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A sea creature seen near the Cape of Good Hope


A sea creature seen near the Cape of Good Hope

Jolinck, Heyndrick Dircxz.

On 30 July 1598, near the Cape of Good Hope the Vriesland – part of the Second Expedition to the East Indies organised by the Oude Compagnie – observed a strange sea creature which Heyndrick Dirrecksen Jolinck in his journal likened to an ‘Abadel’ or a rhinoceros, with a 3 ‘shields’ (likely fins) on its body and a blowhole, but a thin neck. Considering the description of the blowhole, It seems highly likely the Vriesland encountered some kind of whale, though Jolinck does not identify it as such. With this drawing he sought to reproduce the creature as well as he could, stating that he had not had any training to make such drawings.

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Sources and literature

Keuning, De tweede schipvaart der Nederlanders naar Oost-Indië̈ onder Jacob Cornelisz. van Neck en Wybrant Warwijck, 1598-1600 : journalen, documenten en andere bescheiden (1938-1951)