Recently Grumpy-Human has been “getting healthy” on some new crusade of his. He has taken to dragging me along on these exercising treks. Now normally I’m up for a walk even two a day but come on, 6:30am! I’m not a morning dog!
This morning’s walk took us to an area of Perth I’m not very familiar with: South of Perth Yacht Club and the Canning River foreshore. But honestly it turned out to be a fantastic walk and so many humans and dogs out walking too, I felt guilty for my reticence at getting up so early! And look its cloudy, we like cloudy, that means cool, not HOT weather, first in a couple of weeks!
Anyway, to me story, the big thing was coming across this really ancient old ship. And it has an interesting story all of its own. The ship is called the Duyfken, well a full size replica of the original ship that last sailed over 400 years ago.
Its claim to fame is a little known fact that it made the first recorded European contact with Australia in 1606. Most Australians believe that Dirk Hartog was the first European to set foot in Australia (some even think it was Captain Cook) but this is simply not true.
Captain Willem Janszoon of the Dutch East India Company sailed the Duyfken from Indonesia south east looking for gold in New Guinea. They came across an unknown land but never realised it was in fact a new continent, the island continent of Australia.
It wasn’t until Captain Cook charted Australia 170 years later that the land was recognised as a new continent and not part of Asia or another Indonesian island.
Sadly the Duyfken crew were also the first Europeans to come in contact with Australian Aborigines and it didn’t end well… A bloody conflict ensued and lives were lost on both sides. Not a great start to relations between the two peoples. Perhaps there should have been some European dogs on board, they could have met their Australian Dingo counterparts and showed the Humans how meet and greet is properly done.
Today the Duyfken is used to educate Australia about this long forgotten chapter in its history. It does school trips and tours around the Swan River but has sailed as far away as Europe, dog it doesn’t look big enough for that, count me out of that adventure!
For those interested in finding out more check out the Duyfken website here.