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Duyfken - Through the Darkest Seas

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Celebrating 25 Years Since the Launch! Come aboard for a journey Through the Darkest Seas.

The new book causing a sensation amongst tall ship enthusiasts around the world. Graeme Cocks could just be the Anthony Bourdain and this book could be the “Kitchen Confidential” of the tall ship community. Through Darkest Seas lifts the lid on the world of tall ship construction and sailing, giving a revealing behind the scenes glimpse of what really happens when people dare to dream of building a wooden replica sailing ship. As one reader said: “This book is a manual for everyone who thinks they can build a sail and replica of a square rig sailing ship. It should be read by anyone who thinks they would love to build a tall ship before they start. It will almost certainly talk them out of such a foolish idea!”

This passionately told story is sure to delight hardened tall ship sailors and armchair adventurers, providing an insight into the world of square riggers and outlandish voyages.

A spell was cast over Graeme Cocks when he was summoned to coffee and cinnamon biscuits at an unassuming house in Fremantle, Western Australia, in 1994. For the next 20 years, he could not release himself from the grip of a little sailing ship called Duyfken - the Little Dove.

Against all odds, a magnificent 16th century Dutch sailing ship was conceived and constructed in the heart of the old port city of Fremantle. Hailed as the finest ‘Age of Discovery’ replica ship ever built, Duyfken was sailed on two momentous voyages across the world’s great oceans to Indonesia and then to Europe. And along the way, the old narrative of the first ship recorded in history to visit Australia was rewritten.

Through Darkest Seas tells the previously untold story of the replica, from its genesis in the imagination of a Dutch immigrant, to the challenge of building a remarkable ship using traditional skills, and the people who built and sailed her.

It is the complete inside account of these achievements which has never been told before.

Graeme Cocks was there from the beginning and then he ran the project through its most glorious and difficult years. The book documents the triumphant highs and tragic lows and the incredible cast of personalities who shared the Duyfken dream.

It is the first time this wonderful story has been told – a story of pain and hardship, of euphoric achievements and of questioning the very reasons why the ship was even built to begin with.