Thursday, July 30, 2015

Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

No explanation necessary

We came to Darwin only because it was convenient to join the Sail Indonesia Rally and get our Visas from the Indonesian Consulate there.

The skyline of Darwin
What we found was a new town that we could have spent much more time exploring.  We did get the feel, flavor, and layout of Darwin figured out pretty well during our 5 days there and thoroughly enjoyed the place.

The bombing of Darwin
Darwin had two significant events in it's history.  It was the only city in Australia that was attacked by the Japanese in World War II and Cyclone Tracy in 1974 completely destroyed the town.

4" gun from the USS PEARY sunk in the first attack

USS Preble passed us inbound for their port call

The Japanese fleet bombed the city 62 times during World War II.  The first attack was two months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.   

Underground fuel tank (tunnel)

 The Japanese kept blowing up the oil storage tanks so underground tanks, that were more like long tunnels, were built but never used because the war ended.  The US had a strong military presence there before and after the war and still to today.  We're still even 'The Yanks'.

Tunnel viewing port

Fuel Tunnel concrete wall

Grounds of the Darwin Sailing Club
We anchored in Fannie Bay in front of the Darwin Sailing Club and got a temporary membership to use their facilities.  We met many of our future friends there who were also using the dinghy ramp and club.  The Rally was able to get us a two day turnaround on our Visas from the normal four day processing time.  We had presentations about Indonesia and a follow on Rally from Singapore through Malaysia that we will also be doing.   

A 'Cape' class Coastal Boarder Patrol boat
Australian Customs (now called Border Force) did an outstanding job of processing us out and even knew all about us aboard their coastal patrol plane that flew over us as we sailed out of Australian waters at the 200 mile EEZ (Economic Exclusion Zone)

This is how some people launch boats in Darwin

The bus system was great and widely used.  We were able to do some good provisioning at the markets and supermarkets, exchange Dollars for Rupiah, obtain clean diesel, petrol, water, and propane.  These are the things that our lives revolve around.  In some places, they are difficult but possible.  In Darwin, as the Aussies say "Too Easy".  

Thanks Darwin.

Restored to original after bombing and cyclone
Unrestored Historical Site

Fannie Bay anchorage in front of the Sailing Club

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