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View of Karakakooa (Kealakekua Bay)

by Captain Cook's Hawaii

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A View of Karakakooa

Artist: John Webber
Plate: 68
Engraver: W. Byrne

Printed by: Lahaina Printsellers, Ltd., 2016

When the Discovery and the Resolution anchored in the waters of Kealakekua Bay, on the Kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, they were greeted by an enormous number of native Hawaiians.

This scene was vividly described in an entry from Cook's journal: "At eleven o'clock in the forenoon, we anchored in the bay in thirteen fathoms water, over a sandy bottom, and about a quarter of a mile from the North East shore. The ships continued to be crowded with much natives and were surrounded by a multitude of canoes. I had nowhere, in the course of my voyages, seen so numerous a body of people assembled at one place."

Captain Cook continued, " For, besides those who had come off to us in canoes, all the shore of the bay was covered with spectators, and many hundreds were swimming round the ships like shoals of fish. We could not but be struck with the singularity of this scene." *

This remarkable engraving also includes many fascinating details, including the first view of a Hawaiian on a surfboard (lower left), as well as a view of the palm-lined village on shore.

Cook's ships would remain anchored offshore for five weeks while repairs were made to the masts and riggings, and the ships' stores were replenished.

We custom-print this facsimile on waterproof canvas in our Lahaina studio using the finest archival inks, which are tested and guaranteed not to fade or shift under normal circumstances for over 100 years. Modern printing techniques allow us to improve and enhance the historical subject matter, even as we're careful to preserve and maintain its historical and artistic integrity.

* Cook's Journal - January 17, 1779