Hello! My name is James HOLDSWORTH from PERTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA. I joined the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation as a volunteer guide in 1999 and found this to be a most personally rewarding experience. After the ship left Fremantle on its maiden voyage I decided to fly to Weipa to see the re-enactment landing at the Pennyfather river and help with the guiding at Weipa.The landing was a most moving moment, which brought tears to my eyes and I felt privileged to witness the ceremony and spectacle. While guiding at Weipa, Graeme Cocks the project director asked me if I would join the ship as a volunteer guide co-ordinator, A task that I willingly accepted. So on 17th Aug 2000 I departed as volunteer crewmember on board the Duyfken bound for Aurukun. The next morning was memorable with a landing and welcoming ceremony by the traditional owners there. We left after lunch with Silas and Raymond in tow, to protect us from their ancestor spirits at the next stop at Cape Keerweer. This move introduced me to the "joys " of hauling up the anchor, which proved to be a fascinating, albeit exhausting task, as by this time it was dark and as the cable was hauled in, it brought with it glowing plankton which stuck to our hands and clothes. We then anchored off Cape Keerweer the next day and ferried ashore to try and find a water well made there by the Dutch explorers, without success. Our next stop was Mapoon where another unforgettable landing and welcoming ceremony by the local traditional owners took place, followed by a delicious traditional meal after which the local children were ferried out to the ship. Up anchor and off towards Thursday Island where we arrived two days later, having 'hove too' twice for a swim. The next day proved to be somewhat exhausting guiding 500+ children and other interested people over the ship with the help of Maria Rinaldi, (another volunteer guide from Fremantle) and some of the crewmembers. All too soon it was 'three cheers for T.I.', farewell to Maria and off towards Port Moresby where we berthed 7 days later, having been accompanied in through the harbour by a vast array of pleasure craft. We were greeted there with ceremonial dancing by bare breasted girls and loincloth clad warriors, welcoming ceremony and lunch Several days were occupied guiding on the ship with the help of 4 University student volunteers and various crewmembers. Six days after our arrival it was time to leave and we were fondly farewelled by the Native dance group. Three cheers for Port Moresby and we were off towards Cooktown, arriving there three days after our ETA, due to inclement weather attempting to pass Cape Melville. Guiding at Cooktown was done with the help of several volunteers from the community and all too soon it was time to say a sad farewell to the ship. My time on board had come to an end, as I now became shore crew with Tina Driver towing the ship shop down to Cairns. With the help of the Cairns guide co-ordinator, training sessions were organised for the volunteer guides who did a splendid job during the time there. Then it was time to move on once again to Townsville for a repeat performance from another enthusiastic group of volunteers. Now we are in Mackay and about to meet up with yet another group. What would we do without all these marvellous volunteers?
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