It´s the year 1629, a stormy and dark night, with the helmsman of the sailing vessel Batavia keeping an eye on the course. Unfortunately he mistakes the breaking waves of a shallow reef with reflections of the moon on the water..and so disaster strikes when the ship hits the sharp reef of the Albrolhos Islands, near the place known as Geraldton today.
The Captain starts out to Jakarta in search of rescue, in a small boat overloaded with people and low on food and water. The first attempts to land at the Australian coast in their quest for supplies fail, due to high wind and massive waves....So the Dutch shipwrecked were the first ones to explore the perfect windsurfing conditions along the unchartered Australian west coast, but in a forced way. In the meantime, the shipwrecked left behind on the Albrolhos Islands started a mutiny, slaughtering the defenceless, young and old..
We have been at the Australian westcoast a couple of times, so no unchartered terra incognita for us like it had been for the sailors in the days gone by. Fortunately, without getting shipwrecked...ok, we broke a mast or two but there was no reason to start a mutiny.
Too constant and too good were the windsurfing conditions, too perfect the weather conditions while we were there, and the easy way of the Australian locals made you feel welcome and at ease at once.
Story and photos by Chris Hafer