general, I found the people of the island extraordinarily friendly, but this poor young man was unable to hide his lack of enthusiasm, no doubt forced by the village elders to entertain. And although a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, perhaps accompanied by traditional island music it would be worth even more. A much more timely comment is offered by Stephen Nunney, "They say a willing volunteer is worth ten pressed men."

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6809 W: 476 N: 12169] (41257)
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