Thank you to the City of Greater Geraldton for sponsoring our stay and to all the visitors who came to see Duyfken at Geraldton. Your support has been
Lines were let go on schedule at 09.30am and after the tight turn to clear the breakwaters we headed out to the Main Channel and straightaway started
to feel the effects of the swell, with the ship rolling heavily at times. Once clear of the channel we set sail and headed north. The Batavia
Longboat replica which had left at 08.00am via the North Channel could just be seen on the horizon.
With the fore course, fore topsail and main topsail set we were soon up to 5 kts with a moderate swell and following sea. At noon our position was Lat 28
37.5 S, Longitude 114 27.5E. During the afternoon the wind freshened and our speed increased achieving 8kts at times - we were flying along!
The wind was forecast to increase further overnight so the topsails were doused just before dark and we sailed on with just the fore course. We were still
managing to achieve 5 knots with just the one sail. Paula, our new cook, served up roast pork with vegetables followed by apple crumble for tea.
Monday 17th October
Good progress continued through the night. At daylight the wind was still too strong to set more sail so we continued on with just the fore course set.
The occasional whale was sighted and also some flying fish, the coastline being faintly visible on the horizon.
Our noon position was Lat 26 36.7S, Long 113 10.2 E with a day's run of 140 miles at an average speed of 5.83kts - quite impressive. Progress continued
at good speed throughout the afternoon and evening and just before midnight Cape Inscription light was sighted. We were hoping to arrive at Denham
a day ahead of schedule.
Tuesday 18th October.
At 02.00hrs we commenced rounding Cape Inscription, handed the fore course and continued on under motor as the wind direction was now ahead and preventing
further progress under sail. Passing Turtle Bay we began to feel the full effects of the wind, sea swell and tide and our speed dropped to between
1 and 2 knots. It was 09.00am before we were able to start heading south on the eastern side of Dirk Hartog Island and at this stage it was looking
highly unlikely that we would arrive at Denham by nightfall. The wind and swell eased off later in the morning and our speed of progress improved.
Numerous Booby birds were flying around the ship and amusing us by attempting to land on the fore stay and yards. Some whales and a turtle were also
At noon our position was Lat 25 45.8 S, Long 113 12.0E and we were looking at a late afternoon ETA off Denham. At 14.30hrs we entered the Denham
Channel and once clear headed east towards Denham, our plan being to anchor on arrival and await the Wednesday afternoon high tide for berthing.
The starboard Admiralty pattern anchor was prepared and let go at 16.00hrs. After tea everyone was starting to relax and looking forward to a good
night's sleep, however the wind freshened and at 19.30hrs it was evident that the anchor was starting to drag. The engines were started and used to
ease the strain and more hawser was paid out on the anchor. I also decided to let go a second anchor and our Delta high capacity anchor together with
chain was prepared and made fast to our second anchor hawser and then let go. This had the desired affect and we were once again safely maintaining
our position and by 21.00hrs everyone was able to relax again.
Wednesday 19th October
The morning was spent cleaning the ship and preparing for our berthing, the opportunity also being taken to test fire the cannon, as our previous attempt
on leaving Dongara had resulted in a miss-fire. All was successful this time.
We commenced heaving away at 13.00hrs and 30 minutes later both anchors had been recovered and we then maintained our position using the engines and awaited
the high tide at 15.00hrs.
The channel was entered on time and we cautiously made our way towards the berth whilst also keeping a careful eye on the echo sounder, the minimum depth
under keel reaching 0.7 metres at one stage. On approach to the jetty we again successfully fired our cannon to announce our arrival.
Due to the fresh southerly wind and very limited manouvering space, berthing the ship alongside the jetty was extremely challenging to say the least and
with a large crowd of onlookers on shore watching our progress, any mistakes would have been very embarrassing. However, all went to plan and we turned
the ship and safely backed into the berth. By 15.30 hrs we were safely alongside and making fast.
The ship will be in Denham until Monday 24th October, when we depart for Cape Inscription and the 400th anniversary celebration of Dirk Hartog's landing
on 25th October 1616.