Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Explorers of the Pacific: European and American Discoveries in Polynesia

Dumont D'Urville's Second Voyage

Dumont D'Urville's Second Voyage

1837 to 1840

Dumont d'Urville's second voyage was also by order of the king. His instructions were to explore the south polar, region and various island groups in the Pacific. It was also a follow-up of Du Petit-Thouars' voyage, in that special attention was to be paid to the interests of French commerce, particularly with regard to whale fisheries. Two ships were placed under his command, the corvettes Astrolabe and Zélée, with Captain Charles Hector Jacquinot in command of the Zélée.

The ships sailed from Toulon on September 7, 1837, and were in the Strait of Magellan in December. They sailed south to the South Orkneys and South Shetland Islands, and in March 1838 Dumont d'Urville named some land in that region Louis Philippe Land. From the South Shetlands, the ships went to Chile. On May 29 they sailed from Valparaiso to Juan Fernandez, and on July 31 they reached Crescent Island (Timoe) and saw Mount Duff on Mangareva. Two weeks were spent in the Mangareva Islands, and the mission work of Fathers Laval and Caret was commended. They sailed northeast, passed Minerve and Serle (Pukarua) Islands, and arrived at the Marquesas on page 88August 25. They anchored at Nukuhiva, but left on September 4. Six of the Tuamotuan islands were passed on the way to Tahiti, where they arrived on September 9. There Dumont d'Urville met Du Petit-Thouars, Moerenhout, and young Henry, the son of one of the first missionaries, who supplied them with fresh beef. From Tahiti, Dumont d'Urville visited practically all the Society Islands and then sailed west for Samoa. He sighted Rose Island on September 23, visited the Manua Islands and Tutuila and anchored in the port of Apia on Opoulou (Upolu).

The ships sailed from Apia on October 2, passed between Apolima and Savaii, and sighted Vavau of the Tongan group on October 4. Four days were spent at Vavau, and the ships sailed to the Haapai group where they anchored on the north side of Lifuka. A number of the islands were named by a Tongan chief who came aboard the Astrolabe. The ships sailed past Kaa and Tofua on October 12 and spent some time in Fiji, where a number of islands were observed. They left Fiji on October 29 and passed through the New Hebrides, the Solomons, the Admiralty Islands, and the Carolines and anchored at Umata [Umatac?] on Guam on January 1, 1839. January to September were spent in visiting islands in the Palaus, in the Philippines, off New Guinea, and in the East Indies. In October, they sailed from Lampong Bay in Sumatra for Hobart, where they arrived on December 12.

On January 21, 1840, the ships sailed for the Antarctic, where some land 1,000 to 1,200 meters high was named Adelie Land. On February 17 they reached Hobart again; and after eight days, they sailed for the Auckland Islands south of New Zealand, arriving on March 19. The course was then directed for Otago Harbor in the South Island of New Zealand, where they arrived on March 30. The ships went to the Bay of Islands in the North Island, and on May 4 they sailed for Kupang, Timor. They sailed past the Loyalty Isles and the Louisiades and through Torres Strait, and arrived in Kupang in June, staying a short time. The Ile de Bourbon was reached on July 20. The home run took the ships round the Cape of Good Hope, on calls at St. Helena and the Azores, and into the Toulon roads on November 6, 1840, after a voyage of three years and two and one-half months.