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Dutch spice ship sails into Galle port
[September 4, 2001 - 12:00 GMT]

A Dutch spice ship  - The Duyfken sailed into the port of Galle Tuesday morning after a lapse of nearly 400 years.

The Duyfken - a replica of the original, is on a journey of more than 18,000 nautical miles from Jakarta, Indonesia to the island of Texel, near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Since July, it is re-enacting a spice-trading voyage with full blown sails.

“The Duyfken's original topsails have been unable to cope with the adverse weather conditions over the last several days and have been torn beyond immediate repair,” said Graeme Cocks, Project Director of the ship.

The crew of Duyfken are now enjoying the hospitality of Hotel Closenberg, an old colonial hotel in Galle, which itself boasts of a history of 150 years.

Two of the crewmembers, Christine Henschien and Heidy Bontjer, have sustained back injuries after falling on deck during bad weather.

Talking about her sea journey, Christine Henschien said, “The sea was rough and we faced a lot of difficulties but despite those hardships now we are able to smile once again. In spite of all that happened I am glad to be in this beautiful country.” 

Sri Lanka located strategically located between Arabia and East Asia, has been a centre of trade and cultural exchange since ancient times. The southern port city of Galle has a long and glorious maritime history.

The Duyfken is scheduled to leave Sri Lanka on Sunday and the next destination will be island of Mauritius.

Updates of the ship's progress are posted on the Captain's Log at the Duyfken website,

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Last Updated Date: September 4, 2001  - 12.00 GMT.