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Coastline profile of Rodrigrues


Coastline profile 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 this depiction of the island of Rodrigues. The text on the top left says that this is a drawing of Rodrigues, which lies at 19 degrees and 40 minutes below the equator and at 112 degrees longitude. The left-most text says that there were many cliffs and undeep water there up to the dots. There is a lot of fish there. The text on the top right says the island Rodrigues was called Carnival island by the Dutch, because they obtained fresh supplies from the island on the Amsterdam carnival day. The texts under the island on the right say from left to right: "Sandy grounds", "This is stony ground" and "The opening stretches from northeast to southwest.".

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Sources and literature

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