The Duyfken crew is thinning as our visit to Europe is drawing to a close. Gary Wilson has departed for other shores, all but two of our crew members have left and now we are three; waiting for the ship to be lifted and transported back to Australia. It has not been my habit to write the daily logs, preferring to delegate the task to our Captains. However, Janine Oosterloo and James Holdsworth who will be accompanying Duyfken to Australia, thought it a good idea that I write a log or two before they take over the task aboard the Da Zhong. So what has happened since the masts were removed, and the hold cleared of goods? The daily maintenance never stops but it has been a regular routine for the crew and our loyal volunteers from De Delft Shipyard who continue to shipkeep and assist with whatever needs to be done. Duyfken is now bare and looks like she was in January 1999 when she was launched as a hull in Fremantle. The major difference, however, is that she has endured five years of the elements since then. The glistening varnish she had at launch is now replaced by darkening pine tar. The kebel posts now show the signs of wear from thousands of heaves on the rigging. The hatch coamings are stained from the hands of many people holding on as they climb above or belows decks. The red paint of the scuppers is chipped from constantly roll the cannon in and out as we go from lock to lock, berth to berth. Our little ship has done some hard work and she shows it. Duyfken is clean, too. It has been an enormous effort to clean the ship from stem to stern. Iïm sure that it has been years since some nooks and crannies were explored. We are continuing to improve the vessel. This does not mean that we are making her more modern, but we are constantly asking ourselves how we can make her more authentic to the period. Many people in The Netherlands have commented on our ballast bricks in the main hold, saying that they look far too modern. The museum at Hellevoetsluis took the lead and donated some handmade, 300 year old bricks. Since then we have sourced another 1500 bricks to replace our trusty bricks in the hold. The new old bricks are a delight. Some show the finger marks from the brickmaker of 300 years ago as he extracted them from the mould and put them in the kiln. They will make a fine addition to the ship. Hempels Paints also delivered to the ship this week paint to be used aboard during the journey to Ausralia. Hempels have been a great sponsor of Duyfken and Janine and James will have a lot of work to do while the ship is at sea. We are parcularly clean to make sure our unwelcome passengers, the teredo worm in the hull are no longer enjoying a free ride. Forty days out of the water should kill the last of them and we can apply a new coat of Hempels Anti-fouling. A piece of European Oak was delivered to the ship today to replace the piece in the stern that was damaged by a careless yachtsman in Hellevoetsluis. With the skilled shipwrights available in Fremantle we will wait until we are there to effect the repair. The four containers which will be travelling with the ship aboard the Da Zhong are now almost full. Yesterday they were removed from the pontoon and put on the dock to be taken to the Da Zhong. The new crane next to Duyfken has moved and our ship sits alone at her berth. She looks tiny and abandoned ú itïs a little sad to see her sitting here dismasted after being such an active, purposeful and proud sailing ship for so long. She is now just cargo for another ship.Weïll be sitting next to industrial transformers and other heavy freight. It is the crews and the volunteers that bring her alive and now we must wait until Fremantle for her to be reinvigorated with fresh energy. She has always been self-reliant but now we are all in the hands of Spliethoff to make sure that she arrives home in one piece and structurally sound. Today is lift day. James and Janine are making the final packing of the containers. Our last De Delft shipkeeper from The Netherlands leaves and Da Zhong sits about 400 metres up the harbour loading heavy cargo into her hold. A tug master from the Port of Rotterdam pays a visit to wish us well. Shiny chrome tape which would look more at home on a space station marks the lifting points for the crane. Now we wait. Our turn to be lifted will come this afternoon.