Duyfken Pirates Storm Bunbury and Mandurah


It was a wild old time in Bunbury since Duyfken’s arrival in the south west city of Bunbury, the first port of call on the 10 week Duyfken 2016 Dirk Hartog Commemorative Voyage and Exhibition. 

After experiencing heavy 5 metre seas as she passed to the west of Garden Island, Duyfken pushed on into a stiff 30 knot southerly under auxiliary engine power so that she could meet her scheduled arrival time in the Port of Bunbury, at 11am on Saturday, 20 August.

Heavy showers and strong winds prevailed throughout the arrival, but with the assistance of the Bunbury Sea Rescue team, Duyfken was lead safely to her berth where she was met by the Exhibition land team and the Harbourmaster, Captain Rob Liley, who welcomed Duyfken to his port.

Once ashore, the sailing crew shared their stories of challenge with 13 of the crew of 16 sending ‘burley’ over the side as the ship pitched 50 degrees either side of the centre line. For non-sailors that means you just have to hold on as the ship rocks and rolls from side to side and your guts churn to the point of puking over the side.

That said, the crew were all smiles as they stepped ashore to once again connect with a stable surface.

Whilst all this was a happening, the Land Crew were preparing the exhibition marquee for the opening on Sunday, 21 August. And what a huge opening the first week was.

Just over 2,000 school children took part in the Duyfken Education program, whilst hundreds of others visited the ship to take a tour and discover what makes this “Little Dove” so special.

The week culminated in a massive Pirate Day when 950 budding pirates took over Bunbury. Regardless of age, everyone got into the spirit of the day. We had heaps of ‘little’ pirates and plenty of ‘oldies’ who thought they were the next Jack Sparrow.

The Duyfken Team though set the standard with all the gang dressing to impress, many unrecognisable in their pirate garb.

Leaving Bunbury

With a change of crew, Duyfken set sail for Mandurah on 4 September. The voyage was much smoother than the first and the crew was welcomed by hundreds of spectators lining the waterfront on 5 September.

Once the ship was berthed and secured, Captain Chester handed over the post bag containing First Day Covers commemorating Dirk Hartog’s 400th Anniversary and signed by the Captain himself, to Postmaster Willa Currie. The City’s Mayor, Marina Vergone, was also at the arrival to welcome Duyfken and her crew.

The road crew worked like Trojans to have the Exhibition Marquee up and running by the time Duyfken berthed as scheduled at 1100. As Duyfken pulled alongside the dock, 300 spectators looked on excitedly.

Over the next nine days 3,500 guests paid to board Duyfken and participate in our new audio guided tour. Another 630 school children engaged in the Duyfken Maritime education program and many thousands just dropped by to view the ship from the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club grounds.

Departure day arrived in Mandurah with a degree of concern. Prior to our arrival, a metre of silt was dredged from the marina entrance to enable safe passage for Duyfken and her 2.6m draft. On the way in, she had but a mere centimetre or two to spare, so despite the presence of the Mandurah Sea Rescue, Duyfken was able to safely navigate the narrow entrance under her own power.

Different story though on leaving. During the week, strong storms had whipped up plenty of water movement in the Mandurah estuary and with this, heaps of silt had been moved about. As Duyfken approached the marina entrance all was looking good and then suddenly she ground to a halt. Sea Rescue were quickly on hand, and with a bowline attached and a 1000 horsepower of grunt, Duyfken was soon on the move downstream and into open waters.

Beautiful sailing conditions once all sails had been set with Duyfken hitting a cracking 5 knots as she headed to Hillarys, her next port of call.

Duyfken is now at Hillarys Boat Harbour until Tuesday, 27 September before heading north again for Jurien Bay.

We have been having a lot of fun meeting the locals…and there are more to come as Duyfken begins her journey north.

Upcoming Pirate Days

Jurien Bay: Sunday, 2 October
Geraldton: Sunday, 9 October
Denham: Sunday, 23 October

Tickets are available from www.ticketek.com.au/duyfken

Big thank you from Duyfken to the Western Australian Government, Cities of Bunbury, Mandurah and Joondalup for supporting the visit as the Event Partners, and to Southern Authority Ports, the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club and Sorrento Quay Boardwalk for providing Duyfken with a berth at no cost.

Duyfken will be on exhibition in Hillarys (Sept 15-26), Jurien Bay (Sept 29-Oct 3), Dongara (Oct 4-7), Geraldton (Oct 8-15) and Denham (Oct 20-23).

See you all at one of our exhibitions…

To follow the Ship’s Voyage when she is sailing, click here http://www.duyfken.com/current-position-map

The Captain’s Log is accessible here http://www.duyfken.com/duyfken-2016-dirk-hartog-commemorative-voyage-and-exhibition

To see the happenings at each port, go to our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/duyfken1606/

Duyfken Foundation Membership 2016-2017

Much of the work of the Duyfken Foundation, such as the Duyfken 2016 Dirk Hartog Commemorative Voyage, requires the support of its members. Becoming a member not only supports the Foundation financially, but it also offers members the opportunity to become more involved with Duyfken through activities such as ship guiding, being part of the sailing crew, attending social occasions and assisting in the ship keeping role.

You can become a member of the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation by downloading the application for membership form by clicking the link below: