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Tasman's ships Zeehaen and Heemskerck
Title : Tasman's ships Zeehaen and Heemskerck Tasman's ships Zeehaen and Heemskerck
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Creator : Tasman, Abel Janszoon, 1603?-1659
Source : Abel Janszoon Tasman's Journal of his discovery of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand in 1642 ..., loose map
Place Of Creation : Amsterdam
Publisher : Frederik Muller, (F. Adama van Scheltema & Anton Mensing)
Date of creation : 1898
Additional Creator : Heeres, J. E. (Jan Ernst)
Format : Book
Catalogue record
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Description :

In 1642 Abel Tasman was sent out by the Dutch East India Company to discover a route to the Pacific Ocean south of New Holland. Leaving Batavia in Java he sailed south of the known Dutch discoveries of the continent and continuing east he discovered and named Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). Continuing to the east and then north he discovered the west coast of New Zealand. Tasman returned to Java round the north coast of New Guinea. He was sent out again in 1643, to search for a passage between Carpentaria (Cape York Peninsula) and New Guinea. Deterred by the reefs and shoals of the strait (now known as Torres Strait), and which gave the appearance of land, Tasman instead explored the north coast of New Holland.

Tasman's ships on his historic discovery of Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) were the Zeehaen and Heemskerck. It was Matthew Flinders in his 1798-99 circumnavigation of Tasmania who named two prominent mountains on the west coast of the island after Tasman's ships: Mount Zeehan and Mount Heemskirk.

Torres Strait had been discovered in 1606 by the Spaniard Luis Vaez de Torres, the commander of one of the ships of a Spanish expedition led by Pedro Fernandez de Quiros which had sailed from Peru to search for the unknown South Land. De Quiros discovered Vanuatu. Torres was separated from the expedition, and sailing south west discovered the strait between New Guinea and Australia and which was later named for him. He then sailed to Manila in the Philippines. The Spanish suppressed all knowledge of the strait, and it was not until 1762 that Alexander Dalrymple found Torres' report in the archives in Manila. James Cook used this information and was only the second European to navigate the strait.

Related names :

Heeres, J. E. (Jan Ernst)

Tasman, Abel Janszoon, 1603?-1659

Torres, Luis Baez de

Coverage year : 1642
Place : Australia
Further reading :
Sharp, Andrew The voyages of Abel Janszoon Tasman London: Clarendon Press, 1968
Allen, Oliver E The Pacific navigators Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books; Morristown, N.J.: School and library distribution by Silver Burdett, c1980
Finkel, George The Dutchman bold: the story of Abel Tasman Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1975
Heath, Byron Discovering the great south land Dural, N.S.W.: Rosenberg Publishing, c2005
Internet links :
National Gallery of Australia: see International painting and sculpture: Tasman (Portrait of Abel Tasman, his wife and daughter c.1637 )
Exhibitions and events :



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