French ship Boussole (1781)

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Career (France) Civil and Naval Ensign of France.svg
Name: Boussole
General characteristics

Boussole was a ship of the French Navy, famous for its exploration of the Pacific with Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse.

It departed Brest on 1 August 1785 under La Pérouse, accompanied by the Astrolabe under Paul Antoine Fleuriot de Langle.

The expedition vanished mysteriously in 1788 after leaving Botany Bay on 10 March 1788. The fate of the expedition was eventually solved by Captain Peter Dillon in 1827 when he found remnants of the ships the Astrolabe and the Boussole at Vanikoro Island in the Solomon Islands. The ships had been wrecked in a storm. Survivors from one ship had been massacred while survivors from the other ship had constructed their own small boat and sailed off the island, never to be heard from again. [1]

The fate of La Pérouse and his two ships at Vanikoro is the subject of a chapter in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.


  1. ^ Australian Shipwrecks - vol1 1622-1850, Charles Bateson, AH and AW Reed, Sydney, 1972, ISBN 0-589-07112-2 p24