The entire coastline enclosing the Gulf of Carpentaria had accordingly now been skirted and mapped out. The value of Tasman’s discoveries in this part of Australia directly appears, if we lay side by side, for instance, the chart of the upper-steersman De Leeuw [*], who formed part of the voyage of 1623, or Keppler’s map of 1630 [**]; and Tasman’s chart of 1644 [***], or Isaac De Graaff’s made about 1700 [****], which last gives a pretty satisfactory survey of the results of Tasman’s voyage of 1644 so far as the Gulf of Carpentaria is concerned. Although Tasman’s expedition of 1644 did not yield complete information respecting the coast-line of the Gulf, and although it is easy to point out inaccuracies, the additions made by this voyage to our knowledge on this point are so considerable that we may say with complete justice that while the discovery of the east-coast of the Gulf is due to Jansz. (1606) and Carstensz. (1623), it was Tasman who made known the south-coast and the greater part of the west-coast.
[* No. 7 on p. 46.]
[** No. 6 on p. 10.]
[*** Chart No. I in the Tasman Folio.]
[**** No. 14 below.]
More than a century was to elapse before Dutch explorers again were to visit the Gulf of Carpentaria. In 1756 the east- and west-coast of it were visited first by Jean Etienne Gonzal and next by Lavienne Lodewijk van Assehens [*]. The expedition is of little interest as regards the surveying of the coast-line, but these explorers got into more frequent contact with the natives than any of their predecessors—what especially Gonzal reports on this subject, is certainly worth noting. Gonzal also first touched at the south-west coast of New Guinea, and next, again without becoming aware of the real character of Torres Strait, sailed to the east-coast of the Gulf, skirting the same up to about 13 deg. S. Lat., after which he crossed to the west-coast. What he did there is of little interest. Van Asschen’s experiences are of even less importance for our present purpose. One remark of his, however, is worth noting: he states namely that he found the east-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria [**] to be “fully 12 miles more to eastward” than the charts at his disposal had led him to believe; and it would really seem to be a fact that Tasman had placed this coast too far to westward.
[* See No. XXXVI infra.]
[** The names there conferred by him on various parts of the coast, may be sufficiently gathered from Document No. XXXVI.]
THE NETHERLANDERS ON THE NORTH-WEST COAST OF AUSTRALIA.