It won't take long in Queen Charlotte Sound before you realize that Captain Cook played a key role in the region's history. Even the sound itself is named after the wife of King George III, the sponsor of Cook's expedition. Cook and the crew of the Endeavour landed at Ship Cove (officially Meretoto/Ship Cove) in January 1770. Cook visited the protected anchorage at the eastern end of the sound several more times, spending a total of 170 days here on his various voyages around the Pacific and sailing away from the cove for the last time in 1777. It is also of cultural significance, as the location of some of the most important early contacts between Maori and Europeans.