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Jason and Fiona - Trenelly
7th Jul 2011 - 22nd Jul 2011
Darwin and Kakadu

We arrived in Darwin to find a packed Fannie Bay full of cruisers, many of whom where heading into Indonesia.  Many boats we had encountered on our trip  up the East Coast of Australia were there, and many many more. 

We had planned to head into Tipperary Waters marina for a week to clean the boat and do some jobs, but you need to get divers to squirt things into your seasocks first to check you're not bringing in a nasty breed of mussels.   Whilst the lady diver was down there we asked her to take a couple of pictures of our keel as we had had a bit of a clonk on the way up.  Turned out it was a bit more than a scrape.  Luckily, the tides were just about with us and we were able to squeak into the narrow channel to Spot Onn Marine to get her looked at.  So our first week was spent on the hard.  Luckily it was an easy fix, and just took time to dry out.  We took the opportunity to get off the boat (the kids coped surprisingly well living on the hard, but the ladder was a long drop down) and get our selves to Kakadu.

A great 2 day trip, but far too much driving - the distances are vast and much of the landscape is very dry.  However, the Yellow Waters were stunning, as was the sunset from Ubirr.

Back in Darwin, we got the boat back in the water and had a great stay in the very friendly Tipperary Waters marina.  We used this as a base to see a bit of Darwin itself in between the usual cleaning, provisioning and list making for me and boat jobs for Jason.

All too soon, we were ready to get going to Indonesia.

Next: Incredible Komodo
Previous: Final Push To Darwin

Diary Photos
13th Jul 2011  Climb the Croc
The kids bring down a big one

13th Jul 2011  Croc-tastic
They are so slow and deadly looking. Gliding through the water, then a swish of the tail and they're gone. But you know they are waiting just below the surface. The river was teeming with them.

13th Jul 2011  Jumping Crocs
Before we got on the boat, Dylan wanted to sit on the lower deck behind glass. We hustled them up the steps to the open top deck. The first crocodile sighting, I kept hold of Dylan and we waited in anticipation. The lady dangled a piece of meat over him and he just wasn't that fussed. Turns out he was a bloke croc - the younger ladies are the ones who make a bit more of an effort. By the 2nd or third croc, Dylan and another similarly small boy were leaning over the rails to get a better look as the crocs leapt up for the chunk of meat. Even Molly pushed to the edge to get a closer look! Eye opening to see just how many there are in the river. However, generally they just could not be bothered to go for the meat!

13th Jul 2011  Croc Sign
Finally I get a photo. We have been seeing croc warning signs the whole way up the NE coast. I love the bottom warning picture. Needless to say, we didn't take a dip here. Plenty of people fishing from the banks though - why would you?

13th Jul 2011  Aboriginal Artwork near Ubirr
Plenty of ancient Aboriginal artwork in the park. Apparently the process of creating the artwork is more important than the artwork itself, so generations after generations painted new designs over old. In some places you could see the layers of pictures

13th Jul 2011  Sunset from Ubirr
We got to the top of the rock about 40 mins before sunset and debated whether the kids would be able to wait for the sunset. A bit of drawing and some snacks kept them going until just before the sun started to do it's stuff. Then Molly did a wee in her pants on the rock, and Dylan declared loudly that he wanted to go home. Anyone who was up there for a romantic moment, I do apologise.

13th Jul 2011  Jumping Croc
Wahey! Better than a Big Banana

14th Jul 2011  Sunrise over the Yellow Waters

14th Jul 2011  Termite Mounds
An incredible number of termite mounds throughout the Kakadu National Park. We had seen a display in the Darwin Museum, but hadn't realised how dense they were.

14th Jul 2011  Praying Mantis?
This friendly green critter took a fancy to Dylan's leg. Less keen when he heard the bloodcurdling scream when spotted on said leg.

14th Jul 2011  Gunlom Falls
We just had a 2WD drive hire car, so were not able to see the major falls. However, we took it for a 1 hour long drive down a dusty, unsealed road to the Gunlom Falls. Well worth the drive, especially for the refreshing swim at the end. Sign said saltwater crocs probably weren't around, but freshwater could well be. However, they weren't agressive unless provoked. Nice swim, and the kids took their plastic crocs in with them!

14th Jul 2011  Kakadu Kingfisher
We didn't know what to expect fron our Yellow Water Cruise, but we all got very excited by kingfishers. I'm not a twitcher, but the boat driver/guide was so into the wildlife, the fishing, Kakadu in general that he got us all revved up. Every time someone spotted one of the many types of kingfisher, the whole boat rushed to the side to get photos!

15th Jul 2011  Approach to the Yard - Spot On
The view from the back of the boat once the tide had gone out. The tides in Darwin are bonkers. The approach to the Ludmilla Creek dries to several metres, so you really want a spring tide to get in. We saw 2.2m under us on the way in (we have a 2.1m draught) and touched the bottom when we got to the lift - fortunately just sand! Slightly nerve-wracking to say the least

22nd Jul 2011  Fannie Bay
The bay was absolutley chock full the day before the rally left. Spot the monohull that hadn't planned to sit on the bottom! Right in front of the sailing club, too!

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