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In the immensity of ocean to the south of Terra Australis, two ships met by accident on 8 April 1802, one sailing from the east and the other from the west.

The English ship Investigator, commanded by Matthew Flinders, cleared the decks for action, but also flew a white flag of truce. Nicolas Baudin, captain of the French ship Le Geographe thought the ship approaching was his companion vessel Le Naturaliste which he had last seen several weeks ago. In addition to the French flag, he hoisted an English flag.

Both captains were cautious, but as they were commanding exploration and scientific expeditions, they could hope that their meeting would be peaceful, despite their nations having been at war. Flinders boarded the French ship and the two captains exchanged information about their explorations. Both captains had been given the same task to chart the 'unknown coast' of Terra Australis.

The meeting place was about 5 miles off the South Australian coast at latitude 35 40' South, longitude 138 58' East. Flinders later named this location Encounter Bay, as it is known today. Baudin called it 'Baie des invalides' and Freycinet recorded 'Baie Mollien'.

The events and exhibitions of 'Encounter 2002' celebrates the bicentenary of Matthew Flinders' meeting with Nicolas Baudin at Encounter Bay.

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Ford, John, Cards issued from Chart the Art of Discovery', an exhibition to celebrate the meeting of Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin in 1802.

Greeting card : The Encounter 1802.

 

Ford, John, Cards issued from Chart the Art of Discovery', an exhibition to celebrate the meeting of Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin in 1802.

Greeting card : The Encounter under full sail.

 

Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, South Australian Branch, vol. 65, 1963-1964 - pages 53-67

Baldwin, B.S. 'Flinders and the French.'

 

Advertiser, 17 October 1986 - page 15.

Pope, Alan. 'A meeting of rivals on our "unknown coast".

Advertiser, 23 February 2002. 'Magazine' - page 4-5.

Williams, Nadine. 'Our State's close encounter.'

Images from the State Library catalogue

Encounter Bay. 1905 [Tablet erected at the Bluff, Encounter Bay, Victor Harbor, in commemoration of the meeting of Baudin and Flinders]

Flinders Plaque. 1902 [Unveiling of Flinders and Baudin plaque on the summit of the Bluff]

Flinders Monument. 1902 [Tennyson opening the Flinders and Baudin monument, Victor Harbor]

Flinders - Baudin Tablet. 1910 [Flinders and Baudin tablet at the Bluff, Victor Harbor]

Flinders Tablet, Encounter Bay. 1910 [inscription on tablet commemorating meeting of Flinders and Baudin]

Flinders Tablet. 1900 [Commemorative plaque of the meeting between Matthew Flinders and Nicholas Baudin, 1802.]



Further sources

Advertiser 26 February 2002 'Encounter 2002 - Discovery of the unknown coast' Part 2 'The Encounter'

Brown, Anthony J. Ill-starred captains: Flinders and Baudin. Hindmarsh, S. Aust.: Crawford House Publishing, 2000.

The Encounter 1802: art of the Flinders and Baudin voyages / [compiled by] Sarah Thomas Adelaide: Art Gallery of South Australia, 2002

Geonews vol. 4, no. 1, March/April 1997, pp. 6-13. Brown, Anthony. 'In search of two mariners.'

Manning, Geoffrey. Manning's place names of South Australia. [Adelaide]: G.H. Manning, 1990



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