We are updating our new website in stages. This page will be changed to the new design but is not currently optimised for mobile devices.
This is an excerpt from Kenneth Slessor's 1931 poem about Cook's third voyage chronometers:
Five visions of Captain Cook
Two chronometers the captain had,
One by Arnold that ran like mad,
One by Kendal in a walnut case,
Poor devoted creature with a hangdog face.
Arnold always hurried with a crazed click-click
Dancing over Greenwich like a lunatic,
Kendal panted faithfully his watch-dog beat,
Climbing out of Yesterday with sticky little feet.
Arnold choked with appetite to wolf up time,
Madly round the numerals his hands would climb,
His cogs rushed over and his wheels ran miles,
Dragging Captain Cook to the Sandwich Isles.
But Kendal dawdled in the tombstoned past,
With a sentimental prejudice to going fast,
And he thought very often of a haberdasher's door
And a yellow-haired boy who would knock no more.
All through the night-time, clock talked to clock,
In the captain's cabin, tock-tock-tock,
One ticked fast and one ticked slow,
And Time went over them a hundred years ago.
by Kenneth Slessor, 1931.
Top right: Cook carried the Kendall chronometer, K3, on his third Pacific voyage.
Bottom right: Cook carried the Arnold chronometer on his third Pacific voyage.
Courtesy: National Maritime Museum, London.