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Coastline profiles of Rodrigrues


Coastline profiles of Rodrigrues

The Moluccan fleet of the Fifth Expedition approached the south of Africa by mid-August 1601. On 12th August the expedition’s leadership resolved to sail to Mauritius. This resolve was renewed on 1 September. Much of the crew was suffering from scurvy, making it essential to obtain new supplies of fruits and vegetables. The ships of the Second Expedition had been the first Dutch ships that anchored at Mauritius and had found it to be a very good place to obtain fresh foods and drinking water. The fleet struggled to navigate to Mauritius, however, and ended up far to the east of the island. After setting a western course when the expedition’s leaders realized this, the ships first encountered the island of Rodrigues by 19 September, which they named Carnival Island. Here they obtained some fresh supplies of food, but failed to find fresh drinking water. The leadership therefore resolved to continue to search for Mauritius, which they did a week later. Joris Joostensz. Laerle, onderstuurman on board of the Zeeland and later artist on board of the Gelderland is possibly the author of these coastline profiles of Rodrigues in the journal of admiral Wolfert Harmensz. of the Gelderland. According to the descriptions the drawings were made on 20 September 1601. The top panel shows the island in the direction north-northwest. The second panel shows the island in north by west direction. The third panel shows the island in north-northwest and north directions. The next panel shows the island in north by west direction. The final three panels show the island in north-northeast and southeast directions.

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Sources and literature

Morree, Perry, Dodo's en galjoenen: De reis van het schip Gelderland naar Oost-Indië, 1601-1603