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Published: November 24th 2019
Arrival in Darwin
Yacht in sunset silhouette
Having left Komodo Island, we had more sea days as we cruised east to Darwin, our next port of call. We were to arrive around 4.00pm, but we were delayed as another vessel was berthed at our wharf.
There are many things that happen along the way while at sea, most are enjoyable and entertaining, but for some, a perfectly good cruise can turn into a nightmare. This cruise was no different. One passenger took very seriously ill about 7 hours after departure from Singapore. Another tripped on the deck and broke an arm. Closer to Darwin, another passenger took ill and the care flight helicopter met Pacific Dawn at sea to winch up a patient and take them to Darwin's Hospital.
The evacuation is a slow and precise flight process in co-ordination with the ship's captain. Dawn slowed to 7 knots and the helicopter manoeuvred alongside the stern of the ship, firstly lowering a doctor and the recovery team. Their job was to ensure that the patient was safely prepared for the evacuation lift and complete handover from the ships medical officer. Once ready, the helicopter moves in again over the stern and the patient lifted up along
Pacific Dawn all lit up
Something you cannot photograph at sea as we were not allowed to fly our drone.
with the medical team. During this time, no one was allowed in the pantry or the upper deck areas such as the pool and water park.
The lectures and trivia and entertainment continued as before but with an unexpected twist. The Lazy Leis are a rather unique band that play electric ukuleles, the silliest and smallest keyboard ever, and, a real drum set. Their presentations are quite quirky, foot stomping modern music. On this cruise, the second half of their evening performance went wild. Gary Starr joined in for an impromptu session. There was a group whose dancing skills seemed to have been lubricated, joined in with the most exaggerated dance moves, with some even dancing on tables to the concern of crew. Then there was a portside vs starboard sing off that sounded amazing. That was a late night for David and myself, the girls retiring earlier.
While at sea, we had to complete immigration procedures and collect our passports, ready for the arrival at Darwin, and on to Brisbane. Margaret was so pleased - no thumb print scanner!!!
Marg and I had visited Darwin, Litchfield National Park and the other surrounding areas not so long
Rescue at sea
Medical team lowered to ship ready for an evacuation
ago, so we decided to leisurely look around the shops and central area of Darwin rather than take a tour to where we had already visited.
One of the things we wanted to do was get a night photo of the Dawn all lit up. We got permission to go to the end of the staff carpark to get the majority of the ship into the image. That done, we were the first passengers to return to the ship catching the crew by surprise.
We enjoyed the quiet walk about and found lots of interesting things. Marg went into a couple of Darwin's well known dress shops. Beautiful clothes they were, but she resisted the temptation. There were artists plying their trade in the street including a gifted guitarist/singer. Sadly, another musician with a super boom box drowned him out for half an hour, and then he just went back to doing what he enjoyed.
Cyclone Tracey destroyed much of central Darwin in 1974. Some old buildings did survive, but much was reduced to matchsticks. The Cathedral did not miss out on the destruction. Just the front entry brick façade stood amongst all the rubble. This was
Rescue at sea
Helicopter circled the ship waiting for the rescue.
duly preserved and stabilised, and you will see in the photos how it is incorporated into the new building.
Food. The Sugar Fix Station seemed to be very regularly visited by certain passengers more than once each day. One evening they had a beautiful Strawberry Stack Cake. When I arrived and asked for a slice, the cake was almost done when, all of a sudden, the remaining piece fell over, just a little mangled. Quick as a flash, the whole remaining piece was on a plate heading my way. I arrived back at the table to gaping mouths declaring there was no way I could eat all that cake. I produced a second spoon and Marg and I enjoyed the yummiest desert of the trip while our friends salivated envy. Once eaten, I said there was another cake if they wanted some. They did!
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