Vergulde Draeck

And incredibly, he was making this journey for the second time! Truly a remarkable man!

When Leeman finally reached Batavia and reported his experience to the Governor-General and his councillors, they decided not to mount anymore expeditions to search for the survivors of the Vergulde Draeck.

Patria Col

The Mystery

Within about 3 months of the wrecking of the Vergulde Draeck 2 ships, the Witte Valk and the Goede Hoop, were on the scene to search for survivors, a truly remarkable rapid response. Yet, they reported no evidence of survivors, not even signal fires from the shore. One would have to assume that the survivors were not in a position to see any sails out to sea. Had they gone inland? That could have been the case as food and fresh water would have been their priority and that was more likely to be found going inland. But would Captain Albertszoon, having sent one of his senior officers to Batavia for help, not have set up a system of coast watches to keep an eye out for rescue ships? He would have known that Pelsaert had made it back to Batavia in an open boat after the wrecking of the Batavia and had returned to the wreck site!

The crew of the Goede Hoop went inland but three got lost. A longboat with eight sailors aboard made their way to shore to look for them but were also never seen again. Their boat was found smashed on the rocks. The 78,600,  gold guilders, off the Vergulde Drack, were also lost until 1963, when skindivers found gold coins and fragments of a wreck near the site of the Vergulden Draeck, off the coast at Ledge Point. 

Two years later Abraham Leeman found the wreck site and again no survivors.

How could such a large number of people, which by this time had possibly increased to 79 with the 11 from the Goede Hoop, just disappear? It is a mystery requiring a solution.


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