Pedro Quiós and Luis Vaez de Torres

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     In May 1606 Pedro Fernandez de Quirós and LuisVaes de Torres landed in the islands now known as Vanuatu. Quirós mistook it for part of the "Southern Continent" and took possession of it on behalf of the King of Spain with the name Australia del Espiritu Santo. They stayed until June and then left  De Quirós sailed back to Acapulco, Mexico. In time the name Australia became the name of the smallest continent, while Espiritu Santo became the name of the largest island in Vanuatu.

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     From July to December 1606 de Torres discovered the Torres Strait. He sailed along the south coast of New Guinea. . He also discovered the Cape York peninsula of Australia discovered by Willem Jansz earlier in 1606. The eastern coast of the peninsula was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770. De Torres was not given credit for his discoveries until 1759 when Alexander Dalrymple discovered Torres' report in Manila and named it for him.
     The stamp features a map of the Pacific with de Torres' route from South America through the strait and on to Manila where he apparently spent the rest of his life.

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