A few days in Darwin

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October 22nd 2015
Published: October 22nd 2015
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On the flybridge overlooking the marina
Tuesday 20th October 2015

The morning was spent cleaning the boat. Windows were washed, chrome polished up and the decks were scrubbed and cleared of bladders and pumps. Once again it looked like the boat that left Airlie Beach.

The crew numbers increased dramatically just after 1400hrs with the arrival of Diane, Jen and Judy, Barry, Ian and Rags’ wives respectively. Originally they were joining us until Friday, by which time the boat would have had its engines serviced, and then fly home. It has now been decided that they would stay on board with us until we reach Broome, giving them the opportunity to see the waters of the Kimberley. As this area should be the highlight of the trip it was an opportunity that was too good to miss!

Judy and Rags caught up with Jan and Graeme, friends who live in Darwin, for a drink before they caught the ferry to Mandorah, where they live. They jumped at the chance to join them for dinner at their home there, and caught the ferry with them for the 15-minute trip across the bay.

Jan and Graeme live in a lovely cottage on a 2 acre property about 4 kms from the ferry jetty. They commute to Darwin every day to their respective jobs. The ferry makes it seem as if they live in a nearby suburb of Darwin, by road it is about 140 kms away!

On returning to the boat at about 2200 hrs Judy and Rags found the boat all lit up and what seemed like a party going on so of course they joined in. Sleep came very quickly when they finally reached their tiny cabin.

Wednesday 21st October 2015

This morning we lost one of our crew, as Mark flew home to be at his son's Year 12 graduation. He hopes to rejoin us at Broome when we get there next week to drop off the ladies. It's been great having the wives join us; they can now share part of our adventure with us,

We spent the morning catching up on a few chores after which we all went off to do our own thing as couples, visiting a few of the tourist attractions in Darwin itself. All of us had been here previously but it was interesting to see how it had changed over the past few years. Rags and Judy were last here 4 years ago and they noticed the amount of new buildings which had sprung up over this time.

On our return to the boat we found Diane preparing a special dinner for us all, her version of Steak Diane. We had this outside around the stern table, enjoying the balmy conditions as the sun set. A delicious meal, the steak tender and tasty, Rags quite happy for Diane to be in charge of the galley whilst she is on board.

Thursday 22nd October 2015

Today was the final day in Darwin, the main generator motor receiving its required service. Tomorrow we intend leaving as early as possible; the time is determined by the opening of the lock and how long it takes to refuel the boat. Judy needed to work and organise things at home so didn't catch the bus into town til mid morning. Ian and Jen and caught a lift with Barry earlier.

Judy and Rags caught the bus into Darwin where they did a bit of shopping at the Mitchell centre before meeting Ian and Jen and continuing around Parliament House and walking across a skybridge to the new harbour development area. Here there are blocks of apartments with cafes underneath, facing a park with lawns and a netted off swimming area. We passed a wave pool full of excited youngsters before coming to the large Darwin Conference Centre. Rags and Judy continued walking along the breakwater to the Stoke Hill Wharf cafe area. It was quite warm so Ian and Jen decided to return to the Waterfront area and enjoy lunch at the Coffee Club. Judy and Rags enjoyed fish and chips there the last time there and wanted to repeat the experience, even though it was quite a hot walk to it. Luckily a cooling breeze started and they were able to enjoy their snack in comfort under one of the large umbrellas outside the cafe. It was interesting to sit and watch the shipping in the harbour and also to see the information that related to the bombing of Darwin Harbour in February 1942.

On returning to the city itself they made their way to the offices of the Archbishop to catch up with Jan, his personal assistant. By then they had seen and
Stoke Hill wharfStoke Hill wharfStoke Hill wharf

This mural depicts the bombing of the wharf during WW2
done enough walking so they made their way back to the bus terminal where once again they were transported back to the marina by one of the very friendly drivers.

Reading and snoozing was the order of the day before the normal evening activities. Judy of course has her work to keep her busy as well as tenancy business which she is trying to organise from this distance.

Barry and Diane went out for a special dinner while the rest of the crew looked around the restaurants on the waterfront before deciding to return to the all you can eat seafood place. This was good value and tasty and including desert; there was even a chocolate waterfall! Rags and Judy especially loved the fresh mussels, oysters and prawns. Yum!

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Beautiful colours in this tree

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