In 1606, the Duyfken left the spice island of Banda and sailed east in search of a “fabled land of gold” known as Tera Australis Incognita. A fast, sturdy little ship, Little Dove was a troubleshooter for larger cargo ships, battling Portuguese traders, carrying provisions and exploring foreign waters. Nearly four centuries later the Duyfken replica left the shores of Australia, no longer a fabled continent but a modern nation, and set sail for Banda. Her mission this time – peace, as her name suggests. The only shots fired from the vessel sailing in her wake were from a camera. Robert Garvey traces the building of the replica, from the symbolic laying of the keel in the Duyfken shipyard in Fremantle to her sea trials. He charts her maiden voyage up the coast of Western Australia to Banda in the Indonesian Spice Islands, and thence on to Cape York in Queensland where the little Dove took on a new role – as an instrument of reconciliation with the Aboriginal people of the region. pp. 104 Illustrated.The scent of smoking oak clouds the salty air, while the sounds of sawyers and shipwrights at work mingle with the bustle of a busy port. The ship under construction is the Duyfken, a sturdy Dutch ‘jacht’ destined, in 1606, to become the first recorded European vessel to drop anchor in Australian waters.Nearly four hundred years later, on the west coast of Australia, a team of experts and enthusiasts research and build a museum-standard replica, using the seventeenth-century ‘plank first’ technique, bending timbers over fires and pinning the hull together with wooden ‘tree nails’. No plans exist for Dutch ships of the era – master shipwrights designed as they buiIn To Build a Ship, Robert Garvey’s vivid images transport the reader back to a by-gone era of wooden ship-building and exploratory voyages, invoking the sensation of tarred hemp rope in calloused hands and the thrill of discovery in an Age of Sail. Garvey documents not only the construction of the VOC replica ship Duyfken, but also her maiden voyage to the luscious spice islands of Banda, where the hillsides are dotted with crumbling Dutch ruins and nutmeg is still harvested by hand for the world’s kitchens #0217/1117/0221 ISBN 10: 1876268581I SBN 13: 9781876268589 First Edition. Signed by Author. (inscription)
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