Four hundred years ago the Duyfken, a small trading ship of the Dutch East India Company, made the first European contact with
Four hundred years ago the Duyfken, a small trading ship of the Dutch East India Company, made the first European contact with

Duyfken here in all its glory



WORKING in an office all day Vanessa Maruna wanted to have an adventure ? one that she would always remember and one that was different to anything she had done before.

She found exactly what she was looking for when she boarded the Duyfken ? a replica of the Dutch ship that made the first European contact with Australia in 1606 ? in Cairns almost one month ago as a volunteer crew member.

"It has been an amazing month. I wanted to do something different, so going from working in an office in Port Douglas to working on a ship has been a big change," Ms Maruna said.

The Duyfken arrived in Coffs Harbour yesterday, a day earlier than expected, despite being hindered by weather conditions.

Not having any previous sailing experience, Ms Maruna had to learn the ropes very quickly and adapt to life without creature comforts.

The Duyfken's current crew, six permanent and 10 volunteers, have to share similar conditions to those that the original crew of the vessel would have endured 400 years ago.

It carries a minimum of modern navigational gear to supplement the traditional methods and small auxiliary engines to manoeuvre in and out of ports.

"Everything is done the traditional way ? which, as I found out, is the hard way," Ms Maruna said.



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