Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/77

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Western Coasts.]


but the wind veering to north-east, he could no longer follow the direction of the coast. Considering, then, that he was more than four hundred miles from the place of shipwreck, and that scarcely water enough had been found for themselves, Pelsert resolved to make the best of his way to Batavia, to solicit assistance from the governor-general.

In the mean time, some one of the people left upon the islands of the Abrolhos thought of tasting the water in two holes, which, from its rising and falling with the tide, was believed to be salt; but, to their great surprise and joy, it was found good to drink, and never failed them afterwards.

On Pelsert's return to the Abrolhos in the yacht Sardam, he was under the necessity of executing some atrocious conspirators, and two were set on shore upon the opposite main land.[1] Tasman was directed by his instructions, in 1644, to "inquire at the continent thereabout, after two Dutchmen; who, having forfeited their lives, were put on shore by the commodore Francisco Pelsert, if still alive. In such case, you may make your inquiries of them about the situation of those countries; and if they entreat you to that purpose, give them passage hither."


It is not from any direct information, that Abel Jansz Tasman Tasman.
is placed as the next discoverer upon the western coasts of Terra Australis; for, as has been already observed, no account of his second voyage has ever been made public, or is any such known to exist. It is, however, supposed, with great probability of truth, that, after the examination of the North Coast, he pursued his course westward along the shore to the North-west Cape, conformably to his

instructions; but that he did not go further southward along the Land of

  1. For an account of the miseries and horrors which took place on the islands of the Abrolhos during the absence of Pelsert, the English reader is referred to VoL I. p. 320 to 325 of Campbell's edition of Harris' Voyages; but the nautical details there given are very incorrect.