Best fun ever!


Aa snippet about the Little Dove from a new volunteer 

There is never a dull moment in the life of a volunteer in the Duyfken family… there are always a few surprises and some magic moments to be had. 

And so it was on 26 January, as I stood under the umbrella alongside Duyfken waiting for the thousands of Skyworks fans to turn up and the hope of the Duyfken guides that a few may venture aboard to tour the ship, that I had a moment to chat with Bert, one of our more recent arrivals to the ranks of volunteer guiding. Bert had responded to the call when we needed extra hands to bring Duyfken home from Dongara on the last leg of her epic adventure to and from Dirk Hartog Island. Not that he had much warning; the call went out 36 hours before the mini bus was to depart for Dongara.  
I remember on the trip up in the bus how I explained to Bert the joy of sailing Duyfken, a full set of sails hoisted and a fresh breeze blowing from astern, the ultimate experience as she surged along at six to eight knots. Now as we chatted I knew full well that the likelihood of such sailing conditions on the southbound trip from Dongara to Fremantle were highly unlikely. Already Duyfken had battled strong southerly winds and a three to four metre swell from the day she left Dirk Hartog Island and the three-day forecast from Dongara was much of the same. Bert was unperturbed: “this is what adventures are all about, and you don’t get many chances like this in your lifetime” Profound words indeed.

Well as the story unfolded, Duyfken took 50 hours to motor from Dongara to Freo, certainly not the robust sailing conditions that I had tempted Bert with. So there we were on 26 January standing under the brolly chatting about what this adventure had been like. The best ever was Bert’s comment: “How do you mean I responded? Well I was only one of three out of the crew of 16 that didn’t throw up on the trip down,” said Bert.“How did you manage that?”, I said. “Pretty simple,” he said…”I didn’t eat anything for three days so there was nothing to chuck up.”  “And what did you do during the trip?” “Well I steered the ship, I stood at the bow keeping watch for cray pots, and occasionally I slept,” said Bert. “So that was good fun?” “Best ever!!” said Bert.

There it is then, just one of the ways you can enjoy the experience of being a volunteer with Duyfken. If you’d like to discover ways in which you can be part of the volunteer Duyfken family, then drop us an email to

Peter Bowman
CEO Duyfken Replica Foundation

PS: we haven’t seen you down at Elizabeth Quay yet, we’re on exhibition there until Sunday 26 March.

It’s no fun sailing when you can’t use the sails – the crew heading back down the coast after the Dirk Hartog sail.