ANCHOR ABEL TASMAN (PRESS)
Grahame Anderson - townhall of Grootegast NL, 2001 (Abel Tasman, born Lutjegast 1603)
Latest news: unfortunately Anderson's 3rd expedition, 2005, August 6-18, had not been succesfull. Possibly there will be a new attempt.
Historic anchor believed off Australia
It is a well known fact Dutchman Abel Tasman is considered the first European to discover New Zealand and Tasmania. There are few remaining artefacts from his voyage apart from maps, but now one Nelson man is convinced that a link to the past is buried in the sands off the coast of Australia, and he is determined to dig it up.
Grahame Anderson believes he has located the anchor Tasman lost from his ship just off Tasmania's coast in 1642 and he is hoping to bring it back to the surface. Tasman left an enduring mark when he visited here over 360 years ago naming much of this country and Australia. Now a 20 year search could uncover another link to the Dutch voyager.
"Recovering precious things from the seabed is a strong urge I guess and it certainly is for me," says Anderson. According to Tasman's diary, it was lost off the coast of Tasmania, an island named after the man himself. Anderson says he knows exactly where that anchor is lying there and he is aiming to salvage it."Apart from pieces of paper, there is nothing from the voyage, except this anchor," he says.
Those other pieces of paper, maps drawn by an officer on the ship, Isaac Gilsemans. Anderson believes Gilsemans was the merchant on the voyage and also the coastal illustrator. Those illustrations took Anderson to Tasmania's east coast in 1994. Using a global position system and magnetic equipment, he is certain the anchor is lying 45 metres below the surface."It's fascinating, the seabed is the depth that Tasman said it was and his journal said it was gently sloping sand and that's what's there," Anderson says.
He has been to the location twice already, failing due to technical and weather problems and he is hoping this will be third time lucky. If it is, he will then have to give it away."The Tasmanian state government said it belongs to us, it's Tasman's anchor, this is Tasmania, so that's where it will stay," he says. Anderson has however made them promise it will make a visit or two to New Zealand. He leaves for Tasmania next month.
NEWS TASMANIA :
NZ man tries for Tasman anchor again
12:11 AEST Mon Aug 1 2005
A New Zealand man will travel to Tasmania this week as part of his decade-long quest to recover a largely forgotten artefact from one of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman's ships.
Architect and author Grahame Anderson will go to Tasmania on Saturday in his third attempt to retrieve what he believes to be part of the anchor of the Heemskerck.
Anderson's two previous attempts to retrieve the anchor, in 1997 and 2003, were hindered by bad weather and temperamental equipment, but he is hopeful it will soon be recovered.
"The word is when, not if."
The loss of the anchor at North Bay was described in an journal written during Tasman's historic voyage to Australia and New Zealand in 1642.
Using magnetic measuring devices and global positioning system data, Anderson has already detected a metal object in the area where he predicted the anchor would be, 46 metres under water.
He will spend 10 days with two divers, a maritime archaeologist and a geophysicist in his bid to retrieve the anchor.
Funding for the expedition has come from an organisation set up to commemorate the visit of the ship to Australia.
Anderson said the recovery process, which will use inflatable air bags, had been well planned to protect the anchor, as the corrosion process would begin as soon as it was moved from its position.
If the recovery mission is successful, the anchor will have to remain in Australia by law, but Anderson is hopeful a special exemption will be given for it to be exhibited in New Zealand.
He said his passion for raising the anchor was "like playing an expensive sport"."I won't stop trying."
Information about Tasman's ship "Heemskerck (Brian Hooker, New Zealand)
The Heemskerck off Cape Foulwind, 1642
Abel Tasman, the European discoverer of New Zealand, sighted the west coast in the Hokitika-Abut Head area around noon on 13 December 1642. (See my page entitled "Abel Tasman's journal" this web site.) Tasman shaped his course northward and followed the coast until on 6 January 1643 he left the vicinity of northern New Zealand and headed northeast. He made further discoveries in the Tonga and Fiji Islands. The Heemskerk, probably named after a village in the Netherlands, was a three-master and the flagship of Tasman's 1642-1643 expedition. She was a small pinnace of war of 60 lasts burden (120 tons) and sailed with a crew of sixty men. The view illustrated is of the Heemskerck and Zeehaen with Tasman's "Conspicuous Point", now named Cape Foulwind in the background. The "Continent" in the title in this English-captioned version relates to the fact that Tasman was unsure about the extent of the land.
Isaac Gilsemans and the voyages of Abel Tasman
In 1642 Abel Tasman ‘discovered ’ New Zealand, while looking for the Great Southern Continent. But who was he, and how good were his navigation skills and seamanship? At the time, his voyages were thought to be of no great merit, and even today our view of him is cloudy and incomplete. In this ground-breaking book, based on fifteen years of research, Grahame Anderson reveals the pivotal role of cartographer, illustrator and explorer Isaac Gilsemans, the ‘Merchant of the Zeehaen’ who sailed with Tasman. Anderson discovered that Gilsemans’ drawings, long thought of as vague sketches of coastlines, are in fact precise cartographic documents that place him at the forefront of oceanic exploration, and shed new light on Tasman’s Pacific voyages. They may also enable Anderson to recover Tasman’s anchor, lost off the coast of Tasmania in 1642. This beautifully illustrated book (150 illustrations, 32 pages in colour) is essential reading for all armchair sailors, and everyone interested in exploration, New Zealand history, voyages of discovery, and map-making. "... a fine piece of historical detective work..." Evening Post "... a lucid, immensely satisfying account...lavishly illustrated ... an impressive achievement..."
Otago Daily Times ++ Finalist for the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction (History)