Panorama of Plettenberg Bay seen from the coast

[In the lower margin, hand G:]
baay, dewelke ik, na de Heer Gouverneur, Plettenbergs baaij, genoemt hebbe. brete 34 grad 2 min: zij is, na de mosselbaaij, de beste van dese kust, en veertien mijlen, van 15 in een graad, beoosten derselve. in dese kust lopen twe kleine rivieren, by dese klip, de sogenaamde pisang, en een halfuur oostelyker, de keurbooms rivier dewelke de grootste is, egter kan men met geen boot uit zee in die rivier komen, om de ondieptens. verder oostelyk vind men van distantie tot distantie kleine rivieren. bij dese baay zyn schone bossen timmerhout, dog de wegen aller moeyelykst. egter sou men het hout kunnen laten afdryven en in de baay inladen. in de bossen by dese baay zyn onnoemlyk veel buffels, en nog enige oliphanten. ook wonen drie huis gesinnen onser Colonisten, in en by deselve. in dese streken regent het dikwils uit den zuidoosten, en meer als aan de Caap. R: J: Gordon. den 14 februarij 1778

in dese baay, is de hoeker Catwijk aan ryn dit jaar geweest, in de maand Julij. de miswysing was hier 24 graden n: w: de strekkings zyn verbeterd Compas. vytien mylen oostelyker is onse Cromme rivier baay deselve is opener, en by manuel perestrello St François baay geheten, so als ik duidelyk aan zyne aanduiding gesien heb, naamentlyk dat by Caap las Serras, dese keten bergen eindigt, wy hieten die plaats Sitse Camma. baay de la goa waar in die drie klippige eilandjes leggen, is 10 mijlen oostelyker als Cromme riviers baaij. hebbe duidelyk kunnen sien dat manuel perestrello in syne distantien, door de sterke stromen, misleid is geworden. voor al in de baay st. blaise, dat uit de duidelyke beschryving, onse mosselbaay is.

wanneer men langs de kust zeilende, bevind, dat het land noordwest op schiet, kan men versekert zyn, binnen een deser baayen te zyn. also zy alle geen oost punten hebben, en als door eene invreting, der zuidoostelyke werking der zee, geformeert schynen te zyn, aan de Westkust van Africa daar ik geweest ben schynen zy regt Contrary door een noordweste invreting of versakking X geformeert [added:] X de reten in de rotsen, so ver ik in dit land ondersogt hebbe, strekken strekken z. o: en n: westelyk,
doordien daar de kom of kuile, naar het zuid oosten is: en het is singulier, dat zy de swaay van het land volgen, tafelbaay by de Caap, is nog ten noord westen open, dog houtbaay ten zuid westen, en baay fals ten zuiden, waar na de anderen ten zuid oosten open zyn, zynde mossel en dese baaij, het meest beschut.

[within the image, left to right, hand G:]
had, van de plaats daar dese tekening genomen is, dese strekking in het noorden een quart west.

de punt van het oostelyk landt. in het oost een quart noord, het geene sig, so als alle bayen van dese kust, langsaam verliest.

van dese klip is dit gesigt genomen en van dese klippen kan men best met een schuit landen. also de zuidooste wind over al, in deser kusts, baayen, sterke branding maakt. so syn deselven in de noordwest mousson best. egter waayt de zuid oost langs dese kust niet so fors, als aan de Caap. om de situatie van de bergen.

Zuidoost een quard zuid. dit rif strekt zig, als aan alle westhoeken der baayen van dese kust, omtrent een quart myl in zee. hier houden vele robben. den robbenberg

dese westzyde is twe derde van een myl lang.

langs dese kust zynde steil en klippig

door dese hap, komt men in een klein baaytje en dan schiet het land west op, steil en rotsig moetende men langs dese kust de westhoeken, eer men er binnen is, ontsien. dog eens binnen kan men op 9, 10 en meer vademen goede zandgronden ankeren.

zuid zuid west

even agter dese witte sandduinen is hier een goede fontein dewyl het zeewater ver in de rivier loopt.

[In the lower margin, hand G:]
Bay, which I have name Plettenberg Bay after the Lord Governor; 32 degrees 2 minutes latitude. After Mossel Bay it is the best on this coast, and fourteen miles, from fifteen in a degree, east of the same. Into this coast run two small rivers: at this stone the so-called Pisang River, and a half-hour to the east the Keurbooms River, which is the largest, though no boat could enter that river from the sea because of the shallows. Further eastwards one finds small rivers at various distances. At this bay there are good forests of timber, though the roads are all of the most difficult. One could, if necessary, float the wood out and load it in the bay. In the forests at this bay are innumerable buffaloes, and still a few elephants. Three households of our colonists also live here, in and at the same. In these districts it rains frequently from the south east, and more than at Cape Town. R.J Gordon, the 14th February 1778

The hooker Katwijk aan Rijn was in this bay this year, in the month of July. The compass deviation here was 24 degrees north west. The problems with the compass have been fixed. Fifteen miles more eastwards is our Kromme River bay, which is more openener, and was called St Francis Bay by Manuel Peresetrello, as I clearly saw from his indications, namely that this chain of mountains ends at Cape Las Serras. We call that place Tsitsicama. Delagoa [recte Algoa] bay, in which there are three stony islands, is ten miles further east than Kromme River Bay. I could clearly see that Manuel Perestrello was mistaken in his distances because of the strong currents, especially in St Blaise Bay, which from his clear description is our Mossel Bay.

Whenever one find, when sailing along this coast, that the land runs to the north-west one can be sure that one is in one of these bays, since all of them have no eastern point and appear to be formed as if eaten away by the south-easterly action of the see. On the west coast of Africa, in the places where I have been, they seem to be formed in a completely opposite way, by a north-west erosion or subsidence, through which the basin or hollow is towards the south east [added:] the clefts in the rocks, as far as I have investigated in this land run south-east and north-west:
and it is remarkable that they follow the sweep of the land. Table Bay at Cape Town i still open to the north-west, yet Hout Bay to the south-east, False Bay to the south after which the others are open to the south east, of which Mossel Bay and this Bay are the most sheltered.

[within the image, left to right, hand G:]
From the place where this drawing was take I had this range in the north one quarter west

The point of the easterly land, in the east a quarter north, which, as do all the bays of this coast, fades away slowly

This view was taken from this stone, and a skiff can most easily be landed at these stones, as the south-east wind causes strong breakers everywhere on the shores of these bays. So the same would be best in the north-west season. In fact the south-easter does not blow as strongly along this coast as at the Cape, because of the placing of the mountains.

South east a quarter south. This reef continues about a quarter of a mile into the sea, as to all the western corneres of the bays in this coast. There are many seals here.

Robberg (seal mountain)

This west side is two thirds of a mile long

Along this shore it is steep and stony

Through this cleft one reaches a little bay, after which the land stretches to the east, stony and steep. One must watch out for the western corners before entering; yet once inside one can anchor on a good sandy bottom at a depth of 9, 10 or more fathoms.

South south-west

Just behind these white sand-dunes there is here a good spring, though the sea-water runs far up the river.

Object data

  • Place: Plettenburg Bay
  • Date: 14th February 1778
  • Gordon mentions the making of this drawing in his journal entry for 14th February 1778.

  • Size: h 30.1 cm × w 373.1 cm
  • Object nummer: RP-T-1914-17-37