Source Documents
dumont d'urville : astrolabe, 1826 

Dumont d'Urville : The Astrolabe at Jervis Bay, 1826.

 Two Voyages to the South Seas
 Volume 1:
Astrolabe 1826-1829
Translated by Helen Rosenman
Melbourne University Press, 1987.

This paper was prepared as preliminary research for a workshop, in association with the curator, Graham Hinton, at the Lady Denman Maritime Museum, Huskisson, to build a replica Aboriginal tied-bark canoe, as described and illustrated by the crew of the Astrolabe in Jervis Bay in 1826.
The Museum holds original copies of the prints featured below, a 17th century astrolabe in the Halloran Collection (HIN117), and a large scale-model of the Astrolabe, located in the Jervis Bay History Gallery.

Also see:

1837 Dumont d'Urville : Voyage of the Astrolabe and Zellee.

The first French ship named Astrolabe was a converted flûte built in 1781 at Le Havre, originally named the Autruch.
The name derives from an early navigational instrument, a precursor to the sextant.
In 1785, the Boussole (previously the Portefaix) commanded by comte de Lapérouse and the Astrolabe under Fleuriot de Langle departed for a round-the-world voyage of scientific exploration.
The two ships were last reported sheltering in Botany Bay in 1788, while Arthur Phillip was establishing the English penal settlement at Port Jackson, before they disappeared in the Pacific.

The second Astrolabe was a horse barge, first named La Coquille, and converted to an exploration ship of the French Navy.
La Coquille and commanded by Louis Isidore Duperrey, with Jules Dumont d'Urville as second, she  circumnavigated the globe in 1822–1825, visiting the Falkland Islands, Chile, Peru, New Zealand, New Guinea, Australia, and the archipelagos of the Pacific.

Following the success of this expedition, the renamed Astrolabe, under the command of Dumont d'Urville, departed Toulon in April 1826 on another voyage.

18th century astrolabe, disassembled.
Wiki Commons
Apart from collecting navigational and scientific information, the objectives of the mission included assessing the viability of south-west Australia as a possible French colony and establishing the fate of the Lapérouse expedition.

In 1826, the Astrolabe, sailed up the south east coast of Australia, anchoring for several days inside Jervis Bay, and recording an early and detailed account of the bay and local Aboriginals.
Having first examined the south-west coast of Australia and passing through Bass Strait, in late November the Astrolabe was off Wilson's Promontory and sailing north.

Page 64

22nd November 1826

The calm persisted with light variable winds from all directions.
We saw the heights of the Ram's Head again, and after midday, the sky having cleared, clearly made out the range of high mountains that follows the coast from headland towards Wilson's Promontory.
As there is a distance of about twenty to twenty-five leagues between us and the coast we must conclude from that that this range is very high and certainly higher than all those we have observed on all points of this great land.

Numbers of pink and violet coloured jellyfish floated continually just below the surface.

The two following days calms still alternated with light uncertain breezes, the weather superb and the sea smooth.
However, on the 24th we succeeded in coming in close to Cape Howe and, from 6 to 7 p.m., we coasted the little low island lying just off the Cape at a distance of four or five miles.

The Cape itself offers only a sandy beach overlooked by high forest-cover peaks some distance from the shore.
On the part of the coast running north can be seen big sand dunes bare of vegetation.
The whole day the inland was

Page 65

Voyage of the Astrolabe,
Cape Howe to Sydney,
22nd Nov - 2nd Dec 1826.
Volume 1, page 63.
 (detail and adjusted)

enveloped in huge spiralling clouds of smoke, no doubt resulting from the habitual burning off by the savages.

The wild rips disturbing the sea today, especially in the evening, indicate the likely existence of strong currents near Cape Howe. While the island off the Cape remained on our north, the currents appeared to me to set south, and the con­trary was the case as soon as we rounded it.

Louis Auguste de Sainson:
The Astrolabe at the entrance to Jervis Bay, 1826.

- Dumont d'Urville: Voyage de la Corvette l'Astrolabe
Paris (1830-4) Plate 24.

{New scan required 200-300dpi high}

25th November 1826
We made some way during the night with the help of a light southerly; but with daylight it dropped and a thick mist completely hid the land from view.
About 9.30 a.m. a light south-westerly allowed us to steer NW and at noon we saw the entrance to Twofold Bay seven or eight miles to the SW.

From then Astrolabe skirted the coast at a distance of three miles to make geo­graphical observations, the work being assigned to M. Guilbert.

All the land formation from Twofold Bay to a point near Mt Dromedary runs fairly uniformly north and south without any remarkable features.
The bay is mainly a beautiful sandy beach, the monotony of which is only broken by occa­sional small outcrops of rock.
In from the coast the land is covered with beautiful trees and carpeted with green grass and looks very inviting.
Below Mt Drome­dary there are lovely spots; the sight of these delicious glades revived the tortures of Tantalus  for us and made us even more resentful of the frustrations of our floating prison.

This mountain is quite imposing because of its shape and isolation although its height is nothing out of the ordinary, as I estimate it to be four or five hundred fathoms high at the most.

At 5.45 p.m. we reached to between Cape Dromedary and Montague Island, which I was expecting to round quite quickly when a calm caught me by surprise less than two miles from land.
Darkness fell, and being afraid of being dragged by the current, I was already preparing to drop anchor off the open coast with a depth of nineteen fathoms, fine sand, when a fresh light breeze from WNW allowed me to head slowly out to sea; we doubled Montague Island and about 10 p.m. we were about three miles south of it.

The dragnet was cast and brought in several times; among many interesting objects M. Quoy at last found a small living trigonia,(1) a shell he had been looking for for a long time in this state, having only been able to procure separated valves of it at Westernport.

Dr. Quoy had reason to be pleased.
Before 1802, no trigonia fossil had been found that was less than 66 million years old, until
François Péron discovered a living species in waters off the coast of Tasmania.

Renamed the genus Neotrigonia in 1912, five living species have been identified,
all found off the coast of Australia.
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

By night we could clearly see the light of the fires of which only the smoke had been visible during the day.
One that was well established near the crest of Mt Domedary seemed almost as if lit expressly to guide us in our navigation.

26th November 1826
At 3 a.m. M. Gressien, who was officer of the watch, believed he could distinguish land and hear breakers ahead; I brought the ship round two quarter points to starboard: but this could only have been an illusion, for at that moment the coast must have been at least two or three leagues away.
At daylight a dense fog completely concealed the land; it was not until we had run to NNW and even NW for some time that we could see it again about midday somewhere near Cape St George.

I was preparing to resume exploration when the wind suddenly veered from WNW to SSE and SE; at 1.30 it was already due E. The corvette was right opposite

Page 66

the entrance to Jervis Bay and less than a league from it.

Rather than expose myself to the hard battle against unfavourable winds, and also convinced that on an expedition like ours, time spent at an anchorage is always more usefully employed than unproductively wasted at sea, I decided to take Astrolabe into this still virtually unknown bay.

At 2.30 p.m. we were abeam of Cape Perpendicular and a short time later we were sailing rapidly off Bowen Island, the sides of which are sheer and striated with horizontal bands of rock in excellent imitation of the walls of an immense citadel.
After rounding it, I bore towards the southern part of the bay.
 At 3 o'clock I dropped the starboard anchor in nine fathoms, fine sand and shells, three cables from the beach.

The shore, slightly undulating and everywhere covered with beautiful trees offered a most picturesque prospect.
The smoke from several fires also indicated the presence of natives.
 It was no time before we saw five of them appear opposite the corvette, carrying some fish; they seemed to be waiting for us to come ashore.

MM. Jacquinot and Lottin went immediately to observe horary angles, and established communication with these natives. Some of them jabbered a few English words; all gave evidence of being amicably disposed.
One of them slept on board.

Near the mooring a rock jutted out into the sea, it was flat-topped and with an opening right through it, and looked exactly like the ruins of an aqueduct.
Naturally our observatory was set up on this platform [Hole-in-the-Wall Beach].

Louis Auguste de Sainson:
 The Astrolabe, moored in nine fathoms, fine sand and shells, three cables
from the beach
at Hole-in-the-Wall, Jervis Bay, 1826.

- Dumont d'Urville: Voyage de la Corvette l'Astrolabe
Paris (1830-4) Plate 25.

After dinner I went ashore where I spent the evening hunting and walking through these majestic forests.
Never so far had I encountered such beautiful eucalypts and such open ground.
These vast glades are only occasionally filled with bracken, and on the banks of a rushing stream, that could provide water if need be, grow enormous clumps of
The rest of the not very varied plant life looks to be from the same species as at Sydney, a resemblance that is
hardly surprising.

The officers and naturalists also went ashore.
By evening, two hours in Jervis Bay had already been long enough to enrich the mission in every branch of science.

November 1826
At first light, M. Gressien in the whaleboat, MM. Guilbert and Dudema in the yawl and M. Paris in the dinghy all left at the same time to work on the
chart of the bay, while MM. Jacquinot and Lottin were busy with astronomic observations.

I made another excursion into the woods with Simonet.
Again I admired the beauty of the eucalypts and killed several birds, but the plants and insects
hardly came up to the expectations raised by the first sight of these beautiful places.
I would say that the scarcity of both must be due in great part to the free burning off carried out by the natives, which each year must kill off many species of plants and insects.

Our relations with the natives here continue friendly.
However, we have
only seen some men of this tribe, seven in number, and two children eight to ten years old; the women have remained out of sight.
These Australians obviously

Page 67

to the same type as the Port Jackson natives, but they are better looking, stronger and, in particular, better proportioned, due probably to a greater abundance of food.
Several of them have a tattoo of scars on their backs, the cartilage of the nose pierced and their hair parted into strands decorated with kangaroo teeth or paws.

28th November 1826
The wind blew a gale from the north and prevented me from setting sail again.
So all the officers were allowed to go ashore on the one condition that they did not wander too far and returned to the ship at the first cannon shot.

I myself wanted to explore once again this countryside that appeared more and more attractive and fertile.
Beyond the great eucalypt forests I have already described, there are beautiful clearings entirely free of scrub; I noticed that these had even fewer birds and insects than the forests.
In the latter some of the burnt spaces are again covered with tender young grass; this growth would seem to indicate that our European cereal crops and vegetables could also grow abun­dantly in the soil of these forests.

The rocks around the coast supplied small oysters with curly shells which are very good eating, also bearded mussels, and in the sand another species of larger and more succulent oyster is found.(3)
At this mooring there is a plentiful supply of fish; a single cast of the net brought in a huge catch; also the natives, fascinated by such a novel spectacle for them, indulged in extravagant exhibitions of delight.
And especially when they saw that the sailors were leaving for them many of the coarser species, like small sharks and trigger fish, their joyful shouts were so loud and piercing that hearing them on board, I was afraid that some unfortunate incident had occurred.

Louis Auguste de Sainson:
Sharing the catch, Jervis Bay, 1826.

Dumont D'Urville:
Two Voyages to the South Seas
Volume 1: Astrolabe 1826-1829
Translated by Helen Rosenman
Melbourne University Press, 1987, facing page 91.

At the National Gallery of Australia

Every day two men went out line fishing in the dinghy under Bowen Island and would come back in the evening with two quintals of exquisite fish.

During our short stay here we have enjoyed perfect temperatures and pure healthy air.
These many advantages, taken altogether, lead me to believe that few ports are worth comparing with this one for pleasantness and safety.
I dare say that if the English have so far neglected a port that is so interesting and within easy reach of their main settlement of Port Jackson, it must be because there is a profusion of places offering them other resources and that they are only holding back because they have so many to choose from.

Before concluding my remarks on Jervis Bay, I must mention two native huts built near our observatory.
In form they were like an oblong beehive about six or seven feet high, built of wide strips of eucalyptus bark, set upright and brought together at the top, covered with grass and marine plants.
Clean and spacious inside, each of them could easily house a family of eight to ten individuals, and evidence a degree of intelligence on the part of these savages superior to any I had so far encountered.
We have seen the drawings of cutters and launches that they have made on the sandstone rocks on the coast and they are quite well done. M. Lottin, who had left behind a walnut wood rule, found it again the next day decorated with similar drawings.
In their dealings with us they have, without fail, consistently displayed honesty, gentleness and even a circumspection quite remarkable for this class of person.
Not one of them has attempted the slightest larceny, and it gives me pleasure to do justice to their impeccable conduct.

Page 68

The position of our observatory was 35°8'27" lat.S, the result of two series of observations of meridian altitudes, and 148°22'55" longitude E, corresponding with Port Jackson and the rates at departure and arrival which had not percep­tibly varied over four days.

The variation of the magnetic needle (mean 3 azimuths) was found to be 9°38'23"E.

Collecting pippies on the shore near Port Macquarie, circa 1910.
Photograph: Thomas Dick, Australian Museum.
Removed by request of members of the Birpai community.
- noted, with thanks, by Vanessa Finney, AM.

When Dumont d'Urville wrote that in the sand another species of larger and more succulent oyster is found, he was referring to the common sand pipi (plebidonax deltoides).
The sand pipi is simply harvested, and a staple food of the Aboriginals of the east coast.

29th November 1826
At 8 a.m. we were under way with a light breeze from SSW and S and in overcast weather.
Near the channel we hove to to pick up the yawl which had been fishing for three hours under Bowen Island and had already caught 200 lbs of excellent fish.
We had some trouble doubling Cape Perpendicular with a light wind, a contrary current and a rather hollow southerly swell.
Then we sailed along the coast at a distance of three or four miles as far as Crookhaven.
This is just a long, sheer and very high cliff against which any ship driven by the wind would certainly be lost with all hands. Beyond that, the coast falls away to the west and its outlines are less harsh, for there are beautiful beaches bordered with thick bush and overlooked by gently sloping mountains topped with luxuriant vegetation.

Near the coast, an isolated bluff very like Mt Dromedary, but not so lofty, is a similar useful landmark.
A little to the south of this mountain, two or three inlets in the coast can be discerned which must belong to rivers or arms of the sea.
In fact it is there that Flinders's chart indicates the course of a considerable river [Shoalhaven], but I do not know on what authority this is based.
At 10 a.m. we were in over twenty-five fathoms, fine sand.
At noon the horizon became so hazy that we could not make out any of the mountains inland although we were only four or five miles off the coast.

The Astrolabe's draughtsman, Louis Auguste de Sainson, produced a number of detailed illustrations of Jervis Bay (several reproduced here), and the impressions of some of the ship's officers were also recorded, including  Dr. Quoy:

Page 73

 "While sailing before Jervis Bay, the commander dropped anchor there and we stayed three days. It is a vast and beautiful inlet, and in its depths we found quite a

Page  74

good mooring from which we could no longer see the entrance; so we were surrounded by land on all sides. It is amazing that this port, which is only about thirty leagues from Port Jackson, has no settlement.
The settlement of Cowpastures is only about thirty leagues from Jervis Bay.
The soil bed is friable white sandstone.
A small stream can be seen.
The plant life is beautiful and vigorous.
Tall and magnificent forests cleared of undergrowth come right down to the shore and in their natural state look like an English garden.
They contain a lot of birds, chiefly rainbow lorikeets and brightly coloured parrots and flocks of black cockatoos, a species found at Port Jackson.

This bay abounds in fish that can be taken with nets, but are easier to catch around the rocks with a line, because the ones caught this way are bigger and better.
This is shark territory.
We saw the very odd Philipp shark (16) and another with seven gill openings.(17)

Dr. Quoy's very odd Philipp shark,
now commonly known as the Port Jackson Shark.

- Catalogue of the Fishes of South Australia,1921

At the place where we moored, there was a native dwelling.
From their appear­ance, their build and their development, it was obvious the natives were affected by the proximity of the English.
One of them even spoke enough of that language well enough to make himself understood.
The superior construction of their hut and a canoe for fishing proclaimed a more advanced level of civilization and a more certain and abundant food supply to which their physique manifestly bore witness, particularly when we compared them with the inhabitants of King George Sound, [pp. 210-11]

Francois-Edmond Paris published his own work, ten years after d'Urville, including an illustration (below) and a description the Jervis Bay canoes: 

"Only at Jervis Bay, south of Port Jackson, did we see a canoe on the sand, 4 to 5 metres long, if however this name may be applied to a piece of bark tied at the ends (plate 112, fig. 1) and held open in the middle by flexible saplings, curved by a cord like a bow; this frail skiff had no form and could not have been able to travel very far.
We do not know how the natives succeeded in removing such large pieces of bark from the handsome trees which cover the region around their bay, where, in 1826, the English had called only briefly and had not yet established a settlement."

- Paris: Essai sur la construction navale, Paris (1841-5) page 106.

Pirogue de la Baie Jervis, Nouvelle Holland par Paris, 1826.
[Canoe of Jervis Bay, New Holland by Francois-Edmond Paris, 1826.]

- Dumont d'Urville: Voyage de la Corvette l'Astrolabe
Paris (1830-4) Plate 36 (detail).

M. Paris' contribution to maritime history far exceeded the adventures of his first circumnavigation in the Astrolabe.
In 1833 he was sent to England to study the naval use of the steam engine and played an important role in introducing the new technology to the French navy.
Two further voyages, in the
Favorite and the Artémise, provided the material of his Essai sur la construction navale des peuples extraeuropéens (1841).
He became a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1863, in recognition of his contributions to geography, and the next year Paris was promoted to vice-admiral.
Upon retirement in 1871, he was appointed director of the
Musée national de la Marine.

In preparing his account of the voyage, Dumont d'Urville recalled his first visit to Port Jackson in 1824, on the then named La Coquille, where he was one of the first Europeans to describe the returning boomerang:

Page 88
[Chapter X: The Natives of New South Wales]

After watching this strange people for a while longer, M. Uniacke pointed out to me a native who was said to be very skilled at boomerang throwing.
I knew nothing of this implement, and on my asking him, the savage hurled it four or five times.
Thrown horizontally at first, this projectile, which looks like a wooden sabre bent in the middle on two different planes, quickly rises, turning from right to left to an extraordinary height and well away ahead of the person throwing it.
I estimate at almost 45° the angle under which it slowly rises and at 150 feet at least the distance it reaches.
After describing pirouettes and undulations for tremendous distance, it turns back on its tracks with the same movement comes back to fall near the thrower; so that anyone beside him at first does know what to do to avoid the boomerang; but he soon works out the direction of its trajectory and then it becomes easy to get out of its way.
The savage in question never failed to bring it back right to his feet, and to do that you need a Iot of practice.
Bungari had promised me one of these strange instruments; when I left he failed to keep his word on this matter as on several others.

Later, on carefully reading the works of Collins and Barrington, I was very surprised not to find the use of this singular projectile even mentioned.
The names of
womerang and womerra are found there, but the latter is used to describe the throwing stick for the spear, and the former simply as a sort of club.
Might it be a new invention on the part of the savages, or, more likely, a weapon peculiar

Page 89

to some tribes outside Port Jackson of which the authors had no knowledge.
However, most of the English to whom I spoke about it said that this instrument certainly belonged to them. (

Page 108
[Chapter XII: Tongatapu]

On the 10 th April 1827, the Astrolabe was hit by gale force winds from the NW, which caused d'Urville to reflect:

There I think is an example to support the theory that the islands of Oceania could have got their populations from the west, against the direction of the trade winds.
Canoes caught out at sea by weather like that of the last few days must have been carried long distances from their homeland and forced to found new settlements on the islands where they were lucky enough to find refuse [p. 14]

In one of the most critical episodes of the voyage, the Astrolabe was stranded on the reefs of Tongatapu for three days, the situation dramatically illustrated by de Sainson.

Louis Auguste de Sainson:
Astrolabe on the reefs of Tongatapu.
(National Library of Australia)

Two Voyages to the South Seas

Volume 1:
Astrolabe 1826-1829
Translated by Helen Rosenman
Melbourne University Press, 1987, facing page 219.

Page 188

The Astrolabe spent several weeks at Hobart Town, Tasmania, in 1827, by which time the local aboriginal population had been severely diminished.
In a summary and extracts from the officers' diaries, d'Urville gave the following description:

[Chapter XVII: A Short Account of the Colony of Van Dieman's Land]

The natives of this island certainly belong to the race that populates virtually the whole of Australia, although certain travellers have stated that they differ from them to the point that they can be considered true negroes.
It must be agreed that their colour is darker and their hair frizzier than their neighbours' in Australia.
For the rest, they have the same stature, the same shape, the same features, the same customs, with a few slight differences.

In small tribal groups they live mainly from hunting and fishing; mussels, oysters, barnacles, lobsters and crabs are a precious resource for them.
It has been argued that they do not acknowledge any chief, but the English have noted the contrary.
Each tribe has at its head a man to whom all the others give homage and obedience. [p. 91]

Page 189

The editor, Helen Rosenman, notes here: There follows a description of their huts, their boats, their weapons, and spears which they hurl with considerable accuracy; but they do not appear to know the throwing stick of the Port Jackson natives.
Unfortunately, d'Urville's description of their boats is not reproduced.

Page 199

[Chapter XVIII: Hobart Town to Vanikoro]
[Tikopia, 9 February 1828]
We had been surrounded by natives until sunset.
These men, gentle, cheerful and friendly, appeared to me to belong to the same race as the inhabitants of Tonga and Rotuma; they speak nearly the same language and have similar customs.
They are mostly tall, well-built, tattooed on the chest and face, wear their hair long and straight to which the application of lime gives a light colour.
None of them was carrying weapons.
What seemed to me most remarkable is that the use of the betel-nut has reached this far; like the Malays they chew it with the leaves of the piper tree and a little lime, which hideously stains their teeth.
Tikopia, then, known eastern limit so far of this strange custom.

The inhabitants of this little place have a very exact knowledge of the various islands for a considerable distance around them.
In the east they have clearly indicated to me Rotuma, Fataka (Mitre), the latter uninhabited, Anouda (Cherry Island) by people of their race, to the nor'-nor'-west, Taumako [Duff Islands] inhabited by people of the same race and two days journey away.
To the west and the nor'-west, Vanikoro (the actual name of Dillon's Mallicolo), Paiou, Vanou, and Ocili, occupied by non-cannibalistic blacks, that they collectively call Fidji which is oddly related to the name given by the Tongans to the people of the Viti archipeligo.
To the west-sou'-west they indicated Natiou and other islands inhabited by the same race; finally in the south they have cited Warouka (probably Bligh's Banks Island) inhabited by black cannibals; their horror of these expressed with graphic gestures and very obvious signs of fear.
I was shown a native of Rotuma who had been swept in his canoe by the wind as far as Tikopia, where he found refuge and has to stay.

Page 202

[11th February 1828]

I would have liked to pursue my route to Vanikoro straight away but nearly twenty-five natives were still on board whom I was not at all anxious take with me, and the canoes had not returned.
Fuming with impatience, we

Page 203

to wait till 2.30 p.m. and still only five canoes arrived; each of them was able to take no more than three or four men in addition to the ones manning them.
So when they had all gone, five natives were still left behind, who no doubt belonged to the lowest class and least important rank of their society, for, despite their prayers and supplications, nobody was willing to take them.
No canoe was in sight and the current had already carried us eight miles to leeward of the island.
Willy-nilly I had to make up my mind to get under sail, taking these men with me.

These poor wretches at first wanted to throw themselves into the sea to get back to their island, and they asked for pieces of wood, indicating by signs that these would be sufficient to keep them afloat.
But it would have been sheer cruelty to yield to their pleas; the distance we already were from Tikopia and especially the size of the waves would never have allowed them to reach land and they would certainly have perished after a long and desperate struggle.
I charged Hambilton with explaining to them that I would look after them as far as Vanikoro where they could leave the ship and find their own means of getting back home, since regular communication existed between the two peoples. This ■romise banished their anxiety; their natural gaiety quickly returned and they told me that as two of their compatriots were living on Vanikoro, they would be able to get help from them and could be very
useful to me.

Page 217
[Chapter XIX: Astrolabe at Vanikoro]

After considerable difficulty in tracing the possible route of Laperouse's by ships based on the reports of local islanders, including a circumnavigation of the Australian continent, d'Urville finally determined the fate of the Laperouse expedition.
For the last sixty years, the wreckage of the Boussole and the Astrolabe had been lying on the reefs of Vanikoro.

26th  February 1828
The chain of reefs forming an immense girdle round Vanikoro at a distance of two or three miles offshore, near Paiou and off a place named Ambi come in very close to the coast, and are hardly more than a mile from it.
It was there, in a sort opening between the reefs, that the guide stopped the boat and directed the Frenchmen to look down into the water. And, indeed, at a depth of twelve or fifteen feet, they soon made out cannon, cannon balls and various other objects, particular several lead plates, scattered about and clogged with coral.
At the sight of this, all their doubts were dispelled; they were convinced that the pathetic wreckage beneath their eyes was the ultimate evidence of the disaster which fell Laperouse's ships

Footnotes [as published]
1. The trigonia is a mollusc with a mother-of-pearl lining to its shell.
It is found alive only in Aus­tralian waters; elsewhere it is only known as a fossil.
Australian Seashores, p. 294, writes that Quoy's trigonia was the first living one to be found and recorded.

2. Todea barbara is a southern hemisphere fern.
Its common name is King Fern.

3. The common sand pipi (plebidonax deltoides), about five to six centimetres long.
16. Heterodontus philippi is the Port Jackson shark that frequents the temperate waters of the east coast of Australia.

17. Notorynchus cepidianus is widely distributed in tropical seas.
It is more than three metres long and harmless to man. It has seven gills; other sharks have six.

Note (2014): Commonly, the broadnose sevengill shark.

5. The boomerang was not exclusive to the Sydney area but was widely distributed all over Australia.
From the language of a tribe from the Georges River south of Sydney, this word was originally recorded as
boumarrang. Australian Aborigines produced three types of boomerangs—the return­ing type, the non-returning type and a special kind used for rituals.
About twenty varieties and local types are contained within these three groups.
Returning boomerangs were not used in Central or South Australia and no boomerang was made at Cape York, Arnhem Land or the Kimberley coast or some parts of South Australia.

Additional Footnotes
M. Guilbert, as in Monsieur Guilbert, and used for all the officers, MM for plural.

Now know as Mount Gulaga.

A mythological Greek figure, Tantalus was made to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, with the fruit ever eluding his grasp, and the water always receding before he could take a drink.

Horary (hour) angles are used in the equatorial coordinate system to give the direction of a point on the celestial sphere.

At the time, a French quintal was 100 livres (pounds), approximately 49 kg.

Coolangatta Mountain?

The page numbers in square brackets [pp.x] refer to the original French text, 1831-1834.

Louis Auguste de Sainson also drew a portrait of one Jervis Bay Aboriginal, Djacamel or Bam.
"Djacamel and Bam, portraits of Tasmanian and Australian aborigines, plate 12 of Voyage de la corvette lAstrolabe. Atlas historique, engraved by Hippolyte Louis Garnier 1802-55, 1833"
oil on Canvas

The Voyage of the Astrolabe, Cape Howe to Sydney,
22nd November - 2nd December 1826.

- Dumont d'Urville: Two Voyages to the South Seas (1987) Volume 1, page 63.
 (detail and adjusted)

The Lady Denman Maritime Museum holds
original copies of the prints
featured above,
a 17th century astrolabe (Halloran Collection: HIN117),
and a large scale-model of the Astrolabe,
located in the Jervis Bay History Gallery.

Michael Organ: Jervis Bay - Early Images from the Dumont d'Urville Astrolabe Expedition 1826., viewed 4th July 2014.

Dumont D'Urville: Voyage de la Corvette l'Astrolabe, Historie, Atlas I, Paris, 1830-4.

Dumont D'Urville: Two Voyages to the South Seas, Volume 1: Astrolabe 1826-1829
Translated by Helen Rosenman
Melbourne University Press, 1987.

Francois Edmond Paris: Essai sur la construction navale des peuples extra-européens, ou, Collection des navires et pirogues construits par les habitants de l'Asie, de la Malaisie, du Grand Océan et de l'Amérique, dessinés et mesurés par M. Paris, Arthur Bertrand, Paris, 1841-5.

The astrolabe - navigational instrument.

The Astrolabe 1781

The Astrolabe 1815

Port Jackson Shark

Illustrated Catalogue of the Fishes of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia : G. Hassell & Son, 1921.

Collecting pippies on the shore near Port
Macquarie, circa 1910.
Photo: Thomas Dick, Australian Museum.
Printed in Burnum Burnum's Aboriginal Australia, Angus and Robertson, 1988, page 66.

Southern Peninsula Indigenous Flora & Fauna Assoc.

State Library of Victoria: A Note on de Sainson's Views in Westernport Bay.

Also note:
, George: Journal of a Whaleboat Voyage.
Queensberry Hill Press, Carlton, Victoria, [1986?].


D'Urville: Two Voyages to the South Seas
Translated by Helen Rosenman
Melbourne University Press, 1987.

Volume 1:
Astrolabe 1826-1829
Introductions by Helen Rosenman


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Geoff Cater (2014) : Dumont d'Urville : Voyage of the Astrolabe, 1826.