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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765.

On the 24th the wind was E. by S., course held S.S.W. along the land in 21/2, 31/2 and 41/2 fathom, clayey bottom; at noon we were in 17 deg. 8’.  This same day the council having been convened, I submitted to them the question whether it would be advisable to run further south, and after various opinions had been expressed, it was agreed that this would involve divers difficulties, and that the idea had better be given up:  we might get into a vast bay, and it is evident that in these regions in the east-monsoon north-winds prevail, just as north (?) of the equator south-winds prevail in the said monsoon:  we should thus fall on a lee-shore; for all which reasons, and in order to act for the best advantage of the Lords Managers, it has been resolved and determined to turn back, and follow the coast of Nova Guinea so long to northward as shall be found practicable; to touch at divers places which shall be examined with the utmost care, and finally to turn our course from there to Aru and was furthermore proposed by me and ultimately approved of by the council, to give 10 pieces of eight to the boatmen for every black they shall get hold of on shore, and carry off to the yachts, to the end that the men may use greater care and diligence in this matter, and Our Masters may reap benefit from the capture of the blacks, which may afterwards redound to certain advantage.

On the 25th the skipper of the Pera got orders to go ashore with the two pinnaces well-manned and armed, in order to make special search for fresh water, with which we are very poorly provided by this time; about noon the skipper having returned, informed us that he had caused pits to be dug in various places on the coast, but had found no fresh water. Item that on the strand they had seen 7 small huts made of dry hay, and also 7 or 8 blacks, who refused to hold parley with them.  In the afternoon I went up a salt river for the space of about half a mile with the two pinnaces; {Page 38} we then marched a considerable distance into the interior, which we found to be submerged in many places, thus somewhat resembling Waterland in Holland, from which it may be concluded that there must be large lakes farther inland; we also saw divers footprints of men and of large dogs, running from the south to the north; and since by resolution it has been determined to begin the return-voyage at this point, we have, in default of stone caused a wooden tablet to be nailed to a tree, the said tablet having the following words carved into it:  “Anno 1623 den 24n April sijn hier aen gecomen twee jachten wegen de Hooge Mogende Heeren Staten Genl.”

[A.D. 1623, on the 24th of April there arrived here two yachts dispatched by their High Mightinesses the States-General].  We have accordingly named the river aforesaid Staten revier in the new chart. (The Staten Revier is in 17 degrees 8 minutes.)

On the 26th, seeing that there was no fresh water here, of which we stood in great need, that we could hold no parley with the natives, and that nothing of importance could be effected, we set sail again, the wind being E.N.E., with a stiff breeze, course held N. along the land; at noon we were in Lat. 16 deg. 44’; at night we came to anchor in 4 fathom close inshore.

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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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