When the replica ship Duyfken slipped out of Banda Harbour in the Maluku Province of Indonesia on 1 July 2000 and her crew set sail for Australia she began the most important part of an expedition into Australian history. Since April, Duyfken (the Little Dove) had sailed more than 5000km from her home port of Fremantle, north along Western Australia's shipwreck coast. It was a voyage made more difficult by heavy seas, headwinds and times of dead calm as well as the primitive conditions on board. Duyfken visited the Abrolhos Islands where the Dutch East India Company (VOC) ship Batavia struck a coral reef and a subsequent mutiny resulted in many deaths. Her crew also visited Cape Inscription in Shark Bay where Dirck Hartog left his famous plate 10 years after Duyfken's visit to Cape York on the other side of the continent. The replica 24 metre 110 tonne Dutch „jacht” left Australian waters from Broome and sailed into Indonesia across the Timor Sea, arriving at Kupang in West Timor two weeks later the new replica vessel‚s first ocean passage. Duyfken then sailed through the Indonesian archipelago. Duyfken is remarkable not only because she is the first Dutch „jacht” to sail from Indonesia to Australia in 400 years, but because the impetus to build the ship and sail the expedition came not from governments or corporations but through an enormous community effort. It was led by Fremantle community leader Michael G Kailis who unfortunately passed away in June 1999, only weeks before the ship was due to sail for the first time. The community foundation constructed the ship at a cost of $3.7 million to help tell the little known story of Australia‚s first recorded European visitors and to counter two of Australia‚s popular historical myths: that Dirk Hartog was the first European to step ashore in Australia and that Captain Cook „discovered‰ Australia. The 2000 Duyfken Expedition sponsored by Chevron Corporation is now bringing the little known historical truth to people in Australia and all over the world. Chevron Corporation is building a gas pipeline from Papua New Guinea to Australia. The first recorded chart of the Australian coastline was made by Duyfken‚s skipper, Captain Willem Janszoon, and the first time recorded in history when Aboriginal Australians met people from the outside world occurred during Duyfken‚s 1606 voyage of discovery. Indeed, the indigenous people of Cape York still talk about the Duyfken landing in their oral history. For the crew of the original Duyfken, theirs was a voyage beyond the known world at the time. They thought that a land of gold known as „Nova Guinea‰ could exist to the south east and they set out to find it. What they found was the Gulf of Carpentaria coast of Australia‚s Cape York Peninsula and the oldest living culture on Earth but no gold. Janszoon charted 350 kilometres of the Cape coast before sailing north to Torres Strait and unsuccessfully searching for a passage through the maze of shoals and islands. He approached the fringing reefs of Papua New Guinea before turning to the west and returning to the Banda Islands, his crew depleted from skirmishes with the people of Cape York and Irian Jaya. Duyfken‚s voyage marked the European „discovery‰ of the sixth continent and over the next 150 years, more than two dozen voyages to Australia charted three-quarters of the Australian coastline. Cook and Endeavour filled in the last part of the map 164 years later. Duyfken‚s visit marks the beginning of Australia‚s recorded history.
Past - Chevron 2000 Duyfken Expedition - News and Events