|Sail on sailor: Maia learns to fly the spinnaker|
When we were crossing the Pacific Maia had a homeschooling segment on explorers and navigators. I was really into it. While we had modern navigation tools at our disposal, Cook had a sextant, chronometer and lead line. While we had paper and electronic charts, he was making the charts. I found it fascinating to anchor where Cook anchored and explore the route he explored. To say I was impressed at his skills doesn’t begin to cover it.
|Sleepy but sweet: 1770|
Maia, however, was less than enthralled. By about Tahiti she was ready to move on. By Australia her reaction to Cook was similar to that of the Aboriginal people who encountered him in Botany Bay; they ignored him and told him, “Warra warra wai” (go away).
Visiting 1770 in Queensland (Cook’s first landing point in Queensland) didn’t change Maia’s disinterest. While she chuckled (halfheartedly) at the recollections of the local aboriginal people who found Cook & co a bit daft for getting themselves stung by ants and poisonous caterpillars, and for collecting up useless plants, I’m pretty sure she would have liked to have banned all talk of Cook on our ‘let’s hike where Cook hiked’ hike. Actually, she suggested we ban him.
Happily for Maia, as I was trying to rouse her interest in speculating about which 33 plants Banks may have collected on his walk, she noticed butterflies.
And then more butterflies.
Within a few minutes it was pretty clear that as cool as Cook was—thousands and thousands of blue fluttering insects beats history.
It turns out the Blue Tiger butterfly breeds up here. Come spring they’ll migrate south to Brisbane and as far as Victoria. For one enchanted walk though, they were all ours. Their wing beats sounded like a breeze blowing through the canopy—and in places it was impossible to see the tree trunksfor all the butterflies that clung to it.
I mentioned to Maia that it would have been cool if Cook had arrived during butterfly season and asked her what she thought his journals would have said.
She ignored me.