Who is Dirk Hartog?
Not much is known about the man who first discovered and named the island, but what is known is that he was born in 1580 to a Dutch sea faring family and probably went to seat at an early age.
In 1610 he commanded his first ship and in 1616 he bought his own vessel. Over the following 5 years he made numerous successful trading voyages to Baltic and Mediterranean ports.
Hartog joined the United East India Company (V.O.C.) in 1615 and was appointed master of the Eendracht for a voyage to Java. The Eendracht left the port of Texel in January 1615 with several other V.O.C. ships but arrived at the Cape of Good Hope alone after being separated from the other ships during a storm. Captain Hartog sailed on, following the south east route set out by V.O.C. and picking up the 'roaring forties', ha was most surprised wehn on the 25th of October 1616 he sighted land at approximately 26 degrees south latitude - Dirk Hartog Island.
He didn't stay long on the island, considering it as not valuable, arid and dry. After leaving the island, the Eendracht sailed northwards accurately charting the coastline of Western Australia to 22 degrees south.
Hartog then continued to Bantam arriving in December 1616 - five months after he was schedulded to arrive.
Upon his return to Amsterdam in 1617 Hartog resigned from the V.O.C. and returned to private trading, making numerous successful voyages to the Baltic.
Dirk Hartog died in 1621 aged 41 years.