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Coastline profiles of Mauritius


Coastline profiles of Mauritius

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. At 27 September they arrived at Mauritius and anchored at the southeast of the island. Joris Joostensz. Laerle, underhelmsman on board of the Zeeland and later artist on board of the Gelderland is seen as the most likely author of this coastline profile of Mauritius in the journal of admiral Wolfert Harmensz. of the Gelderland. The panels here show a continuous landscape of Mauritius, which is drawn without any indicators of the direction from which the island can be seen on this drawing.

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Sources and literature

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