Sunday, September 20, 2020

Exploring Darwin (Northern Territory)

[Kyle]After returning from our road trip, we spent the balance of our time in Darwin divided into three more-or-less equal modes. Firstly was dealing with all of the boat jobs. We went to the Border Force office to extend our cruising permit until January. We provisioned up on last-minute perishables, filled all of our tanks right up to the rim and spent a LOT of time chasing down boat parts and mail. We replaced three mainsail cars, careened on the beach outside of the Darwin Sailing Club to exchange our backup fixed-pitch prop with the brand new feathering one we bought to replace the one lost. Now we have two of the same again. We even squeezed in time to go for a short sail to try out our new spinnaker.

Installing and testing some of the recent purchases

We spent our second mode as proper tourists. We went to multile museums, rode our bikes through parks and ate out more than usual. Maryanne had a birthday in the middle, during which we walked from one end of town to the other through the botanic gardens that bisect the city. We had a lovely meal and then, intending to return home, got sidetracked by a bunch of other nice things to see and do and eventually ended up walking all of the way back to the boat with a break in the middle at a local microbrewery. I would have thought she would want to take it easier, but it was her birthday and the rule is she gets to do whatever she wants.

Exploring around Darwin

Lastly, we tended to feel we needed a day or two of low activity after each busy period. Sometimes, we stayed aboard. Other times we would do “one thing”, call it a day and go home. The Dry Season is soon to give way to the Wet. The temperatures have been really high, but now the humidity is climbing, too. Heat like that just drains all of your energy before you have even done anything. We discovered much too late that one of the best ways to spend a lazy, hot part of the day is to just sit at one of the boat club's tables in the shade looking out at the harbor and drinking carafe after carafe of ice cold water from their fridge. Occasionally, we'll switch one out for a beer as a thanks to them for all of the refrigerated water.

And enjoying the sunsets

On our last day ashore, we were picked up by fellow catamaran owner Gayle who took us to her house at Bayview to meet her husband Brian. We swapped stories for a bit and then Gayle was a real hero and generously drove us all over town to get our last mail and to pick up the last of our fresh provisions before delivering us right back to the sailing club. Thanks, Gayle! {Maryanne: Gayle was one of several sailors that without even knowing us had responded to our call to help with mail issues - sailors around the world help out in so many ways and we are grateful that the Darwin contingent were so kind to us} . My plan is to spend the next day stowing everything and doing all that Begonia needs done to get ready for passage. Then we'll have one last day of advanced loafing before it's time to set off for what is looking will be over a month at sea.

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