Author(s): SANDIG URIKE ALMUT
The Transit of Venus has fascinated astronomers for centuries. In 1769 Captain James Cook sailed to the Pacific with a group of scientists to observe the Transit in Tahiti but Cook had also received secret orders to voyage onwards in search of the fabled 'Unknown Southern Continent'. It was on this voyage that he made landfall at Tolaga Bay, met the local M?ori and initiated the first positive encounter between Europe and Aotearoa/New Zealand. Nearly 250 years later three German poets flew to the Pacific to join with three New Zealand poets in observing another Transit of Venus. They came together at a gathering hosted by the Tolaga Bay Uawa community that used the focus of this historically significant event to consider how science might make a difference to New Zealand's future. In poems presented in both English and German, these six remarkable voices present a fresh series of encounters between Europe and New Zealand and record a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The next Transit of Venus will not be seen until 2117.