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The visit of Abel Tasman's expedition to Nomuka


The visit of Abel Tasman's expedition to Nomuka

Gilsemans, Isaac

After spending several days at the island of Tongatapu, the anchor of the Heemskerck suddenly slipped. The ship could not re-anchor in the bay and drifted out to sea, forcing the Zeehaen to also depart involuntarily from Tongatapu to catch up with the Heemskerck. The ships sailed northeast for several days before encountering new islands. The ships anchored at Nomuka, the largest of these, which they named Rotterdam. Here they again made contact, managed to finally fill all their barrels with fresh water and bartered for fresh foods. Some gifts of knives, looking glasses and other items were given to local notables.

Isaac Gilsemans, supercargo on board the Zeehaen, drew the events of the stay of Abel Tasman’s expedition at Nomuka in the latter’s journal. ‘A’ shows the Dutch ships anchored at what they named Cornelis Vandelins Quay. ‘B’ shows the sandy bay from where the people of Nomuka sent their boats to the Dutch ships. ‘C’ is the bay where the Dutch obtained fresh water supplies, which they named Justus Schouten’s Bay. ‘D’ is the lake where took the fresh water. ‘E’ is the sail boat used by locals from other islands to come to the Dutch ships with coconuts and ubi roots. On the left several small islands near Nomuka are shown, which Gilsemans labelled as Amo, Amango, Kaijbaij and Amatafoa.

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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)