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20 January 1803 Louis Freycinet-exploration of Spencer Gulf

 20 January 1803   Louis Freycinet - exploration of Spencer Gulf

On 20 January 1803 Louis Freycinet, in his ship Casuarina, sailing up the larger of South Australia's two gulfs, was in the vicinity of what is now called Moonta Bay. 

Freycinet was accompanying Nicolas Baudin in his ship Le Geographe on a voyage of exploration around the southern coast of Australia. After circumnavigating Kangaroo Island Baudin sent Freycinet to survey the two gulfs, particularly the west coast, and to examine carefully the Port Lincoln area, which had already been explored and named by Matthew Flinders. Freycinet was given twenty days to complete the task and then was to meet Baudin near St Peter Island in Denial Bay. Somehow the ships missed each other and Freycinet decided to go on to King George's Sound in Western Australia where he waited for his colleague.

The two Frenchmen, naturally gave French names to the bays, capes, and other points of interest sighted on their voyage, many of which survive today, particularly on Kangaroo Island and along the south-east coast. Freycinet named Cape Thevenard, and Murat Bay after Joachim Murat, King of Naples and Marshal of France under Napoleon. Murat Bay was changed to Ceduna in 1922. Denial Bay was named by Flinders in February 1802.

Frank Horne, The French Reconnaisance Baudin in Australia 1802-1803, Globe Press, 1987, pp. 278-287.

Tags: , Freycinet Louis, Spencer Gulf