Sailing around the World, ( Presently in Darwin, Australia. )

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Tue 24 Aug 2010 06:55
MONDAY 23rd AUGUST  2010
00.45 hrs  We shut down the engine as the wind had oicked up again , so once we were sailing down " Van Dieman Gulf " towards Darwin.
04.00hrs, we sailed past " Poopers Rock" and the tide turned against us.  We had already looked up the rise and fall of tides and they are significant,
so the net result of this would be strong tidal flows. and within a short period ,we had almost 3 knots against us,  that really slowed things down,
Later we had to use the engine again for 1.5 hrs to get through the current as the wind shifted,  " Grand Filou " passed us to starboard
( also motoring )and went well ahead and almost out of sight,  " Arianne" was still behind, and motoring also, and remained there for the night, This boat is Swiss and the five or six men on board are very pleasent and quiet people, Even though they are presbyterian gentlemen, they always turned up at Mass in the RC churches at most places we visited. so Aileen thinks they are saints...............
On reaching Clarence Straight, We (  sailing again ) took " A Lady " through a short cut inside the reefs and passed " Grand Filou" again,
he he, we were delighted with ourselves, we dont know wether they knew it or not, but we were having our own private little race with them.
and now we were in front again,
BUT,, but, as dawn broke we could see them away in the distance behind making great progress, the wind was  25+ knots tight on our port side,
and we were flying, perfect sailing conditions, flat seas, plenty of wind, sunshine, dolphins, etc.
Fast and all that we were going, " Grand Filou " was going even faster, ( but then she is a Shipman 63 ) and it was not long before she passed
us very close to port..  what a pity, we were hoping beyond hope that we would get over the finish line in pole position, but alas ! that was not to be.
Anyway, we will certainly get them on handicap.........
10.01Hrs we crossed the finish line, about 10 minutes after " grand Filou ",, not bad after 743 n miles at sea.....
10 .45hrs  The environmental agency came to the boat and sent a female diver down under the hull and injected a chemical fluid
into the toilet and engine openings to kill off any potential Zebra mussels living in these places.  It was interesting to watch the operation,, there
were two on board their aluminium little launch and when the diver went down, they spoke to one another all the time on a 2 way radio. the whole
operation took less than 30 minutes. but now we could not use anything on the boat for 14 hours,,,
12.00hrs,  we launched the rib, and went ashore, actually we had to land on the beach outside the Yacht Club ,, and with a rise and fall of 6m,
the beach was a long way out,  We found a trailor in the yacht club and were able to wheel the rib all the way up the beach, and beyond the HW mark.
We met the lovely Susanne and Paul from W. ARC who had everything on shore all under control as usual, They took skipper to the Customs building
and got all the paperwork sorted out, before a quick visit to " Woolworths" and then Paul drove Skip. back to the Y.C.
15.00hrs, The 4 of us got the bus into Darwin city and explored the place, the girls did some retail therapy, as the girls will do, and Niall
bought a local piece of sculpture and had it posted home. Skipper had his watch strap repaired, and we got all the usual post cards and things,,
The City itself was a bit scattered, not too many high rise buildings,  almost a bit like a wild west town. without the horses.
Later we retired to a local steakhouse and had a great steak meal, plenty of wine, and some great laughs, and generally great to be ashore again.
22.00hrs  We returned to the Y.C .and had a night cap before we hauled the rib down the beach to the water, returned the trolly, and all hopped aboard
motored out to the lovely " A LADY " all feeling lovely too...
We had another couple of night caps, Rum and Cokes on board, and we understand from Aileen this morning, that the boys did some
afull singing, imagine that. and we cant remember a thing, Probably ,just as well.
anyway, a good night was had by all.
Thats it.
Signaed ;-    Stephen Hyde,   ( Skipper )