The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 213 pages of information about The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765.

On the 23rd, the weather being good, and the council having once more been convened, I proposed to try every possible means to get the Aernem into sailing trim again, in the first place by constructing another rudder.  This we found impossible since there were no new square rudders in either of the yachts; we were accordingly compelled to try some makeshift, and in order to be able to continue our voyage and avoid abandoning the yacht, it was finally resolved that with the available materials there should be constructed a rudder after the manner of the Chinese and Javanese; for this purpose the Pera will have to give up her main-top mast, the rest of the required wood to be cut on the land, and we shall tarry here until the rudder has been replaced.

On the 24th while our men were engaged on the rudder, the subcargo rowed to the small island aforesaid with the two pinnaces, in order to get fresh water for the Aernem, which was very poorly supplied with the same, and in the evening he returned on board again with four casks of water, which he had got filled with extreme difficulty.

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On the 25th, the yacht Aernem being in sailing trim again, for which God be thanked, we set sail again with good weather and a favourable wind, holding our course along the land in 51/2, 6, and 61/2 fathom; in the evening we cast anchor in 21/2 fathom about 2 miles from the land, having sailed 10 miles this day.

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(The Vleermuys-Eylandt is in 8 degrees 8 minutes Lat., 40 miles east of the Valsch Caep.)

That the island aforesaid is in 8 deg. 8’ Southern Latitude, about a mile south and north of the mainland as before mentioned; it is pretty high, having a great number of wild trees on the east-side, and being quite bare on the west-side.  It is about a quarter of a mile in circumference, and is surrounded by numerous cliffs and rocks, overgrown with oysters and mussels, the soil is excellent and fit to be planted and sown with everything; by estimation it bears a hundred full-grown cocoanut-trees and a great many younger ones; we also observed some banana- and oubi-trees; we besides found fresh water here, which comes trickling through the clay in small rills, and has to be gathered in pits dug for the purpose; the island also contains large numbers of bats living in the trees, on which account we have given to it the name of Vleermuys-Eylant [Bats’ Island] in the new chart.  We have seen no huts or human beings in it, but found unmistakable signs that there had been men here at some previous time.

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(Clappes Cust [Cocoanut Coast].)

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The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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