Japanese explorer lands in Whitby

Daisuke Takahashi who is travelling the world follwing the footsteps of Captain Cook. Pictured with Australian couple Claire and John MacDonald at the Captain Cook Museum in Whitby''w110819    Picture: Ceri Oakes
Daisuke Takahashi who is travelling the world follwing the footsteps of Captain Cook. Pictured with Australian couple Claire and John MacDonald at the Captain Cook Museum in Whitby''w110819 Picture: Ceri Oakes

A WANNABE explorer given the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world opted to come to Whitby as part of his journey.

Author Daisuke Takahashi’s won a competition run by camera company Leica to follow in the footsteps of the world’s greatest explorers and he opted to follow Captain Cook’s expedition to Australia.

He left his home town of Akita in Japan on 23 January and has travelled to Tahiti and arrived in Whitby fresh from Honolulu last week.

He was given a private tour of the Captain Cook museum along with Clare and John MacDonald from Cooktown, Australia, who are spending time travelling in England.

Mr Takahashi said: “I am always interested in the history of exploration generally and I have been in the Pacific Ocean for 15 years.

“In the history of exploration Captain Cook is a very important person, he landed in many places where no-one had landed before in the western past. I wanted to know what he discovered and from a modern view what has changed?”

When Captain Cook was making his way around the world hundreds of years ago it was long before the days of cameras so the artists joined explorers and made sketches and paintings of the things they saw along the way.

Mr Takahashi, also a keen photographer, added: “I really wanted to be in that place and take a picture of each place and compare the old scenery with the modern.

“The reason why I chose to come to Whitby is because he started from here first to the Pacific Ocean.

“Just after visiting Hawaii where he was killed I wanted to come here directly because that is where he started.

“Whitby is a very charming place, I never imagined the many places I would visit. This is a very beautiful part, I never expected how beautiful it was.”

Clare and John MacDonald live and work in Cooktown and are hoping to make more connections between Whitby and Cooktown – which is Whitby’s sister town.

They said: “People in Cooktown are very interested in Whitby, they want to make better connections and share stories.

“They are similar, it is characterful and beautiful, has a strong community spirit and tourism is the main industry.”