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.

The present is a copy of our letter written from Illa de Mayo on the 15th of April last...On July the 22nd we sailed from the Tafelbay with the ships Galias, Utrecht and Texel.  When coming out to sea we got the wind from the south, so that we could not sail higher than the Cape, and lost eight days during which we made no progress.  Then getting a favourable wind we remained together in 371/2 degrees Southern Latitude up to the 10th of August; the following night, however, the rudder of the Galias broke in a strong wind, so that the ship became ungovernable, and the sails were dashed to pieces, in consequence of which she got separated from the other two ships, who had failed to observe the accident of the Galias owing to the darkness; {Page 52} the next day, the rudder having been repaired, we continued our voyage with the Galias, and in the afternoon of the 5th of September in 281/2 degrees S. Lat. came upon the land of d’Eendracht.  We were at less than half a mile’s distance from the breakers before perceiving the same, without being able to see land.  If we had come upon this place in the night-time, we should have been in a thousand perils with our ship and crew.  In the plane charts the reckonings of our steersmen were still between 300 and 350 miles from any land, so that there was not the slightest suspicion of our being near any, although the reckoning of the chart with increasing degrees showed only 120 miles, and the reckoning by the terrestrial globe only 50 miles distance from the land.  But to this little attention had been paid.  It seems certain now that the miscalculation involved in the plane chart from Cabo de bon’ Esperanca to the Southland in 35 degrees latitude gives an overplus of more than 270 miles of sea, a matter to which most steersmen pay little attention, and which has brought, and is still daily bringing, many vessels into great perils.  It would be highly expedient if in the plane charts most in use, between Cabo de bon’ Esperanca and the South-land south of Java, so much space were added and passed over in drawing up the reckonings, as is deducible from the correct longitude according to the globosity of earth and sea.  We would request Your Worships to direct attention to this point, and have such indications made in the plane chart as experts shall find to be advisable; a matter of the highest importance, which if not properly attended to involves grievous peril to ships and crews (which God in his mercy avert).

In this plane chart the South-land also lies fully 40 miles more to eastward than it should be, which should also be rectified.

On the 20th of September we struck the South-coast of Java about 50 or 60 miles eastward of its western extremity...

Your Worships’ obedt. servant

At Batavia, October 30, 1627.

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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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