G‘Day. We finally made it to Australia. Travelling here by ship really shows just how far away it is. And we’re still not at our destination, Sydney, at the other side of the country which leaves another 6 sea days to get there.
We arrived yesterday in Darwin and did a short tour which included a very interesting local museum and a fine botanical gardens. Along the way we saw wallabies and magpie geese which apparently taste good.
Darwin is about the size of Kingston about 130,000 but very more modern. In late 1974 it was 80% flattened by Cyclone Tracy with sustained winds of 175k and gusts to 217k. 71 people were killed. The local museum had a very good display about Cyclone Tracy.
The museum also had a large display of boats including some that had been used by asylum seekers from SE Asia. Darwin was the only Australian city bombed during WW II. Interesting it was bombed by the same Japanese fleet that had bombed Pearl Harbor 2 months before, although more bombs were dropped on Darwin.
Today we ventured back into town to get a sim card for our travel phone (soooooooooooooooo much cheaper than Canada!), see the North Territory legislature and have lunch. The legislature is a modern building (1990s) but very attractive with clean lines and a minimalist feel.
Yesterday and today the winds have been mid-twenties to high thirties in knots. The high winds here are even being commented on by the locals. As the winds are blowing against the starboard side (we are tied up starboard to) there is a hefty tug amidships on the port side pushing the ship against the dock. That’s gotta cost a pretty penny.