Tuesday, April 7, 2009

La Boussole and L' Astrolabe (1788)

Date of Issue: April 17, 1967
Scott #: 101

La Boussole and L' Astrolabe are ships of French Navy famous for their exploration of the Pacific with Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse, a French Navy officer and explorer.

On August 01, 1785, both ships left Brest with Astrolabe under command of Paul Antoine Fleuriot de Langle, and Boussole under command of La Perouse.

The expedition vanished mysteriously in 1788 after leaving Botany Bay on 10 March 1788. The fate of the expedition was eventually solved by Captain Peter Dillon in 1827 when he found remnants of the ships the Astrolable and the Boussole at Vanikoro Island (belongs to Solomon Islands) in the New Hebrides. The ships had been wrecked in a storm. Survivors from one ship had been massacred while survivors from the other ship had constructed their own small boat and sailed off the island, never to be heard from again.

Jules Verne dedicates a chapter of his novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to this event.

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