Coastline profiles of Mauritius
Laerle, Joris Joostensz.
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 possibly the author of these coastline profiles of Mauritius. It shows the island from west by north to north-northeast.Please contact Nationaal Archief for reuse and copyrights.