Meet the Crew

Robin Chester - Captain

Captain Chester started his seagoing career in the UK in 1962 and obtained his Masters Certificate of Competency in 1972.

Captain Chester continued serving on a variety of vessels when he migrated to Australia until his retirement in 2010, after a seagoing career spanning 48 years.

In 2013 Captain Chester started volunteering with the Duyfken Foundation, guiding and helping with maintenance work and as then asked to act as volunteer Master of Duyfken for day sails in the Swan River and off the coast of Fremantle.

Captain Chester is a Member of the Company of Master Mariners of Australia and also a Member of the Nautical Institute (UK).

Finn Prosser-Wood - 1st Mate

Hailing from the wind-swept island of Tasmania, Finn has worked on many different sailing ships in Australia and around the world, as well as in the Australian merchant navy.

He first joined Duyfken in 2012 and is looking forward to another great season.

Mike Dallen - 2nd Mate

Based in Sydney, Mike sails as Chief Officer of the 1874 barque James Craig and Second Officer of the bark Endeavour.

He has been involved in sail training through the sail training vessels Windeward Bound and One & All.

He also acted as Chief Officer of Duyfken during her 400th Anniversary voyage in 2006.

Susan Vandermark - Engineer

Born in W.A. to Dutch parents, I have a history of travels and time at sea. I was Captain of Perth Ferry for 2 years, Marine Engine Driver a prerequisite, fulfilled my love of boating and socialising. Tall ship sailing began with the Duyfken in 2012, and Bosun’s position aboard the Leeuwin.

Paula Tinney - Cook

Paula started sailing on square rigged tall ships in 2002 in Fremantle WA on the STS Leeuwin II and was soon hooked on the adventure and challenges. She became a Watch Leader and sailed on over 20 voyages along the coast of WA and NT over the years. After sailing to Darwin in 2003, the tropical winter and friendly people invited a longer stay. She is still living in Darwin, between overseas travel and sailing adventures.

Always up for a tall ship sailing adventure, she has previously crewed on Duyfken, James Craig, Soren Larsen, Bark Europa and is currently working HMB Endeavour voyages.

Andrew Bibby - Bosun

My Name is Andrew Bibby. I was born in 1981 in Brisbane, a first generation Australian of British descent. I studied cabinet making as a teenager doing solid timber furniture & shop-fitting. I joined the Duyfken in January 2009 as part of the volunteer maintenance team and worked my way up to Bosun.

Louisa Vaupel - Crew

Louisa first came aboard Duyfken in 2009 on the Cairns marina. She joined the crew for the delivery to Brisbane, sailing down through the Whitsundays and never look back from those unforgettable months aboard a square rig.

Louisa helped crew Duyfken across the top from Weipa to Darwin and then Geraldton to Fremantle in 2012.

Louisa completed Arts/Law in Sydney and combines working in law and research with a love for the ocean. Louisa also kitesurfs, runs and practises yoga.

Frank Talen - Crew

Of Dutch heritage, Frank was drawn to Duyfken by a news story in 1993. He has been a regular crewmember and maintainer since her return to Fremantle in 2002.

Frank has written many poems inspired by the ship and welcomes day-sail passengers with his 1997 poem “Spice Chaser: the VOC jacht Duyfken.”

David Bowden - Crew

My Father was at sea as a Master and I have inherited his passion for the Ocean sailing and navigation.

First involved with Dutch period sailing ships as a volunteer diver to the Fremantle Maritime Museum. Little did I know later in life I would form a strong bond with the Replica ship Duyfken and make passage on the Hartog 400th anniversary voyage. Wow

Jennifer Millar - Crew

Jennifer loves the ocean and grew up enjoying WA's pristine beaches. She only got into sailing upon moving at the age of 21 to La Rochelle, France - a port city steeped in maritime history on the country's west coast.

She has never sailed on a tall ship and so is looking forward to the Duyfken voyage as a new and exciting sea-faring opportunity.

Carey Randell - Crew

Originally from the UK, Carey first learnt to sail in dinghies in Greece many years ago.

Travelling around Australia in 1988, she crew on a yacht from Cairns to Brisbane and joined Tall Ship sailing on STS Leeuwin in Sydney – Tall Ship Race, Australia Day, Bicentenary 1988. Carey sailed Leeuwin south coast from Portland, Victoria to Broome.

Carey saw the Duyfken launched in 1999 and became involved as a volunteer since her return to Fremantle few years ago.

Richard Baker - Crew

Hi there! My name is Richard. I work for the WA department of transport, I'm a member of the Royal Western Australian historical society and I've been a guide and crew member aboard Duyfken for the past several years.

I'm extremely excited to be on the Hartog voyage and honoured to be a part of the 400 year commemoration of his landing on this great state!"

Freek Bijlsma - Crew

Started sailing as a young Dutch sailor at an age of 6 years old.

Arrived in Perth in 2010 and raced in the weekends on sailing yachts on the ocean/river.

Freek joined Duyfken in December 2012 when she arrived back in Fremantle. He has sailed many times with the ship on the ocean and river and is still amazed how great this replica sails!

Jeff Pengelly - Crew

I became a Duyfken volunteer in September 2012, initially as a guide, then as the ship put to sea, became a volunteer crew person, which I have thoroughly enjoyed.

I spent 21 years in the Royal Australian Navy, so I suppose it's no surprise I still have salt water flowing through my veins.

Adrian Hill - Crew

I have a keen interest in the history of nautical exploration. I enjoy volunteering as a member of the Duyfken sailing crew and am privileged to have crewed on many enjoyable day sails.

If I am not on deck manning the braces, I will be down below in the tiller flat!

Bradley Moyle - Crew

I first sailed on board the STS Leeuwin II in late 2014 for the uni challenge. It was at this time I realised how fun tall ship sailing can be.

A friend of mine introduced me to the Duyfken and her crew in early 2015 and I've been helping out where I can since then.

John Longley AM CitWA - Crew

John has been involved with sailing all his life. He sailed in 5 Americas Cup Campaigns including being on Australia II in for her 1983 win.

He managed the construction of HMB Endeavour and sailed on her extensively. He is the Chairman of the 1606 Duyfken Foundation and has crewed on past voyages.

Nicholas Wilson - Crew

Prior to the Duyfken, I had very little sailing experience beyond fishing boats. The Duyfken opened doors to a whole new maritime world of oceanic adventures, for which I am extremely grateful. I have now joined a sailing club as a result and endeavour to learn the ropes as fast as possible.

Alex Castledine - Crew

After being involved in the Esperance yacht club all my life, volunteering on board the Duyfken became an excellent way to fill the void created when I left my home town to study in Perth in 2014. Sailing on such a special ship with such wonderful, welcoming people has been an honour, and to be involved on this voyage to Dirk Hartog Island is a dream opportunity.

Julie Fedele - Crew

Julie fell in love with the Duyfken in 2006, joining as voyage crew and sailing down the NSW coast. In 2012, she sailed on the return voyage to Fremantle. Julie has also voyaged on Leeuwin II, HMB Endeavour and James Craig, but nothing beats coming home to Little Dove.

Gabby Curran - Crew

I joined sea scouts at 1st Fremantle Scout Group in 2012 and am a current sea scout at 1st Fremantle Rover Crew. This is what introduced me to sailing and gave me the opportunity to which I was able to branch into sailing aboard the Duyfken at the end of 2013.

Kieran Bogumil - Crew

Kieran taught himself to sail in early 2008 when he started construction on his own yacht. In 2013 he started keelboat racing on the Swan River where a chance conversation resulted in him regularly volunteering with the Duyfken. He has since been an integral part of the Duyfken crew.

Lars Steffens - Crew

Lars is a professional sailor and adventurer with a keen interest in sustainable forms of sea-transport. He joined the Duyfken’s sail- and maintenance-team in 2015.

Ian Burthem - Crew

From a keen sailing family, I've always held a fascination with old sailing ships. As a young child in Fremantle I remember going to see a tank full of 400-year-old ship wreck timbers undergoing preservation. This was from the Batavia wreck and I became interested in the early Dutch exploration of Western Australia, particularly the other 3 VOC ships known to have wrecked on the WA coast.

In recent years I moved back to Perth from Sydney and found that Duyfken was back also!

After a guided tour of the Duyfken I was hooked and became a volunteer. First sail may 2014. A regular member of the crew since then

Rupert Lodge - Crew

Rupert Lodge is a Chartered Engineer working in the construction industry in Perth after relocating from the UK in 2012. He has always had a passion for ships and the sea which began with the Keel Comrade and later the Sloop Amy Howson on the River Humber. These ships trace their lines back to the Viking Longships and is easily seen in the rig of the keel – derived from the word Ceol which is old Norse for ship. Later, Rupert became an engineer on the steam lighter VIC56 built in 1944 and one of the last operational steam coasters left in the world based in Chatham England – where much of Duyfken’s rope was made.

In 2013, Rupert discovered Duyfken and has been an active volunteer since.

Todd Whitfield - Crew

Todd has been sailing since childhood and has been competing in weekend racing at Claremont Yacht Club for the last 10 years.

A recent trip to South America included a crossing of the Drake Passage to Antarctica and back in a Force 9 gale, which is one way to definitely get your sea legs! Todd works in Architecture and also loves aviation, classic cars, travelling and history – so the Duyfken project is especially interesting as it combines his passion for history, travelling and sailing.

Wendy Thornton - Crew

After waiting a lifetime, I finally had the opportunity to indulge in my passion for sailing on tall ships. It started several years ago as crew and a volunteer on both the Leeuwin and the Endeavour and I’m now happy and proud to be part of the Duyfken family.

David Cook - Crew

I last sailed on Duyfken on its 2006 Voyage. The severe storm we encountered in the Southern Ocean was very memorable. 10 years on and two kids later and I’m back. I love that the Duyfken is made with natural materials. Best of all is the smell of the tar!

Gillian Henderson - Crew

Learnt to sail on a freezing loch in Scotland as a teenager. Raced out of RFBYClub BC (before children!), guide on Endeavour during construction and joined Duyfken as crew in September 2014. Enjoying learning rope and canvas work, as well as crewing and guiding.

Nien Schwarz - Crew

I was born in the Netherlands and emigrated by ship to Quebec, Canada. I grew up on the shores of the Gatineau River where I first learned to sail. I came to Australia in 1994 and Fremantle is now my home. I am a visual artist and a Senior Lecturer at Edith Cowan University where I specialise in visual art. I have a deep penchant for Earth sciences, mapping, and working in remote regions. To better appreciate WA geography and history, and my Dutch heritage, I started volunteering with the Duyfken Foundation in 2015. Learning to sail as a team, analysing our coastline from offshore and helping other volunteers to help maintain a Dutch 16th century replica tall ship is a highlight in my life.  

Karri Davies - Crew

Hello all, my name is Karri Davies and I consider myself a bit of a worldwide wanderer and adventurer, tall ships especially. Sailing adventures include sailing to Antarctica on the Bark Europa, racing through Europe on Statsraad Lehmkuhl and an epic two months sailing Sydney to Brazil on the Young Endeavours 2015 circumnavigation. I am very excited to have the opportunity to sail the Duyfken back to Fremantle.

Andrew Blackmore - Crew

“Messing about on the river” (Thames) on a lateen-rig Sunfish as a kid, then in Belgium in a 420 as soon as my own son was old enough.

Retired to Perth in 2010, bringing with me an old 5m 2-berth sailing cruiser, now at Nedlands Yacht Club. Joined Duyfken team in April 2013 for the sailing, but then also as guide for school-groups.

Brunhilde Prince - Crew

In moving to coastal Perth in the 70s, scuba diving became a compelling activity. Historic wrecks including the Dutch shipwrecks beckoned, as did dragon boat racing over many years.

On Duyfken’s return to Perth in 2012, a newspaper article invited volunteers as shipkeeper and this immediately sparked an interest. This has led to an ongoing commitment to “hands on” in a variety of activities as a volunteer.

Cameron Dyson - Crew

I have done two voyages on the Leeuwin II, the first voyage I was a deck hand for a week as part of school work experience. The second voyage I was part of the crew as cook’s mate, where I helped prepare and serve the meals to the crew and kept the main saloon clean.

Gail Thornton - Crew

A late bloomer, I “ran away to sea” with STS Leeuwin II in 2011 after starting as a volunteer during her annual maintenance, when I fell in love with the sight, smell, taste and touch of tar!!

Later in the year came a voyage on HMB Endeavour, along with heavy participation in tour guiding and ship keeping, whilst she was in Fremantle.

When Duyfken returned in September 2012, I was one of hundreds of excited people on the wharf, and have been very heavily involved since.

Leon van Erp - Crew

Interested in Australian history, I had an opportunity to sail on the Duyfken as a passenger not long after it was built. The enjoyment of that experience stayed with me and so, as a retired 65-year-old, I jumped at the chance to reacquaint myself with this magnificent ship as a volunteer in October 2015. Since that time, I have enjoyed being part of the wonderful Duyfken team and have been fortunate enough to crew for the first time recently. An old novice maybe, but raring to go!

Marielle Sengers - Crew

Originally from the Netherlands, I moved to WA 13 years ago and have been working since as a tour guide throughout the entire state, guiding day and extended tours over land. Passionate about Dutch-Australian maritime history and everything that has to do with the ocean, whether it's boating, diving, surfing, fishing, paddling. I feel privileged being part of the Duyfken celebrations of the Dirk Hartog year and am looking forward to the commemorative voyage in October 2016.

Beverley Pietersen - Land Crew

I first became aware of the Duyfken in the late 90s & watched it being built as I was living in Fremantle at the time.

By the time the Duyfken returned to WA in 2013, I had retired & it was the perfect opportunity for me to become involved by Volunteering.

Barry Griffin - Land Crew

I got Involved with the Duyfken after reading an article in the Have-a-Go Magazine.

I enjoy school tours & Pirate Days, I have found the Ship to be a great way to connect with people interested in Maritime History.

Elly Spillekom - Land Crew

The vastness of this country, especially the West Coast with his Dutch history always fascinated me. I was born in the Zaanstreek, one of the oldest industrial areas in the world, where VOC mills such as wood mills, spice mills, oil mills from the 17th Century are still working to this day.  The Duyfken 1606 Replica sailed to the Netherlands in 2002 for the celebration of 400 years VOC. I visited the ship in de Zaanse Schans moored in front of an 17th century mill and I was amazed that a tiny ship like this could sail all around the world. I love the VOC history and friends of mine are shipbuilders and helped built the replicas of the Batavia and Stad Amsterdam. When I came to live in Fremantle in 2013, I started straight away to be a volunteer on the Duyfken.

Vikki Baldwin - Land Crew

Vikki joined the Duyfken Foundation in 2012 when the ship returned to its home port of Fremantle. Since then she has been actively involved in assisting the Board in marketing the vessel. In 2014, Vikki was elected to the Duyfken Board.

Jill Millman - Land Crew

Jill was born in 1935 and retired from running a Finance company in 1996.

She was given a 3-nights ship keeping on Endeavour, then volunteered for 8 years with Leeuwin. In 2004, she fell in love with the Dove and is still volunteering actively.

Mike Whitley - Crew

I was born in the UK and immigrated to Australia in 1974. I was a chef by profession but also did several other types of work in my life. I am an outgoing person, who likes people and has good intrapersonal skills, have travelled a lot, is a member of Freemasonry, sing in a choir, like being involved in theatre, play tennis, bike riding and gym.I am active in voluntary work and that is why I am involved in the “Duyfken”. It is a challenge and a big bold daring adventure.