Pirates party ahead of departure

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian

Swashbuckling pirates of all ages swarmed the Duyfken for Pirate Day last weekend, exploring the history of the Dutch East India Company ship as part of Festivals on the Foreshore.

The ship anchored in Batavia Marina last weekend and will be open to the public until this Sunday.

It will then sail up to Denham for the Dirk Hartog Voyage of Discovery Shark Bay 1616 Festival.

Since leaving Bunbury on August 18, the ship has called in at six ports and travelled nearly 1000km up the west coast.

Land crew member Beverly Peterson said Pirate Day was an opportunity for the crew to let their hair down.

“It’s my favourite day on the ship as it gives the crew a chance to relax and have some fun,” she said.

“The children get to dress up, climb on things and fight the crew.

“They look absolutely great all dressed up.”

As children fought crew members with plastic swords and guns, parents wandered around the replica ship, finding out what life was like for the 30 men that lived on board the ship for up to 12 months.

Although there are no records of pirate activity taking place on board the Duyfken, crew member and acting Captain Barry Griffin highlighted the unnecessary amount of cannons on board.

“The ship was called a ‘hunter’ ship, or a cargo carrier,” he said.

“But you’ll see that a cargo carrier doesn’t carry 10 cannons.

“The spices were worth their weight in gold — why would you take up weight with cannons?”

This year marks 400 years since discoverer Dirk Hartog made landfall on an island off the WA coast.

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