Standing over my bicycle in the sand of a beautiful beach breathing the salt air from a stiff offshore wind on a faraway island in another hemisphere, so far from home, it’s to feel a connection of sorts with legendary explores who’ve come this way.
Transit of Mercury
James Cook, Captain of the ship The Endeavor, landed on the Coromandel Peninsula near while on his expedition’s 1769 voyage around the world. Cook and his team had just recorded the Transit of Venus in Tahiti and now sailed to explore the South Pacific. New Zealand was now on European charts.
While anchored near here, Captain Cook and his men recorded the Transit of Mercury, where the planet, like Venus, travels across the face of the sun. The movement could be observed and used to determine the distance between Earth and the Sun. Cook subsequently named the bay Mercury Bay (already named Te Whanganui a He in Maori) in light of the significant event.
Moving in Shadows
Riding slowly, taking it all in, that’s what bicycle travel is all about. Moving in the shadows of great explorers who’ve come before me. Happy exploring.