First Voyage of Kerguelen

Fleet Commander Yves Joseph Marie de Kerguelen (Seigneur de Trémarec et du Carpont) (1734-1797)E-WIKI
Fleet Formed13.9.1771E-WIKI
Fleet Disbanded1772E-WIKI

Le Gros Ventre (10) 13.9.17711772 Louis François Marie Aléno de Saint-Aloüarn (Seigneur de Saint-Aloüarn) (1738-1772)Detached
La Fortuné (40) 13.9.177116.2.1772 Yves Joseph Marie de Kerguelen (Seigneur de Trémarec et du Carpont) (1734-1797)Detached


Departure from Isle de France .


On 14 February, the weather was bad and "Fortuné" effected repairs on her damaged mainmast, while "Gros Ventre" hugged the coast to survey it and attempt a landing. "Gros Ventre" found herself in unchartered shallow waters, and Kerguelen despatched his cutter "Mouche" , under Ensign Rosily , to provide assistance and bring orders to meet at Isle de France should "Fortuné" and "Gros Ventre" be separated. Rosily managed to reach "Gros Ventre" but broke his foremast in the process. He nevertheless managed to sound in front of "Gros Ventre" , allowing her to reach safer waters.

"Gros Ventre" launched a boat, under Mengaud , to claim the territory for France. Mengaud managed to land, and then deployed a white flag and buried bottled containing texts of the claims. Mengaud stayed about 15 minutes on the island, and noted that the birds there did not seem to fear humans, indicating that the land was not inhabited. He then returned to "Gros Ventre" . 

"Gros Ventre" picked up Mengaud's and Rosily's parties. She abandoned Rosily's cutter, which was too large to bring aboard.


The two ships searched for each other for two days, before giving up.

1772/02/16La Fortuné (40) left the fleet 

"Gros Ventre" sailed under Saint Aloüarn to the 40th Southern Parallel, where she arrived on 4 March .


"Gros ventre" reached Cape Leeuwin . She continued on an independent exploration of the Northern Coast of Australia before returning to Isle de France .


Arrival of "Fortuné" to Brest .



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