RSS Feed

Captain Cook, I presume

I’m working a super chill summer job. I help tourists figure out where they’re going in Anchorage, Alaska. I took it because I really needed to calm down and have some fun. I have rediscovered parts of myself that are rather cool. That leads me to Captain Cook.

The Captain, a good looking man

The Captain, a good looking man

James Cook dominates my work place which I sometimes call  Musee d’Cook, le Capitaine.  It’s a fancy hotel which sports bellmen in black livery with gold braid as if they were officers on his crew.  The hotel has its own coat of arms.

It's a polar bear meeting a penguin for the first time. Maybe not so good for the penguin.

It’s a polar bear meeting a penguin for the first time. Maybe not so good for the penguin.


It appears that Cook was a man who was grew up on a farm, was not suitable to work in a shop, then worked his way up in merchant shipping and the Navy to become a cartographer and explorer.  He also had a bit of a temper.  He went on many journeys, three of which are quite famous, in which he visited Hawaii,  Alaska, near Antarctica and circumnavigating New Zealand, all near the time of The Revolutionary War.  He was known for not losing a man to scurvy due to frequent stops to replenish food.  Although honoring The Earl of Sandwich, naming Hawaii after him  suggests a desire for fresh fillings.

Cook was drawn to the extreme North and South so the hotel features large paintings of ships and icebergs which predate The Titantic.

Before global warming

Before global warming



Whale oil was a precurser to our addiction to petroleum. Good luck Mr. Whale!

These paintings are enormous,  maybe not as large as a blue whale but easily as big as a Beluga.

Many of you may know that le Capitaine met his death  after trying to imprison a king whose subjects had stolen a boat.   There is a nook with a little fake jungle  which overlooks this artwork.

I usually eat my lunch gazing at the death of Captain Cook

I  eat my salad gazing at the death of Captain Cook



Sometimes I eat here instead

Sometimes I eat here instead


This is a gigantic painting of  Captain Cook’s better times with the people of Hawaii. They held a feast for him. But when you look closer at this painting it is a bit disturbing.

It appears that The Captain is being served his head on a Turkey.


None of the Cook’s chef’s prepare this traditional dish

The hotel has least five restauranty places to eat and many more nooks to sit at with one’s yogurt container and a good book on Arctic and Antarctic Exploration. Might I suggest “The Frozen Ship” by Sarah Moss?

Amazon link to The Frozen Ship

The wooden walls of The Cook resemble the polished surfaces of a yacht. The ambiance is refined  and I am on my best behavior. Sometimes that is what makes work wonderful. I become the person I want to be in an interesting place amongst interesting people. It’s virtually impossible to complain about working in the tourism industry of Alaska in the summer.  If you are unhappy with your current position, take an adventure, like Captain Cook, and give us a try. We promise not to eat you alive but I can’t vouch for the mosquitoes.



About polarflares

My head is so big because it has so many holes and air gets in.

One response »

  1. Loving this post! Cook was phenomenal. And a good judge of character: he hired Bligh as his navigator (long before the latter became Charles Laughton). Hey we are supposed to have lunch sometime, and I do work downtown, but maybe you have only 20 minutes or so now? I’m the guy who was in the writing class with Bill Sherwonit, and who you ran into at Fire Island in June. Remember me?

    Doug Miller
    (907) 244-8713


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: