Journalist, historian and naturalist living in Perth's eastern suburbs.
All aboard the good ship Duyfken for a historic anniversary
On January 24, it will be 20 years since the hull of 17th Century replica Dutch sailing ship the Duyfken was launched at Fremantle.
The event will be celebrated on the Duyfken which is moored at the South of Perth Yacht Club on Thursday, January 24, to thank the hundreds of people who have helped steer the ship through the calm waters and stormy seas of those 20 years.
CEO of the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation, Peter Bowman, encouraged all who those made Duyfken happen in the beginning, and to all those who have kept her afloat and operating since her launch, to book tickets for the celebration.
This month marks two decades since the 17th Century replica Dutch sailing ship the Duyfken was launched at Fremantle.
They are available from the Duyfken Office by phoning 0427 160 606 or emailing email@example.com
The Duyfken, built in Fremantle and launched in 1999, is a replica of the little ship which journeyed from its home in Holland to North Western Australia more than 400 years ago.
It was built at a cost of $3.7 million and has undertaken voyages around the world, sailing to the home of the original Duyfken in Holland and back in 2002 and then in 2016 undertook a three month voyage to ports of call along Western Australia's coast to commemorate Dirk Hartog's landing near Shark Bay 400 years ago.
The Duyfken has become a familiar sight on the Swan River.
It has been on display at Elizabeth Quay and is currently offering a twilight summer sailing programme from the South of Perth Yacht Club before sailing to AQWA at Hillarys Boat Harbour on Sunday, March 31.
Under this new arrangement, Duyfken will relocate to the AQWA site from April to October in the years 2019, 2020 and 2021, where the ship will go on exhibition as a floating museum within the marina at AQWA.
Fremantle community leader, the late Michael G Kailis led the efforts to build the Duyfken. Sadly Mr Kailis died in June 1999, shortly before the ship was set to sail for the first time.
A group of like-minded people were gathered together in 1993 by historian Michael Young which became the charitable Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation.
All the ship's equipment, including the cannons, are authentically replicated using the methods and materials of the 17th Century.
The motivation for building the ship was to help tell the story of Australia's first recorded European visitors and to set the record straight about the popular historical myths, that the first European to step ashore in Australia was Dirk Hartog and secondly that Australia was "discovered" by Captain Cook.
Duyfken's Dutch skipper, Captain Willem Janszoon made the first recorded chart of the Australian coastline.
Janszoon, also recorded contact between Aboriginal Australians and people from the outside world, for the first time, during Duyfken's 1606 voyage.
It was this visit that marks the beginning of Australia's recorded European history.
The Duyfken replica has been hailed as the most exacting "Age of Discovery" replica sailing ship by Dutch historians.
The ship's hull is built from Latvian European Oak and her sails and rig are all natural flax and hemp.
She was built and fitted-out in Fremantle using "plank-first" construction, using fire to bend the hull planks, adding inside frames afterwards.
Fear not, the anniversary banquet will not be produced using 17th Century kitchen utensils.
The hull was launched on January 241999 and she was able to sail for the first time on July 10 1999, with work quickly getting underway to prepare the ship for the Chevron 2000 Duyfken Expedition.
Thousands of people helped to build the Duyfken including experienced shipwrights headed by Bill Leonard, Australia's most acclaimed master shipwright, who was joined by a team of volunteer shipwrights.
Funding for the project came from the Governments of the Netherlands, Western Australia, Queensland, and Australia, the Lotteries Commission of WA, private donors, the MG Kailis Group of Companies and many other companies and community members.
Over the decades many an aspiring sailor has learned the ropes aboard Duyfken.
Having completed the vessel, a crew was required with the skills to sail a 400-year old Dutch tall ship design. It took a year to find a crew which could adapt to life on such a primitive vessel.
The Ship's Master was one of Australia's most experienced tall ship masters, Peter Manthorpe, who was joined by First Mate Gary Wilson who later became Master of the vessel.
They had to rediscover sailing skills not used for 300 years to sail the 24 metre, 140-tonne ship, but as the Duyfken met the challenges thrown at it the sailors began to understand the wisdom of the Dutch shipbuilders from the Age of Discovery overcoming all the ocean challenges she faced.
It is believed the Duyfken is the only ship using a traditional Dutch whipstaff or "kolderstok" for steering, left in the world.