From the diaries
Anno 1616, the 25th October arrived here the ship Endraght of Amsterdam. They sailed from hence to Batam, the 27th October. As a result, this section of the coast became known as the Land of Endraght.
At daylight, an island was seen about three leagues distant, and two isles, or rather rocks, somewhat nearer, to which passengers and part of the crew were sent after Batavia struck the reef. There being no fresh water to be found on these islands, Pelsert had a deck laid over one of the boats; and on June 8, put to sea, in order to make search upon the opposite main land.
after the navigator Willem de Vlaming who first discovered this part.
as there is reason to believe that this part of the coast is what was taken by former navigators to be Cloates' Island.
at Mr. Cunningham's request, after Mr. William Anderson, of the Apothecaries'Garden at Chelsea.
in honour of the learned naturalist George Leopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier.
a barren rock, which a long reef seems to unite to Bernier Island, named after Pierre François Bernier, astronomer on Le Géographe.
In the morning we saw an Opening in the land, and we ran into it. As soon as I came to anchor in this Bay I sent my Boat ashore to seek for fresh water: But in the Evening my Men returned, having found none. The next morning I went ashore myself, carrying Pickaxes and Shovels with me, to dig for Water; and Axes to cut Wood. We tried in several Places for Water, but finding none after several Trials, nor in several Miles Compass, we left any farther Search for it, and spending the rest of the Day in cutting Woods, we went aboard at Night.
There were but few Land-Fowls; we saw none but Eagles, of the larger Sorts of Birds; but 5 or 6 Sorts of small Birds. The Water-Fowls are Ducks, Curlews, Galdens, Crab-Catchers, Cormorants, Gulls, Pelicans; and besides water-Fowls, such as I have not seem any where besides.
The Land-Animals that we have seen here were only a Sort of Racoon, different from those of the West-Indies, chiefly as to their legs; for these have very short Fore-Legs; but go jumping on them as the others do (and like them are very good Meat). And a Sort of Guano's, of the same Shape and Size with other Guano's describ'd, but differing from them in 3 remarkable Particulars: For these had a larger and uglier Head, and had no Tail; and at the rump, instead of the Tails there, they had a Stump of a Tail, which appeared like another Head; but not really such, being without Mouth or Eyes. They are very slow in Motion; and when a Man comes nigh them they will stand still and hiss, not endeavoring to get away. Their Livers are also spotted black and yellow; and the body when opened hath a very unsavoury Smell. I did never see such ugly Creatures any where but here. The Guano's I have observ'd to be very good Meat: And I have often eaten of them with Pleasure; but tho I have eaten of Snakes, Crocodiles and Allegators, and many Creatures that look frightfully enough, and there are but few I should have been afraid to eat of, if prest by hunger, yet I think my Stomach would scarce have serv'd to venture upon these N. Holland Guano's both the Looks and the Smell of them being so offensive.
The Sea-fish that we saw here (for here was no River, Land or Pond of fresh Water to be seen) are chiefly Shark. Here are also Skates, Thornbacks and other fish of the Raykind, and Gar-fish, Boneta's, &c. The Shore was lined thick with many other Sorts of very strange and beautiful Shells, for variety of Colour and Shape, mostly spotted with Red, Black or Yellow, &C. Such as I have not seen any where but at this place.
We cut a good store of Fire-wood; and my Company were all here very well refreshed with Racoons, Turtle, Shark and other fish, and some Fowles; so that we were now all much brisker that when we came in hither. I was standing farther into the Bay, partly because I had a Mind to increase my stock of fresh Water, which was began to be low; and partly for the sake of Discovering this part of the Coast. It was the 14th when I sail'd out of this Bay or Sound.
from its form
as we found shelter from a storm.
from the dangerous breakers.
after Joseph Ransonnet, junior officer on Le Naturaliste
this river, real or supposed, can have no particular interest to navigators, from the impossibility of landing there.
after Jerôme Bellefin, chirurg on Le Naturaliste.
after our coxswain, an excellent helmsman on Le Naturaliste.
remarkable for two islets projected ahead, after Charles Moreau, junior officer on Le Naturaliste
what we had till then called, according to Dampier, Middle Island, after François Peron.
after his ship Le Naturaliste.
a great smoke was seen rising all at once above the neighbouring lands. Our men, on landing to discover the cause, were attacked by about thirty savages armed with long sagaies and clubs; these ferocious men advanced, at the same time making a hideous noise, and prepared to strike the first blow, when M. St. Cricq determined, though very unwillingly, to fire a gun over their heads. An explosion of this sort being quite new to them, occasioned such great surprise and terror, that they altogether ran towards the shore, climbed over the downs, and fled into the midst of the thickets.
Vlaming went on shore to the main coast, with 88 armed men, and walked inland eastward. At the end of a three hours walk, they cam to a piece of water, which was salt, and upon the beach were footsteps of full-grown persons and children. No men were seen, but they observed many smokes; and found three deserted huts, so low and illconstructed as to be inferior to those of the Hottentots.
The next day, one party went north, another south, and a third went four miles east, but except one or two decayed huts, they met with nothing. Being returned to the salt lake without finding fresh water, they dug a pit near the side of it, and obtained wherewith to relieve their thirst. The lake had fallen a foot, which shewed it to have a communication with the sea; and they afterwards found the outlet, a little to the southward. No noxious animal of any kind was seen; and after remaining on shore all night, they returned on board on the 7th. The ships were then anchored nearer to the land, with the entrance of the lake or river bearing S.E. to E. The commodore afterwards went up this river, to the distance of fourteen or sixteen leagues, and caught some smelts, as also several black swans, of which two were taken alive to Batavia.
A first boat was sent to take astronomical observations on Cape Naturaliste. We found this point protected on every side by large rocks, against which the sea broke with much violence. We endeavoured to find a passage in the midst of these breakers, but the attempt was vain, the shore was every where inaccessable; we were thus compelled to pass the remainder of the day, all the night and part of the next day without our being able to regain the ship, from which the wind had incessantly driven us, carrying us out to sea. The bay was named after Le Geographe, the cape after Le G·ographe.
In the meantime, a second boat had reached the shore with two men: The first Europeans who had the pleasure of touching these unknown shores. They remained only a few hours in Depuch Cove and then rejoined the ship.
On the first of June, we prepared to continue our voyage to explore the south coast of Geographe Bay. At noon we named Point Piquet, etc. On this very evening, there appeared a large fire beyond the downs which convinced us that some of the human race were inhabitants of this barren spot.
On the morning of the 4th we set off in our little boat. As soon as we landed on the beach, I ran towards the interior in search of natives, with whom I had a strong desire to be acquainted. All my endeavours were useless, and after three hours fatiguing walk I returned towards the sea shore where I found my companions, rather alarmed at my absence.
Another part that landed on another part of the coast was more fortunate, as they had found natives fishing on the sea shore. One was an old man, bearded, his skin of a brown colour, and he was entirely naked, excepting that he had the skin of a kangoroo over his shoulders. Perceiving that the party meant to join him, he gathered his three sagaies on the ground, and then addressed them in a very animated manner, pointing often to our vessels, and seeming to desire us to return to them. While this was passing in one part of the shore, five or six savages had approached the chaloupe, only guarded by a single seaman who halloed with all his might to proclaim his fears to his companions. At their approach the savages set off at full speed.
The next day, a large party went to explore the River Vasse. The chaloupe drawing too much water, it was decided that part of the crew should on foot pursue the banks of the river, while the little boat should go up as far as it could navigate. I again left my companions to pursue the shore. I penetrated inland, discovered footsteps of the natives and several companies of black swans sailing with great elegance. I resolved to seek the natives on the opposite side of the river, undressed, crossed the river and plunged into the forest. It was about eleven o'clock, the sky was serene, and the air pleasant. Soon I came across a religious arbor of the unaffected, and let my imagination range wild through the scenes of Antiquity and newly discovered lands of the East.
On reaching the shore I could no longer find the chaloupe. This alarmed me so much the more, as it was now five o'clock, while the weather which had been so fine in the morning, had changed, and a strong wind from the sea now beat against the shore. How agreeably then was I surprised to meet my friend Lesueur and M. Ronsard, who were also seeking our chaloupe. They had just had a somewhat extraordinary interview with a female savage. While they were conversing with some other men, they discovered at a distance two persons who were coming towards them along the sandy shore. At first they took them for some of their own sailors, but were soon convinced that they were two of the natives. One of them, a man, disappeared in the middle of the marches. The other was a woman, who was very far advanced in a state of pregnancy. Sitting down on her heels and hiding her face with her hands, she remained as one stupefied and overcome with fear and astonishment, perfectly without motion, and seemingly insensible to all that passed around her. This woman was entirely naked; a small bag, made of the skin of kangoroo, hung on her back. Our friend found nothing in this bag but a few bulbs of the orchidia, of which the poor inhabitants of these shores appeared to be extremely fond. She was horrible ugly and disgusting, uncommonly lean and scraggy, and her breasts hung down almost to her thighs. The most extreme dirtiness added to her natural deformity, and was enough to disgust the most depraved of our sailors. When they returned to the location later, they found that the woman had disappeared and had not taken with her any of the presents which had been placed around her.
In the evening, a number of the men from the chaloupe and the small boat joined up on the beach. The chaloupe had sunk near the beach and it was clear that the night would have to be spent ashore. In an instant we had an enormous pile in a blaze. Some of our friends had killed birds of different kinds, and these were sacrificed to satisfy the hunger of the party. The sea ran so high, and the waves broke with such violence on the coast, that we were convinced that it was in vain to attempt to save the chaloupe till the morning. The next morning the sea rose more and more, the winds blew with great force, and during the whole day we could not distinguish any trace of our ships, or discover any boat coming to our assistance. A tent was formed with the sail of the chaloupe, but unfortunately among our wants that of a shelter from the weather was not the most pressing at the moment; nothing had been saved from the chaloupe but a few biscuits, soaked in sea water, a small quantity of rice, three bottles of arrack, and twelve or fifteen pints of water.
They spent that day looking for food and water. However, our huntsmen brought with them one worthless gull, our anglers lost their lines, carried away by a large kind of voracious fish in the river. Only brakish water was found, the botanists turning up some wild celery and a certain kind of salicornia which is well known to contain a strong proportion of soda and a very acid juice. Cooking the last with rice in the brakish water caused colics and stomach complaints that night. There still was no sight of the vessels.
The next morning, those of us who felt strong enough, went to the end of the bay to light a great fire on one of the highest sandbanks. With what pleasure we perceived our ships; but at the same time were much concerned to observe them so distant, for we could scarcely see the tops of the masts. At length we perceived one of the vessels setting sail, and steering towards the land; they soon fired a few guns, the sound of which echoed in our hearts. At length, about four or five o'clock in the evening we observed our long-boat standing towards us. Unwilling to trust his boat to the violence of the waves which broke on the beach, the commander kept the boat off the coast. I did not hesitate, notwithstanding the state of the sea, to lay hold on the rope, by which they had landed things to retrieve the chaloupe, and was drawn on board the boat by the seamen, though the waves, which covered me every moment, and several times they had carried me away.
All attempts to save the chaloupe failed, and many tools and some weapons had to be left behind. Fortunately, all men but one, M. Vasse, a sailor of Le Naturaliste, were able to return on board. The two vessels headed offshore that night, the weather having deteriorated. The storm of the next days separated them until they met again in Timor
from the name of one of two of my companions in the hard-ships I experienced.
after that geographer Pierre Faure on Le Naturaliste who first saw it from the ship, and drew the plan.
after the French admiral Gantéaume.
the passage between the Abrolhos Bank and the coast has been distinguished by the name of Vlaming's ship since she was the first vessel that passed them.
it is probably the mountain seen by the French.
an island not distinctly made out, but the two small rocky lumps on the bare sand hills, that M. de Freycinet mentioned in 1801, were thought to be very remarkable.
after Antoine Henry Mengy Duvaldailly, a young cadet who accompanied us.
from the cadet of that name who accompanied us on this short voyage.
from the name of the officer François Heirisson who at this time commanded us.
in honour of one of our most highly valued colleagues Leschenault de la Tour.
where many dead whales were seen floating, after the third vessel of Baudin's expedition
after the mathematician Alexis Claude Clairault.
after François Étienne Lharidon, surgeon on Le Géographe.