Riding the wave


William Bligh and the detection of Tasmania

In 1776, William Bligh, future commander of the "Bounty" Cornwall, 1753 - London. 1817) accompanied James Cook on his third voyage in the Pacific, with the ships "Adventure" and "Resolution" as navigating officer of the latter, where embarked the young George Vancouver, too.

Bligh therefore participated first in the survey of Tasmania, of which he produced several charts, and then in the survey of the Bering Strait.

Tasmania. William Bligh, 1777
ms. b/w, about mm. 707 x 457, scale in miles
Taunton, UK Hydrographic Office.

Afterwards he was charged with importing the breadfruit from the Pacific Islands to the West Indies with the "Bounty", whose destiny has been immortalized in literature, and tried again with success a little later with the "Providence."

With him sailed Matthew Flinders on his first cruise, who completed the survey and exploration of Tasmania at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

When the mutineers of the "Bounty" put him at sea on a lifeboat, in 1788 Bligh discovered 14 small uninhabited islands, in lat. 47 ° 45 'S and long.179 ° E, whose total area was 14 sq km, which he gave the name of his former ship.

The chart has been reproduced in Coste del Mondo nella cartografia europea: 1500-1900 , (179 p., about 300 images), by Priuli & Verlucca, publishers, Ivrea, 2000.)