By James Bowen
One of many world's usual wonders, the nice Barrier Reef stretches greater than 2000 kilometers in a maze of coral reefs alongside Australia's northeastern sea coast. earlier, no biographer has introduced the attention-grabbing tale in the back of its mystique into public view. This publication offers a finished cultural and ecological background of eu influence at the reef, from early voyages of discovery to the newest advancements in reef technology and administration.
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Extra resources for The Great Barrier Reef: History, Science, Heritage
Under shortened sail, the Endeavour kept a steady course ‘having the advantage of a fine breeze of wind and a clear moonlight night . . from 6 untill near 9 oClock’. He had, of course, a seaman (known as a leadsman) ‘in the chains’ standing on one of the small platforms fitted to the sides of the ship which hold the mast stays, sounding with a lead line. At one point when the bottom rose quickly ‘into 12, 10 and 8 fathom’ the ship was quickly put about and then continued. 77). Cook’s entry is more explicit: ‘a few Minutes before 11 when we had 17 [fathoms; that is, 31 metres] and before the man at the lead could heave another cast the Ship Struck and stuck fast’ (Cook 1770:344).
Major’s general line of inquiry was pursued by his friend George Collingridge in Sydney, a skilled draftsman and amateur geographer, competent in Portuguese language and history. For more than a decade he worked on his exhaustively researched and argued geographical history, Discovery of Australia, published in 1895, which presented Major’s thesis in detail. Collingridge, however, went further: he attempted a reconstruction of one of the Dieppe maps, known as the ‘Dauphin’ of 1536 – originally charted with poor instruments without benefit of sextant or chronometer – according to the improved techniques of the nineteenth century.
Many geographers had long maintained the belief that it certainly existed, since it was argued that the southern half of the globe must have comparable landmasses to balance the continents in the northern hemisphere. Supporting evidence came from the increasing number of world maps where Dutch and Spanish discoveries, along with that of the Englishman William Dampier, in the Indian Ocean region showed evidences of a landmass somewhere in the South Pacific. The question was: where exactly? Qu e s t f o r Th e G r e at S ou t h L a n d 1 3 The first known map to assert the existence of a Great South Land is the famous world map of 1533 by the Paris mathematician Orontius Finaeus, teacher of Mercator.
The Great Barrier Reef: History, Science, Heritage by James Bowen