12:25.41S 130:49.31E Fannie Bay, Darwin Tuesday 16th Sept AM
The Aborigines are a strange bunch. The other day I watched a group outside
a bakery. It wasn't in a David Attenborough sense though, I was in my
air-conditioned car eating a meat pie for lunch and they were camped out on
the grass under a tree in front of me. Some of them would shout a bit at
nobody in particular and about every five minutes they would drift one at a
time to the shade under another tree. It seemed very much like a timeless
activity and the shopping centre barely an obstacle to their meanderings.
I took a 4WD trip to Kakadu National Park over the weekend with local girl
Marylou as my Aboriginal guide. I've been to Kakadu before but in the very
different Wet Season. It is an oddity that a 50,000-year-old tradition of
continuously overwritten rock-art has been brought to an end forever by
notices saying there are heavy fines for doing any new ones. Maybe it's just
as well as pictures of whitefellas in cars, eating pies are definitely going
to bring in fewer tourists.
This morning at first light the tide was right for Grapto to be put back in
the water and I motored around to anchor in Fannie Bay. It's a huge relief
to have working drains again and to be away from biting insects although as
it is Spring tides I have to anchor miles from the beach.