Galle lighthouse, ramparts and cockerel, by Muthu.
Last modified:
24 Aug 2002

Sailing route of the Duyfken replica

In the third quarter of 2001, a replica of the 17th century VOC ship Duyfken sailed to Galle from Jakarta, known to the VOC as Batavia, after stopping for repairs at Banten on the north coast of Java. This was her eventual route:

Being dependent on the winds, she reached Galle only by sailing further to the west, and then back to the north and northeast. (The prevailing winds are described in the Master's web log, as is the eventual route.) The voyage from Banten to Galle took 30 days. To sail onwards to Africa, she had first to sail southeast, before changing course and heading southwest - a circuitous route, crossing over her original track.

The replica Duyfken motored into Galle, despite pleas from photographers. The Master decided that "as the port is less than half a mile in length and the wind would be behind us... it would be just too risky for us. We were fortunate to have the pilot come out in his launch to show us the best way through the reefs... Looking at the chart it is a wonder that this port was used so much by the Dutch, there are reefs and rocks everywhere with a strong swell pushing into the bay, must have been a nightmare of a place for those early Dutch sailors."

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