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stepping stones of maritime history


It seemed that The Diemermeer  had travelled for seven months from Sri Lanka and that all the crew except the captain and nine crewmembers were dead. The 10 men, all sick, had landed off the Banana Islands and dropped anchor close to shore. Rescue shots were fired for three days straight. As no one came the men cut the anchor rope and left the ship to drift towards land. Eight are thought to have gone ashore into the jungle to seek help.
At some stage, according to the report, “several hundred negroes” appeared from the jungle, rushed to the ship, plundered everything they could carry off and then set fire to the ship.

Some times later a slavetrader "The Blessed Sugarcane"  with capitain Jonas Rust had rescued two men from the Diemermeer. These two remained aboard to guard the ship whilst the other 8 went ashore to seek help. 

What was clear was that on Christmas Day 1747 he had met Captain Pietersz of the Unicorn and told him the story. Rust, having coasted the area for several months, may well have then gone off to deliver his slaves to America and taken the two rescued men as crew.

A rare VOC chart of the Indian Ocean

A chart from the Cape of Good Hope to the Sunda Strait, annotated with tracks of the ship Diemermeer]  by Isaak de Graaf, ca 1735.


Type: East Indiaman

Built: Amsterdam, 1736
Owner: Dutch East India Company, Chamber of Amsterdam

Length: 44.3 m (145 ft)
Tonnage: 425 last, 850 tons

Complement: 180
Master: Christoffel Boort


 A VOC chart has been


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