The Pacific Largely Unknown & Hawaii Unmapped
Though the Polynesians had been traveling the vast Pacific Ocean for thousands of years, it remained virtually unknown and largely uncharted by European explorers. Balboa first reached the Pacific in 1513. He was followed by Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal, sailing under the Spanish flag who was the first Western navigator to traverse the Pacific, and who gave it the name Pacific, meaning peaceful sea. Many other explorers and ships followed but they all missed Hawaii.
Ortelius World (Click on the map above to order)
Vander AA World 1746 (Click on the map above to order)
The European Explorers - Capt. James Cook
The European discovery of Hawaii occurred on January 18, 1778, when English ships under the command of Captain James Cook sighted the islands of Oahu an Kauai. Cook was conducting one of the great exploratory voyages of history and mapmaking was an integral part of his work.
Discovering new islands was of little consequence if he did not map their locations accurately enough for others to find them later. Foreigners introduced the concept of mapmaking to Hawaii. They made maps of Hawaii to satisfy the needs of maritime, religious, commercial and scientific investigations.
Cook's General Chart of the Pacific 1784 (CLICK ON THE MAP TO ORDER)