The RUSI of NSW Badge
 Search this Site

 Search the Library Catalogue

The Royal United Services Institute of New South Wales

Use the button top right to donate much needed funds to the The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies NSW. 

Sea of Dangers - Captain Cook and His Rivals

By: Geoffrey Blainey (714/35978)
Publisher: Penguin Books, ISBN: 9780670072231

Two ships set out in search of a missing continent: the St Jean-Baptiste, a French merchant ship commanded by Jean de Surville, and the Endeavour, a small British naval vessel captained by James Cook. In Sea of Dangers, distinguished historian Geoffrey Blaney tells the story of these rival ships and the men who sailed them. Just before Christmas 1769, the two captains were almost close enough to see one another - and yet they did not know of each other's existence. Both crews battled extreme hardships including scurvy, storms and loneliness; but they also experienced the euphoria of 'discovering' new lands, and the fascination of meeting peoples so different they may as well have come from separate worlds.

This is the most revealing narrative so far written of Cook's astonishing voyage along the east coast of Australia. It also casts new light on the little-known voyage by Jean de Surville; Blainey argues that the Frenchman was in the vicinity of Sydney Harbour months before Cook arrived. Eventually Cook set out to explore the hazardous Barrier Reef and find a way through Torres Strait, while the Frenchman searched for a mysterious Jewish colony in the South Pacific.

In Sea of Dangers Blainey once again takes us on a vivid journey through history, challenging accepted views.

October 2008

PO Box 844, DARLINGHURST NSW 1300; Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park South, SYDNEY NSW; Telephone: +61 (0)2 8262 2922; Email:
Open 1000h to 1500h Monday to Friday and at other times by appointment (Phone: 8262 2922) GETTING TO THE INSTITUTE
The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies New South Wales Incorporated - ABN 80 724 654 162