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.

Letter Of Supercargo J. Van Roosenbergh to the Directors of the E.I.C., November 8, 1627.

Worshipful Wise Provident Very Discreet Gentlemen,

You have no doubt received my letter from Illa de Mayo...

On the 7th of September we resolved to run for the South-land, that we might be near Java before the middle of October.  On the 17th do. we sighted the land of d’Eendracht near Dirck Hartochs reede [road-stead], at about 7 miles’ distance from us; the land was of middle height, something like D’overen [Dover] in England; it is less low than has been asserted by some, and of a whitish hue, so that at night it cannot be seen before one is quite close to it.  When by estimation we were at two miles’ distance from the land, the coast seemed to have a foreshore consisting of small hills here and there.  According to our observations the land lay quite differently from what the chart would have us believe, to wit, North by West and North-north-west, from a point three miles south of the aforesaid height to a point 8 or 9 miles north of it; which were the farthest points seen by us; this constituting a difference Of 31/2 {Page 53} points with the chart, which makes it North-north-east and South-south-west.  We cast the lead five miles off the shore in 75 fathom, muddy bottom mixed with small red pebbles, and five glasses afterwards, two miles off shore, in 55 fathom sandy bottom, for hardly anything was found sticking to the lead when heaved.  We had seen no other signs of land beyond gulf-weed floating about in small quantities just as in the Sargasso Sea, and some land-birds flying high overhead.  The many-coloured birds which we met near the islands of Tristan de Aconcha, left us two days before, just as they did when we got near Cabo de bone Esperanca, so that they would seem to dislike the land.  Instead of them, we saw a black bird with a white tail, having white streaks here and there under its wings; a bird, it seems, of rare occurrence.  Three or four days before we also saw a number of sanderlings.  Close inshore we also saw a quantity of cuttlebone, but the pieces were very small and scattered, so that they could hardly be seen in hollow water, except by paying very close attention to them and only 6 or 8 miles off shore, seeing that the steady west-wind prevents their getting out to sea, which they would certainly do, if now and then the wind blew from the east for a few days in succession.  Careful estimations based on the globosity of the earth will give the best signs after all.  By estimation we have got into...[*] Longitude, some of our steersmen having got one or two degrees more, some less, which in the plane charts makes a considerable difference, about 217 miles by calculation.  I repeat that since I have seen the land a good deal earlier, it will be expedient in the plane chart to mark out a distance of about 200 miles, to westward of St. Paulo island and to eastward of Madagascar, the said distance to be passed over

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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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