Coastline profiles of Porto Santo and Madeira
In April 1601 the Moluccan fleet of the Fifth Expedition (Vijfde Schipvaart) organised by the Oude Compagnie set off from the Dutch Republic. The objective of the fleet was to continue the highly profitable Dutch trade in spices in the Moluccas which had been initiated by the Second Expedition (Tweede Schipvaart) in the previous years. The ships began their journey sailing south and passed Portugal by the middle of May. Continuing south, they they encountered the islands of Porto Santo and Madeira.
Joris Joostensz. Laerle, junior navigator on board of the Zeeland and later artist on board of the Gelderland is possibly the author of this coastline profile of the islands in the journal of the flagship. of the Gelderland. The top three panels show the island of Porto Santo as seen from various directions on 13 and 14 May 1601; the two panels show the island of Madeira and the adjacent small island called Isla Desierta, also on the 14th of May.Please contact Nationaal Archief for reuse and copyrights.