National Geographic : 1996 Nov
Americas, and the lands of the South Seas, all of which helped shape the look of the green world we see today. N THE MIDDLE OF JULY I769 Banks and Cook left Tahiti for New Zealand, in whose waters they arrived early in October and remained for six months. They put in when and where they could. In spite of difficult seas and the threat of conflict with the sometimes cannibalistic Maori- "I suppose they live intirely upon fish dogs and Enemies," Banks wrote-Endeavour'sbotanists man aged to collect about a thousand specimens, with the headlands and islets of Queen Charlotte Sound, at the northern tip of South Island, being especially productive. Those headlands are cold and rain-swept as I walk through drip ping tree fern forests and across tundra-like plains above the gunmetal sea. I have better luck on North Island with John Dawson, a retired professor of botany from Victoria University in Wellington. In the hills above Wellington he marches me through the Otari Native Botanic "V ordersof the Great BarrierReef beckon at Aus tralia'sWhitsunday Island. Endeavour ran aground so violently "we could hardly keep our legs upon the Quarterdeck," Banks wrote. Solace came with the sweet flesh of the giant clam, "one of which was more than two men could eat. Many indeed were larger. . "