Lono Wept

To the average Westerner, the sea was nothing more than a vast communal repository for fear and dread, littered with, as Shakespeare wrote, "dead men's skulls," and "a thousand fearful wrecks."

Captain James Cook, the lowborn son of a Yorkshire farmhand who had risen to become the era’s greatest seagoing explorer, was crisscrossing the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to discover the fabled Northwest Passage. The year was 1778, and Cook was nearing the end of his third and final Pacific voyage. Having failed, yet again, to find a watery link from the Pacific to the Atlantic, Cook directed his...

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