Captain Cook: Master of the Seas
Yale University Press, $45 hb, 510 pp
Modern travellers can hardly conceive the perils of the sea in the age of sail. Merchant seamen excepted, today’s average seafarer rides a massive cruise ship warned by radar to skirt round storms and stabilised against the rolling of all but the most powerful swells. The terrors of the deep do not extend far beyond poor maintenance, food poisoning, bad company, and illicit drugs administered by persons of interest to the police. Global positioning devices make navigation a breeze. Fifteen-year-old girls single-handedly circumnavigate the globe, and Antarctica is a fun destination for seniors.