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Monday, March 13, 2000

Capt. Cook statue
has English twin

By Anthony Sommer
Kauai correspondent


WAIMEA, Kauai -- Mayor Cathy Ingledow of Whitby stood on the lanai of her cottage, squinting out at the sunlit sand and coconut palms, and wondered aloud that nothing could be more unlike her hometown in cold, wet northern England.

"I saw a coconut fall from a tree a while ago," she offered with a smile. "We don't have that in Yorkshire."

There is one thing, though, that is absolutely identical in both Waimea and Whitby: statues of Capt. James Cook in their town squares.

Waimea's larger-than-life statue was cast from a mold of the original in Whitby for the 200th anniversary of Cook's landing in Hawaii.

Waimea is where Cook first came ashore when he discovered the Hawaiian Islands in 1778.

From the time he first apprenticed as a seaman, Whitby was Cook's home and it was where all four of the ships he used on his voyages to map the Pacific Ocean were built: the Endeavour on his first voyage, the Resolution and the Adventure on his second voyage and the Resolution (again) and the Discovery on his third voyage.

Cook isn't Whitby's only world-class local hero, Ingledow noted. The town was also the summer home of Bram Stoker, who wrote "Dracula" there in 1898.

The second half of the book, after the vampire count moves in his coffin from Transylvania to England, is set entirely in Whitby.

But Stoker, an Irishman who lived most of the year in London, doesn't hold a candle to Cook in the hearts of Whitby's 21,000 residents.

"Cook was a Yorkshireman and he had a deep, guttural Yorkshire accent," Ingledow said in a deep, guttural Yorkshire accent.

"He was a no-nonsense man."

Ingledow was invited to Kauai by Dave Walker, who is known in Waimea as much for being a history buff as he is for being a captain at the Waimea fire station.

She met last week with Mayor Maryanne Kusaka and will meet this week with Gov. Ben Cayetano in Honolulu.

Ingledow's visit comes just months after the Australian-built replica of the Endeavour toured the islands, anchoring last in Waimea Bay.

And it comes just months before the keel is scheduled to be laid, in Whitby, of a replica of the Resolution. A world tour, including Hawaii, is planned for 2006.

"Although they were both colliers (coal ships), the Resolution was a bigger ship and I think handsomer, too," Ingledow said.

She admits it will be hard for the new Resolution to top the first visit of the Endeavour replica to Whitby in 1996. More than 3 million people went to see the ship, a measure of how Cook stands as a national hero in a country that in his day truly ruled the waves.

"She sailed in so proudly and everyone was so absolutely silent. There was a lump in every throat," Ingledow said. "It was so quiet it was eerie. And then, once she had sailed completely by, the applause began."

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