position S12 27.100 E130 49.200

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Thu 5 Sep 2019 12:28

Thursday 5th Sept

Arrived back in Darwin at around 2am on Tuesday morning worried that no taxis would be available. I exercised my Uber app that I must have downloaded in an idle moment and it worked a dream- car arrived within 5 minutes and cost quite a bit less than the taxi out to the airport.  Uber is fairly new in Darwin- taxi companies and drivers must be worried.

The boat was floating well and seemed nice and dry. I always worry that I will return to find the water lapping over the floor boards because I forgot to close a valve.  There probably hasn't been any rain since I left but the locals are waiting for the wet season to start any day. It feels warmer now and it was quite warm before.

On Tuesday I saw Gary and collected the genoa that he had repaired. I fitted the new thermostat and the water spurted out of the pressure cap even faster than before. I didn't buy a new cap because the web site had 2 sizes an I forgot to take the old cap with me. I couldn't see how the cap could fail - it seems to just rely on a strong spring to generate the pressure and the spring and the seals seemed fine. I cycled over to Repco who do car parts and they found a cap to match and the helpful salesman was surprised when the computer told him it was reduced  from $15-$5. I didn't complain and feeling no optimism cycled back, put it on and fired up- amazed and grateful that no water then emerged.

On wednesday I hired a car for provisioning and a trip out to look at some billabongs. I also took off one of the mast stays that had a broken strand and took it over to Gary who had offered to make up a new one. I shopped in Woolworths -they seem to have the monopoly of supermarkets around Darwin, and may have bought as much as we usually do for two or may have only bought nice treats and no staples-I am not sure as Diana is the shopping expert.  I booked a sunset trip on the billabong and with time to spare I drove out along deserted straight roads and turned off where a sign offered a trip to see jumping crocodiles. Unfortunately I just missed the boat after a long drive along a gravel road but instead had a nice walk through rainforest and over smart boardwalks alongside the Dam. I am not sure what the difference is between a Dam and a Billabong. Platforms at intervals gave views over the water which was thick with every sort of wading and swimming bird you could name and several I couldn't.
The wetland tour was guided by Ian from Lowestoft (via New Zealand where he had been running Dolphin trips). Thats our 2nd Lowestoft guide- the lady on the post boat in New Zealand was also from Lowestoft. There must be an agency in Lowestoft recruiting tour guides- training up school leavers on Oulton Broad.
Ian had a powerful flat bottomed punt to skim around the Billabongs finding crocodiles lazing on the banks (no jumpers), white breasted sea eagles viewing us from on high and numourous other birds that are rapidly escaping my sieve of a brain.  A darter I recall, kingfishers- very like ours, wagtails feeding newly hatched chicks, whistling kites, whistling ducks, Ibis.
Kites have taken to the city like pigeons at home. You can't look up with seeing several circling.

Talking of pigeons there was one perched somewhere around the marina last time which cooed a tune that I immediately thought fit to the phrase 'thats not my problem'. Once in my head and repeated every few seconds it became more and more  annoying as I struggled to overcome my array of problems.    It is still here with the same tune- so far with engine, genoa, spinaker pole  and waterpump all sorted I can coo back 'no problems here matey'.

Actually I do have a couple of problems- On the way back from the billabong a Wallaby jumped out in front of my car and I bumped into it! Everyone I tell about running into a Wallaby says Oh yes I did that. If I had know it was quite so common I might have taken out the extra insurance which would have protected me from the cost of wallaby damage which looks minor but will no doubt generate an horrendous bill.

The other problem is that my satellite contract was cancelled after the last trip and I hadn't realized. Helle at Mailasail says I need a new sim and contract and now I have to fill in forms and send them back. It may delay my departure which was planned for tomorrow.

Today I called in at customs and got my Zarpe for onward travel, I fitted the mast stay, fixed new ends on the original spinaker pole cleaned the decks and filled the water tanks. If not for the satellite I think i would be ready to leave on tomorrows high tide- around 11.am.
Pics will have to wait while I sort out the forms.