Ship sails into documentary

The Duyfken sailed through the rain-lashed waters of the Indian Ocean off WA yesterday, like it did more than 400 years ago.

In 1606, the original Duyfken became the first European ship to reach Australia.

This year, the Duyfken's story of discovering Australia will be told in the popular British history documentary Coast.

During yesterday's voyage, Duyfken 1606 Replica board member John Longley showed Coast Australia presenter Neil Oliver how the 2000 replica works like the original.

WA will feature heavily in the second series of Coast Australia, which airs in Australia in December, with two of the eight episodes dedicated to the Pilbara and South West.

Oliver, a renowned Scottish historian and archaeologist, said Cape Leeuwin was one of the most striking places he had visited for the series.

"When you go to these extreme points - there was nothing between us and Africa and two oceans coming together - it's very emotive," he said.

Mr Longley is best known as the project manager and a crew member for Australia II, which won the America's Cup in 1983.

He also spent 12 years building and sailing the replica of Captain James Cook's ship Endeavour.

But Mr Longley says the story of Australia's coastline starts with the Duyfken in 1606 and continues with its replica, which is moored in Fremantle.

He said the replica ship was unique in its authenticity.

"There's nothing else like it in the world," Mr Longley said.

"This ship was a great maritime archaeological project."

The Duyfken, which was owned by the Dutch East India Company, was stationed in the East Indies.

It was on an exploration voyage for "east and south lands" when it became the first recorded European vessel to make landfall with Australia, at the Cape York Peninsula.

The Duyfken was built by the "plank-first" method, where the frame is shaped first, with oak moulded by heat and water, then the internal structure.

'There's nothing else like it in the world.'"Duyfken 1606 Replica board member *John Longley *

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West