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Coastline profiles of Cape Foulwind, New Zealand.


Coastline profiles of Cape Foulwind, New Zealand.

Gilsemans, Isaac

On the 4th of December 1642, the Zeehaen and Heemskerck departed the island of Tasmania. They continued their journey in roughly eastern direction. On 13 December they sighted what we now know as the South Island of New Zealand. They followed the northwest coast of this new island, while looking for a suitable place to anchor and set ashore a crew to look for fresh supplies. They sailed past what is today Cape Foulwind, which they named the ‘Clyppyge hoeck’, following the coast northwards without observing any signs of life.

Isaac Gilsemans, supercargo on board the Zeehaen, likely drew these coastline profiles outlining Cape Foulwind and landscapes to its south in Abel Tasman’s journal. The mainland is called ‘State landt’ in the bottom panel. This name was given due to a misconception. The name ‘State Land’ had been given previously to an island observed near Tierra del Fuego in South America by Jacob le Maire and Willem Schouten. They had in turn mistaken this island for a large mainland, which they thought might be connected to the great Southern Continent that Tasman was looking for. They named this land ‘State Land’, after the Dutch States-General. Tasman’s best guess was that the island he discovered was connected to the State Land discovered by Schouten and Le Maire, but this idea was soon abandoned in subsequent years.

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Sources and literature

Posthumus Meyjes, De Reizen van Abel Janszoon Tasman en Franchoys Jacobszoon Visscher, ter nadere ontdekking van het Zuidland (Australië) in 1642 - 1644. (1919)