Monday, February 28, 2005

Thursday January 13 1972. 

We visited Esperance. I didn't see any kangaroos sunbathing on the beach but the history of the name is interesting.

The Dutch ship Gulde Zeepaard sailed across the Great Australian Bight in 1627.

The coast was visited by other Dutch sailors, and probably sealers and whalers, until 1792. Then Bruni d'Entrecasteaux of Le Recherche and Huon de Kermandec of L'Esperance, searching Australian waters for missing explorer La Perouse and charting the coastline, were forced to seek protection from a storm. d'Entrecasteaux wrote in his journal 'I decided to give the harbour the name of Esperance Bay, that of the first frigate to enter it.' Esperance - French for hope or faith.

Later, the sailors of a French ship, the Mississippi, had established a settlement in the area and were growing vegetables and raising sheep and goats during the non-whaling season.

Yet the French still didn't claim Australia. First the Dutch, then the French. And the Brits only claimed it for a penal colony.

Why would anyone not want to claim Australia? Beats me.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

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