Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this essay contains references to deceased people.
SWINGING IN MY hammock, it’s hard to get to sleep. Beside my head the sea bounces between hull and wharf – a hollow liquid sound, repetitive scrape and gollop. The rhythm hauls up lines from a sea shanty:
Oh the anchor’s onboard and the sails are unfurled
We’re bound for to take her halfway round the world.
At present we’re moored, courses and topsails lashed to their yards. But at first light we’ll continue the work of taking Duyfken almost all the way around Australia – a six-month delivery voyage from the National Maritime Museum in Sydney to her home port of Fremantle. Some things don’t change with the centuries: you still can’t sail against the roaring forties, westward along the continent’s southern edge. We’re taking the long way round.
Duyfken’s role in history has long been... Read more
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