—C—C— Cook. —W—W— Weddell. —B—B— Biscoe. —Wl—Wl— Wilkes. —R—R— Ross in the Ross Sea. —Sx—Sx— Southern Cross. —Bl—Bl— Belgica.
at finding only some insignificant islands, and Cook's first voyage showed that New Zealand was an independent archipelago.
In spite of the great shrinkage of the supposed southern continent caused by the expeditions of Cook and de Bougainville, there was still left an unknown area round the south pole large enough to hold a big land mass. Various new arguments were used to prove that such land must exist. De Quiros in the New Hebrides felt earthquakes traveling from the south; as it was believed that earthquakes could only originate on land, they were taken to prove the existence of a southern land.
Cook was accordingly sent on his second voyage, with orders to circumnavigate the south polar area in as high a latitude as possible. He was to search first for the land reported by Bouvet, and find if it were an island or part of a continent. If the latter he was to "explore it as much as possible, to make such notations thereon and observations as may be useful to navigation or commerce or tend to the formation of natural knowledge. He was also directed to observe the genius, temper and disposition of the inhabitants, if any, and endeavor by all proper means to cultivate their friendship and alliance, making presents and inviting them to traffic."
Cook's voyage was brilliantly successful, and still ranks as the greatest of Antarctic achieve-