Early Australian Voyages: Pelsart, Tasman, Dampier eBook

John Pinkerton
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 173 pages of information about Early Australian Voyages.
attributes to the earth, by allowing two to the nucleus, and two to the exterior earth.  And, as the two former perpetually alter the situation by their circular motion, their virtue, compared with the exterior poles, must be different at different times, and consequently the variation of the needle will perpetually change.  The doctor attributes to the nucleus an European north pole and an American south one, on account of the variation of variations observed near these places, as being much greater than those found near the two other poles.  And he conjectures that these poles will finish their revolution in about seven hundred years, and after that time the same situation of the poles obtain again as at present, and, consequently, the variations will be the same again over all the globe; so that it requires several ages before this theory can be thoroughly adjusted.  He assigns this probable cause of the circular revolution of the nucleus that the diurnal motion, being impressed from without, was not so exactly communicated to the internal parts as to give them the same precise velocity of rotation as the external, whence the nucleus, being left behind by the exterior earth, seems to move slowly in a contrary direction, as from east to west, with regard to the external earth, considered as at rest in respect of the other.  But to return to our voyage.


On the 19th of January, being in the latitude of 22 degrees 35 minutes south, and in the longitude of 204 degrees 15 minutes, we had 7 degrees 30 minutes east variation.  In this situation we discovered an island about two or three miles in circumference, which was, as far as we could discern, very high, steep, and barren.  We were very desirous of coming nearer it, but were hindered by south-east and south-south-east winds.  We called it the Isle of Pylstaart, because of the great number of that sort of birds we saw flying about it, and the next day we saw two other islands.


On the 21st, being in the latitude of 21 degrees 20 minutes south, and in the longitude of 205 degrees 29 minutes, we found our variation 7 degrees to the north-east.  We drew near to the coast of the most northern island, which, though not very high, yet was the larger of the two:  we called one of these islands Amsterdam, and the other Rotterdam.  Upon that of Rotterdam we found great plenty of hogs, fowls, and all sorts of fruits, and other refreshments.  These islanders did not seem to have the use of arms, inasmuch as we saw nothing like them in any of their hands while we were upon the island; the usage they gave us was fair and friendly, except that they would steal a little.  The current is not very considerable in this place, where it ebbs north-east, and flows south-west.  A south-west moon causes a spring-tide, which rises seven or eight feet at least.  The wind blows there continually south-east, or south-south-east, which occasioned the Heemskirk’s being carried out of the road, but, however, without any damage.  We did not fill any water here because it was extremely hard to get it to the ship.

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Early Australian Voyages: Pelsart, Tasman, Dampier from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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