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Coastline profiles of New Hanover, Papua New Guinea


Coastline profiles of New Hanover, Papua New Guinea

Gilsemans, Isaac

In late March 1643 the expedition of Abel Tasman approached the island of New Ireland, part today of Papua New Guinea. Due to a misunderstanding Tasman believed that he had already reached the mainland of New Guinea, while he was in fact sailing along the eastern coast of this separate island. On 1 April they approached New Ireland at a cape which they identified as the Cape of Saint Mary based on their interpretation of Spanish descriptions. They sailed north along the coast, observing a number of offshore islands along the way. After passing the Tabar group, which they named the Visscher’s Islands. (Fisher Islands), they continued along the New Ireland coast, occasionally making contact with the local people who came alongside the Dutch ships in their own boats.-On 7th April and 8th April the Zeehaen and Heemskerck passed the northernmost point of New Ireland and reached New Hanover, not realizing that there was a passage between the islands and instead believing to have passed a bay or inlet. On the 8th they reached a place they identified as Cape Salomon Sweers, the northernmost cape of New Hanover.-Isaac Gilsemans, supercargo on board the Zeehaen, is commonly identified as the artist who drew these coastline profiles of the coast of New Hanover at Cape Salomon Sweers, mistaken for New Guinea, in Abel Tasman’s journal.

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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)