A Brave Ship
In 1606 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) sent the little ship Duyfken,
captained by Willem Janszoon, to search for "south and east lands" beyond
the furthest reaches of their known world. Leaving from Banda (Indonesia), Duyfken reached the Cape York Peninsula and charted 300km of
the coast. This is the first historically recorded voyage to Australia.
For the first time, all the inhabited continents of the world were discovered
to the European science of geography.
Duyfken is built about 1595 in the Netherlands. A fast, lightly-armed
ship probably intended for small valuable cargoes or privateering.
as the jacht, or scout, for the "Moluccan Fleet" sailing to the Spice
Islands. Duyfken's captain for this voyage, Willem Cornelisz
Schouten, with Le Maire, would later discover and name Cape Horn after
the city of Hoorn.
On Christmas day the five ships of the Moluccan Fleet reach Bantam
(Banten), Java and encounter a blockading fleet of Portuguese ships
totalling eight galleons and twenty-two galleys. They engage this
fleet in intermittent battle until driving them away on New Years
day. This is a turning point in history: the undisputed dominance
of the Iberians (Portuguese and Spanish) in the Spice Trade to Europe
Warm welcome in Bantam
Warm welcome in Bantam, repair to battle damage. Survey of Jakarta
Bay, where the Dutch would later build Batavia their capital in the
Indies, then sailing by way of Tuban, East Java to the Spice Island
of Ternate. Loaded cloves at Ternate then to Banda for a cargo of
nutmeg. Sent on a voyage of exploration to the east.
The newly-formed United Dutch East India Company (VOC) is granted
a monopoly on trade to the Spice Islands by the Dutch government.
On the voyage home from the Indies Duyfken is separated from
the larger ships in a storm off Cape Agulhas, southern Africa. Duyfken reaches the Netherlands two months ahead of the larger ships early
In December Duyfken sets out on a second voyage to the Indies
in the VOC fleet of Steven van der Haghen and with Willem Janszoon
The VOC fleet captures two Portuguese ships in Mozambique Channel
and sails to the Spice Islands via India finally reaching Banten,
Java on New Years Eve.
Duyfken is in the fleet that recaptures the fort of Van Verre
at Ambon in the Spice Islands from the Portuguese. Later in the year
she is selected for another voyage of discovery to the south and east,
but first she is sent to Bantam Java for urgently needed provisions.
in 1606 Willem Janszoon and Jan Roosengijn take Duyfken southeast
from Banda to the Kei Islands, then along the south coast of New Guinea,
skirting south of the shallow waters around False Cape and then continuing
east-southeast until they reach and chart the shores of Australia's
Cape York Peninsula.
Duyfken may have made a second voyage east to Australia.
Later in the year she is sent to Java to get supplies for the beleaguered
Dutch fortress on Ternate.
in a five hour battle with three Spanish galleys. In June Duyfken is sent with larger ships to capture the fortress of Taffaso on Makian
Island. A month later she is brought inside the reef at Ternate for
repairs. It seems that she was hauled on her side to repair the bottom
but this caused further damage and she was judged unrepairable.