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‘Sailing the Last East Indiaman - Batavia’ is a tribute to indeed that very last East Indiaman under sail.
The original Batavia was built in Amsterdam around 1628. On her maiden voyage to the East Indies the ship floundered on the West Coast of ‘Terra Australis’ - Australia. That tragic event became one of the most gruesome stories in maritime history. In the 1960’s the wreck of the Batavia was discovered near the Abrolhos islands near Geraldton Western Australia.
Between 1985 and 1995 the new Batavia was reconstructed by Dutch Shipwright Willem Vos and a large number of volunteers.
No technical drawings existed. Willem had to reconstruct the ship with research of historical resources, paintings, archives, material lists, the Vasa in Sweden etc. His goal was to build a ship exactly the way it would have been built back in 1628. He succeeded, the ship is a genuine reconstruction of a 17th century Dutch merchant ship, when one steps on board it is like stepping back in time, the solid Oak beams , the smell of Tar and Hessian, the Flax sails, the absence of modern technology . . .
His dream to see the Batavia under sail came true in 2000. The ship was transported to Sydney to add some Dutch ‘spice’ to the celebration of the Olympic games.
Dutch - Australian photographer Jaap Roskam was the staff photographer of the Batavia. Many of his unique ‘Batavia’ photos found their ways all over the world. In 2001 Jaap learned himself the trade of Book designer, Printer and Bookbinder and set out of to produce a limited edition of a luxury bound book with his photos.
'Sailing the Last East Indiaman - Batavia' is not just a photo book, it is a historic document about one of he worlds most unique Sailing Ships ever built. A journey back in time on board of the most authentic built East Indiaman afloat, composed in a beautiful design inspired by old maps and maritime illustrations.
Sailing the Last East Indiaman - Batavia
Jaap Roskam - 2001 - 2011
I always had a great love for Historic ships. Initially studied for mechanical engineer I worked on a few Amsterdam shipyards amongst others. Later I found more pleasure in photography and after a 4 year part-time study for photographer I opened my own photo studio in Baarn , a lovely town near Amsterdam. There my partner and I had great success with all types of photography. In the late 90's we migrated to Australia where we owned a huge rural property . Surrounded by splendid sub tropical nature we had a humble but rewarding live, we performed our arts and did 'meet' our selves. It was there where I designed the Batavia book in a little shed , printed and bound it. That was way before the on-demand printing industry took off. It gave me the opportunity to learn yet another couple of trades: Graphic design , printing , book binding, web design... . Maybe I should change my name to Jack ( of all trades ). I look forward to my next book to make !