From the diaries
various records suggest that J. de Edel commanded an outward-bound vessel which accidentally fell in with this part of the west coast, extending from 29º to 26· 30' S, where the Land of Endraght begins. The great reef lying off this coast, called Houtman's Abrolhos, was discovered around the same time by Edel or some other ship in the same squadron.
which does not on any account deserve the consequence one might be tempted to attach to it from the old chart.
after Sir Robert Townsend Farquar.
In the morning, I landed with the commander and several of my friends. While they were occupied on the sea-shore, I went alone towards the interior of the island to pursue my researches for the divers productions and in the nature of the soil. I lengthened my course almost as far as the southern point of the island. Unfortunately, night comes hastily upon us in these latitudes, and to add to the misfortune, I missed my way among the downs and brambles. Although I was loaded with different subjects which I had collected, I walked at a great pace till about 8 o'clock; but instead of finding myself at the eastern point, where I had set out, I discovered by the dashing and force of the waves, that I was on the western shore. I fell on the earth overpowered by weariness and emptiness, not having either eaten or drunk since the morning, and having walked the whole of the day.
After resting several times, but finding only three hours sleep, the air being extremely sharp, the twilight began to appear, when I heard the report of a gun at a distance. About six o'clock in the morning, I found myself among my friends. They had great fires to be lighted in every direction, to show me my way, and had set off at daybreak to seek me.
The striped kangoroo breeds in great numbers on Bernier, Dorre and Derick Hartogh's Islands, but we could not discover any of them on any part of the continent or on the other islands. Like all other animals whom nature has left unprovided with the means of attack or defence, these kangoroos are mild and timid. The flesh of this animal much resembles that of the wild rabbit, but more aromatic which is probably occasioned by the peculiar property of the plants it feeds on, and which are almost all odoferous. At the time when we were on these shores, all the full grown females had each a young one of a tolerable size which they carried in their pouch, and endeavoured to save from harm with a degree of courage that was truly admirable.
We caught several of these young kangoroos, but most of them were too helpless, and died soon after their captivity. One only lived and became familiar; this animal was fond of bread, and particularly seemed to enjoy the sweet water.
During my second visit to the Bernier Island I resolved to go beyond a dangerous reef which projected some distance out into the sea, and in the clefts of which I hoped to find some of these shells that were alive. There were great numbers, but while I was busily engaged in carefully detaching them from the rock, a strong surge broke with such force over the top of the breaks, that I was driven against the neighbouring rocks, and over these frightful reefs; all my clothes were in a moment torn to pieces, and I was in an instant covered with wounds and weltering in blood; I recovered myself, however, and exerting all my strength to escape from the surge, which, as it retreated, would have carried me back against the reefs, I clung to the point of a rock, and thus succeeded in avoiding this last misfortune, which doubtless would have been my destruction. Having thus got clear of the waves, I with great difficulty reached the shore, where I sank fainting, with pain and loss of blood. In this condition I remained till night, not having the strength to walk, or to attempt to reach our tents. My right knee in particular was torn and very painful, which made it at first impossible to walk; but insensibly it became more supportable; I again took courage; a great fire on the summit of a sand-bank directed my footsteps, and about midnight I was once more among my companions. On seeing me thus covered with wounds and contusions, and weltering in blood, several of my friends even shed tears, and the commander himself seemed touched with my deplorable situation.
Our coxswain, on his return, brought us a pewter plate of about six inches diameter, on which were roughly engraven two Dutch inscriptions, the first dated the 25th October, 1616, and the second dated 4th February, 1697. After having carefully copied these two inscriptions, captain Hamelin had another post made, and erected on the spot, and replaced the plate in the same place where it had been found. He would have thought it a sacrilege to carry away this plate, which had been respected for near two centuries, by time, and by all the navigators who might have visited these shores. The captain also ordered to be placed on the N.E. of the island a plate, on which was inscribed the name of our corvette, and the date of our arrival on these shores.
I lengthened the eastern coast of Dirck-Hartigh's Island, and doubled Le Coin de Mire that was somewhat remarkable, from its form. I passed the night on the Pointe du Refuge and returned there the next day after losing all the day of the 5th in beating to the windward.
On the 7th, I observed several traces of the footsteps of the savages on the sand, but none of the inhabitants were now to be seen. Around several extinguished fires were observed the remains of shells and fish, but not any bones of quadrupeds; which made me conjecture that they derive the chief part of their food from the sea.
On the 8th, just after we had set sail, and were about the distance of two gun-shots from the shore, we observed one of the natives, whom we had so long sought in vain on the preceding evening; he looked at us with attention for some time, and the returned with great indifference towards the interior of the lands.
On the 10th, after reconnoitring Useless Harbour (Havre Inutile), I bore away to the south. I landed towards the evening on Lefebvre Islot, where we passed the night. We found there a great number of seafowl, which, as soon as we had set foot to ground, took flight, screaming loud; they hovered over our heads for some time, all the while making a great noise. The appearance of this cloud of birds was very high in the air, not withstanding the darkness of the night. We killed several of them, and found great numbers of their eggs, but neither one nor the other were good; the eggs, although quite fresh, were scarcely eatable.
On the 11th, near Giraud Point, I perceived several places where fires had been made, and I also observed the traces of the footsteps of the natives, some of these prints had been made by a very large foot; I measured one of them, which was 11 inches in length.
I came on board the corvette, anchored in Dampier's Bay, in the evening after an absence of fifteen days, during which I had sailed about through more than two-thirds of the vast cove, so improperly called the Baie des Chiens-Marins.
The party met with some large sand-banks which at this season of the year they found covered with turtles. Invited by the facility with which they could be taken, our party landed on the Isle Faure, and procured in less than three hours fifteen turtles, some of which weighed from 122 to 147 kilogrammes; and thus laden with this precious cargo they effected their return on board,
after the celebrated navigator who first discovered it.
from the immense quantities of fish of that species (sea hedge hog) which we found there.
after François Heirisson, an officer on Le Naturaliste.
a very pretty small harbour, unfortunately closed in by a sand bank.
after Etienne Griraud, one of our esteemed companions, an officer on Le Naturaliste.
after Louis Depuch, one of our most friendly and most unfortunate companions, mineralogist on Le Géographe.
from its triangular form.
after Charles Alexander Lesueur, natural history painter on Le Géographe.
we had a small camp of about thirty persons on the neighbouring peninsula. As it was necessary to provide them with water and a perpetual trouble to bring it to them from on board, we had our alambic on shore to distill the sea water. It produced about forty quart a day. The sea water thus distilled was not disagreeable; it had merely a smoky taste, which it would be entirely got rid of by exposing it to the air; it appeared to us besides to be preferable to the bad water so often used on board ships.
At eight o'clock in the morning, we perceived the mouth of the river; it was obstructed by a bar of rocks, which almost denied us a passage. An amazing number of pelicans had fixed their abode near this part of the river inside the bar; we could only catch one of them.
After doubling a low cape which ran out from the left shore, we intended to land and pass the night at the foot of a high bank on the right shore; here we were in perfect safety, with the boat afloat and moored to a tree. It was impossible to come near us without crossing the river or descending the hill; we were charmed with a beautiful prospect. On one side we discovered the upper course of the river, which went up towards a range of flat mountains in the distance, and on the other we could follow its course down to the sea-shore.
At the break of day, we reimbarked to continue our voyage. We again met with great numbers of pelicans which came and flew about us. The course of the river is here almost closed by the string of the small low wet Heirisson Islands, near which we first saw some of the black swans; they swam majestically on the water; we killed several of them. A short time after they were dead, the beak lost its fine red colour, and became black. The same evening we pitched our tent near the river, in an angle of the land formed by that stream and a small arm.
The next morning, after filling our casks from a sort of little well which I discovered the night before, and which I thought was not the work of nature, we proceeded up the river; it seemed to bend its course towards a chain of mountains that appeared to be at no great distance from us; we hoped we might be able to reach its source; unfortunately we were mistaken in the distance of these mountains, for after sailing the whole day, we discovered that they were still very distant.
On the 19th, we perceived Le Naturaliste under sail; I observed her a long time with my glass, and I judged from the circumstance, that she was endeavouring to get nearer the island. We immediately lighted a large fire, to let her know on what part of the coast we were. However, no assistance appeared all that day. I then studied to devise some means of repairing our boats which we had recovered, so that we might get on board.
After many hours of untwisting some cordage to make oakum, for the purpose of stooping the leaks in the boat, all these labours were unnecessary when help arrived and, judging that our boat must have suffered some serious damage, the captain had also sent us a caulker to repair it.
in compliment to my brother H. de Freycinet.
named first by M. de St. Alouarn.
after François Etienne Lharidon, surgeon on Le Géographe.
after one of our unfortunate comrades Nicholas Martin Petit, painter on Le Géographe.
after the second doctor Hubert Jules Taillefer on the corvette Le Géographe.
invited by the facility of the fishing.
unanimously dedicated to Captain Emmanuel Hamelin.
after Captain Moresby, R.N., C.B., in grateful recognition of the prompt assistance rendered in the wants and repairs to our vessel during her late visit to Mauritius.
after French admiral Charles Marie de Jurien.
a low, sandy projection, supposed to be Captain Baudin's Point Leschenault.
Flinders writes: The ships of Vlaming's fleet anchored under the island Rottenest, according to Thevenot a discovery of the ship Leeuwin; he was in search of the Ridderschap missing since 1684 or 1685; a piece of wood, which had some time been fixed to the deck of a ship was found upon the shore; but the nails were then rusted away. Fire wood was abundant here.
after Napoleon's younger brother.
after the French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet
after the French geographer and historian Phillippe Buache.
after the officer on Le Naturaliste Étienne Giraud.
after the French chemist Charles Bouvard 1572-1658.
further out, and almost in the middle of this bay, is a reef which stretches to a great length, and is very dangerous, after our ship Le Naturaliste.
after one of the best sailors of Le Naturaliste deserted to an uncertain fate at Geographe Bay.
after Furcy Picquet, one of our most amiable officers,
after the mineralogist Louis Depuch on Le Géographe.
after the French geographer Edme Mentelle 1730-1815.
after captain Hamelin; it lies a short distance north of Captain Baudin's Tache blanche Remarquable.