The Travels, Explorations and Surveys of Captain George Vancouver (1757-1798)
While in the United Kingdom in 2013, I slipped away from my studies of David Thompson for an early morning visit to the last resting place of Captain George Vancouver in Petersham, Surrey. Prior to the visit, I had spent a year studying his surveys of the coast of northwestern North America and had completed two of the planned three maps of those surveys. I researched the movements of HMS Discovery and HMS Chatham and there is no doubt that Vancouver’s 1792-1794 coastal surveys along the Pacific Coast of north western North America would be accomplished in some of the severest marine conditions Captain Vancouver had ever experienced.
Like Captain James Cook before him, Vancouver would ultimately conclude that the famous Strait of Anion or the Northwest Passage did not exist. Captain Vancouver died of a lengthy illness at just 40 years of age in 1798 and it would be over a hundred years later that Vancouver and his crew’s incredible nautical accomplishments would finally be recognized. There can be no doubt that Vancouver’s expedition is perhaps one of the great maritime surveys of the 18th century.
The Spatial layers that were created recorded the known movements of HMS Discovery and HMS Chatham and their respective survey boats between 1792 and 1794. A distance was calculated for both the warships and the survey boats; the results of which are displayed below.