THE ROYAL Mint has launched the second of the three coins marking the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s great voyage to the Antipodes.

The son of a farm hand, Captain James Cook grew up in the historic port of Whitby in North Yorkshire, from the age of 17. In August 1768, Cook and his crew set sail on HM Bark Endeavour, commencing what would become a three year voyage of discovery.

The second leg would take Cook into the Pacific Ocean, some 3,000 miles further from Rio de Janeiro. By the time he sighted Tahiti on 22 April 1769 he had sailed a further 5,000 miles. After exploring Tahiti and observing the Transit of Venus, Cook opened his sealed orders and set sail due south.