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Gulf Stream The Mapping of the Current
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Les Isles de L'Amerique connue sous le Nom D'Antilles... etc. Paris. L'Atlas Curieux
De Fer, Nicolas (1646-1720)
1705

This map of the West Indies was engraved by Hendrick (Herman) Van Loon and published in de Fer's L'Atlas Curieux, from 1700 to 1705. The southern tip of the Florida Peninsula is shown with a description under it which reads "Canal de Bahama, ou le Debouquement la mer y court toujours au Nord" This is similar to the designation on the Ortelius map of 1584 that also states that "This current always flows north" which was probably the first reference to the Gulf Stream by a printed designation. However, the knowledge of the direction of flow of the stream dates back to Ponce de Leon's voyage to the Florida coast in 1513 at which time his pilot, Anton Alaminos, made the observation. He popularized the knowledge among the Spanish Traders who began using the current to help them return from the West Indies past Bermuda to the Azors and on to the Iberian Peninsula.

The current and variations were first described by Walter Huxton in 1732, but were not charted by him.