Where Did the Island Go?

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     In 1606 Quiros discovered Tierra Austral del Espiritu Santo. Captain James Cook visited the island in July and August of 1774, and renamed the islands the New Hebrides after the islands north-west of Scotland. Independence was achieved in 1980, and with it a new name, Vanuatu, meaning “Rising Land.”
     In 1988 Vanuatu issued a souvenir sheet featuring ten stamps with a portrait of Captain Cook based on the portrait painted in 1775 by Nathaniel Dance, plus 5 labels with pictures of Cook’s two ships, HMS Endeavor commanded by Cook on his first voyage, and HMS Resolution in which Cook made his second and third voyages, and a map of Australia and Vanuatu.
     The map incorrectly implies that Vanuatu is west of Australia about 12,500 miles (20,000 km), while, in fact, lies east of Australia about 2,300 miles (1,400 km). The orange line showing a route from Australia to Vanuatu with indications of years, 1770, 1771, 1774, also implies the course of Cook’s explorations leading up to arriving at Vanuatu. However, 1770-72 is the time of the first voyage, and 1774 is the year Cook actually visited Vanuatu. So, the both the time and the course are in error. The two ships are placed on the course line with the years in proper relation to each other, the Endeavor in 1771, and the Resolution in 1774.
     Mark Honig called my attention to this sheet. Reportedly, only 7000 copies of the sheet were issued. http://www.btinternet.com/~musyat/cook/pac_fr.html.

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