Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 728x90

Book of the Week- Batavia, gripping, horrifying, the best read!

by Rob Tickner/Sail-World Cruising on 5 Apr 2011
Peter FitzSimon’s version of ’Batavia’ SW
The story of the Batavia must be one of the most fascinating, if horrifying, sailing shipwreck stories of all time.

It combines a tale of derring-do, of sea-faring adventure, mutiny, love, lust, blood-lust, petty fascist dictatorship, criminality, a reign of terror, murders most foul, sexual slavery, natural nobility, survival, retribution, rescue, first contact with native peoples with the unlikely tale of the birth of the world's first corporation, the brutality of colonisation, the battle of good versus evil, the and so much more.


The story is set in 1629, when the pride of the Dutch East India Company, the Batavia, is on its maiden voyage en route from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies, laden down with the greatest treasure to leave Holland.

The magnificent ship is already boiling over with a mutinous plot that is just about to break into the open when, just off the coast of Western Australia, it strikes an unseen reef in the middle of the night.

While Commandeur Francisco Pelsaert decides to take the long-boat across 2000 miles of open sea for help, his second-in-command Jeronimus Cornelisz takes over, quickly deciding that 250 people on a small island is unwieldy for the small number of supplies they have.

Quietly, he puts forward a plan to 40-odd mutineers how they could save themselves, kill most of the rest and spare only a half-dozen or so women, including his personal fancy, Lucretia Jansz - one of the noted beauties of Holland - to service their sexual needs.

A reign of terror begins, countered only by a previously anonymous soldier Wiebbe Hayes, who begins to gather to him those are prepared to do what it takes to survive...hoping against hope that the Commandeur will soon be coming back to them with the rescue yacht.

It all happened, long ago, and it is for a very good reason that Peter FitzSimons has long maintained that this is 'far and away the greatest story in Australia's history, if not the world's.'

Well, Peter, as the ship was not on its way to Australia, but on its way to the Dutch East Indies, strictly speaking it's not an Australian story at all. But it did happen close to the West Australian coastline, so let us not split straws. This is also not the first book that has been written about the shipwreck of the Batavia, but Peter FitzSimons' captivating style is sure to make it a popular read.

You can easily buy an earlier version of the shocking tale, which has been available for many years, either at your bookstore or online. If the newer Peter FitzSimons version is not available at your local marine book store, you can buy it online by http://www.boatbooks-aust.com.au!clicking_here.
Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearInsun - AC ProgramZhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Southern Spars AC50 build for Emirates Team NZ + Video
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map 27 years after Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, Southern Spars were called on to build Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup Challenger. Here's a look behind the scenes at the composite engineering process Southern Spars employ on projects ranging from Volvo OR spars, to Olympic bike wheels to an AC50
Posted today at 2:45 am
America's Cup - Practice Session 4, Final day - on the water video
MyislandhomeBDA who has been doing an outstanding job with video coverage from Bermuda was invited on the water MyislandhomeBDA who has been doing an outstanding job with video coverage from Bermuda was invited on the water by Artemis Racing, and filed these reports on the final day of Practice Session 4 on the Great Sound, Bermuda. These videos are shot and produced by Jason Smith, who is living on the proverbial shoestring.
Posted on 30 Apr
America's Cup - Artemis Racing emerging as Cup favorites
Out on Bermuda's Great Sound Artemis Racing are emerging as contenders to win the America's Cup Out on Bermuda's Great Sound, on a fast catamaran named Magic Blue, Iain Percy and his mates with Artemis Racing are emerging as contenders to win the America's Cup while honoring the memory of Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, who was killed in a training accident four years ago. Artemis is keeping Simpson in mind while quickly finding the sea legs it didn't get the chance to develop in the 2013 regatta.
Posted on 29 Apr
America's Cup - Spithill says valuable lessons learned this week
Oracle Team USA finished the latest practice week on a positive note with two wins in three starts in Friday’s races. Oracle Team USA finished the latest practice week on a positive note with two wins in three starts in Friday’s races. The end of the week saw moderate 10-knot Southerly conditions similar to what many are predicting for the America’s Cup race period in June. But earlier in the week, the winds were often closer to 20 knots, from the east, making for challenging conditions.
Posted on 29 Apr
World Sailing Show - Video news - May 2017 - Volvo 65, America's Cup
May 2017 edition of World Sailing News, which this month features Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup and more May 2017 edition of World Sailing News, which this month features: Winding the clock back on a Volvo 65 and taking a race boat that already has over 40,000 hard miles under its keel might not be your idea of a perfect start for another lap of the planet. But the newly refurbished fleet of Volvo 65s are better than new. We went to Portugal to find out how this can be so.
Posted on 29 Apr
America's Cup - All six teams race together for the first time
All six America’s Cup teams taking part for the first time on the racecourse that will be used in the 35th America’s Cup More America’s Cup Class (ACC) practice racing has been taking place on Bermuda’s Great Sound, now with all six America’s Cup teams taking part for the first time on the racecourse that will be used in the 35th America’s Cup. Emirates Team New Zealand were the last team to arrive in the home of the 35th America’s Cup and raced for the first time today with a 2-2 win/loss record.
Posted on 29 Apr
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ score two wins in first hit-out
After less than one week since the first sail in Bermuda, Emirates Team New Zealand joined their opponents on the water After less than one week since the first sail in Bermuda, Emirates Team New Zealand joined their opponents on the water for the last day of the latest round of the America’s Cup Class (ACC) practice racing. All six America’s Cup teams, now based in Bermuda, took part in a series of match races in 8-10 knots of breeze.
Posted on 28 Apr
28th May announced as the America’s Cup Endeavour Day
The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program, dedicated to inspiring everybody who engages with the initiative and to leaving a sporting legacy in Bermuda that has a strong, positive impact on the community.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup Champion forced out of Practice Race session + Video
Russell Coutts' comments following the conclusion of Practice Session 4 will be illuminating Five-time America's Cup winner, Russell Coutts' comments following the conclusion of Practice Session 4 will be illuminating. After the conclusion of four days of the five days scheduled racing in Bermuda, the Oracle Team USA CEO may find some of his comments on previous sessions coming back to haunt him.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Close call as Emirates TNZ takes a nosedive in Bermuda
Emirates Team New Zealand was caught in a gust recorded at 24.3kts and nosedived today in Bermuda. With fresh winds forecast to ease later in the day, Emirates Team New Zealand left the harbour at the Royal Dockyard to head for a training session. She was caught in a gust recorded at 24.3kts and nosedived.
Posted on 26 Apr