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Celebrating 25 Years Since the Launch!

The cover of the new book Through Darkest Seas, the story of Duyfken

Ask at your favourite local bookshop or buy online in Hardcover, Paperback and as an Ebook.

The amazing true, behind-the-scenes story of the construction and voyaging of Australia's first ship.
A gripping new book!

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From the construction of the ship in Fremantle, Australia 
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24 Duyfken Indonesia 1-080.tif

To a Grand Expedition through Indonesia
to Queensland

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And then the Greatest Voyage from Sydney to The Netherlands - Through Darkest Seas is a must read book for anyone interested in sailing ships and maritime history 

About Duyfken

The first Duyfken (Little Dove) was sailed from The Netherlands to Indonesia and then to Australia. 

Duyfken was the first ship recorded in history to visit what we now know as Australia. Her Ship’s Master, Willem Jansz, charted the waters in and around Cape York Peninsula in 1606. That voyage resulted in the Australian land mass being represented on a world map for the first time. The 1606 voyage also marked the first time in recorded European history that Aboriginal people met people from the outside world. 

In 1993, an idea sparked the imagination of a group of people in Fremantle, Western Australia. That idea was to build a replica of Duyfken and the vision grew to create a seaworthy replica which could sail the world’s great oceans like her namesake.

The Duyfken Replica was constructed in Fremantle over four years. A true community project, West Australians from all walks of life contributed to raising funds to build the ship. Governments and the corporate world made major contributions. Over four years, West Australian shipwrights carved her, piece-by-piece, out of European Oak and local timber.

The reborn Duyfken was launched in 1999. It is now regarded as the most exacting replica of a 16th century ‘Age of Discovery’ sailing ship.

Duyfken then embarked on her two great voyages.

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About the Book
Through Darkest Seas


A three year labour of love for author Graeme Cocks, Through Darkest Seas, is now available worldwide in hardcover, paperback or ebook through online bookstores, or ask at your local bookshop. It is 546 pages with dozens of black and white photographs of the construction and voyaging of the ship.

Size 9 inches by 6 inches.

The book was launched on 2 July 2023 in Australia.

Paperback      978-0-9925078-1-7

Hardcover      978-0-9925078-3-1

Ebook             978-0-9925078-2-4

The Author

About the Author

Graeme Cocks

Graeme Cocks Portrait

Author of

'Through Darkest Seas'

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 whole 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. Come aboard, for a journey 'Through Darkest Seas'.

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