Darwin & Northern Territories
We arrived in
Before we arrived at anchor I had e-mailed AQIS (Australian Quarantine
Inspection service) to advise them of our impending arrival. All yachts
It was great to be at anchor once again, and we thoroughly
enjoyed this spot, as we continued to acclimatise to the heat and humidity of
The anchorage was quite close to one of the main wharfs in Port Darwin. Which had a huge welcome sign on top of the roof……………….
We had booked into Tipperary Waters Marina for the following
Once in the lock the water pumps started to fill the lock and in no time at all we were elevated to the point where we could see our berth……..Heidenskip to be exact.
They were immediately in front of us as we exited the lock. Unfortunately, it was still only 0730 and Robert and Wendy were still in bed! So we tried to hail them on the radio, to no avail and then one of the other berth holders knocked on their hull to wake them up so they could take our lines as we came alongside. It was great to see them again after an interval of around seven weeks. We had a lot of catching up to do!!
This delightful marina was constructed eight years ago and is conveniently located, being a short 10 minute taxi ride to down town Darwin City Centre. The marina itself is surrounded by a mixed development of attractive houses and apartments and shops. It is spotlessly clean and very well maintained.
This was all the more surprising, because somewhere between 85 and 90% of the boats in here are liveaboards. Some of these have obviously not been to sea for a very long time. But everybody was happy and friendly and there was a really pleasant atmosphere to the place. They even went to the trouble of organising a welcome BBQ for the BWR on the Friday night………….another party………..
There was lots of bird life here too, and the local Shell Ducks (a protected species) were a real treat……………………They have completely white eyes.
Once sorted out, it was down to the business of getting our boat maintenance organised. Part of this was to deal with what was potentially quite a serious issue. The casing for the aqua drive coupling between the engine gearbox and the prop shaft had been punctured by the engineering company in Mackay when they re-installed it. This is a flexible coupling that is packed with thick grease to enable it to be flexible and absorb the engine vibration and reduce boat vibration and noise. The hole in the casing was spewing the grease around the engine bay. Had all the grease been emptied, the dive train for the boat would have failed……….So that had to be removed and a new part sourced and installed.
Paul Smith from Regional and Northern Maintenance Services
Pty Ltd was very helpful and efficient and their engineer Neffa and his
apprentice Rick arrived the following morning to start the work, very clean and
very efficient. Replacement parts were sourced in
Then it was off to organise our Indonesian Visas, check in with Customs (who are also immigration) and book an appointment for clearing out, which was to be on the 2nd October.
Very near to our marina is the Dinah Beach Yacht Club. So that evening we walked there with Robert and Wendy, to enjoy wholesome food and drink at very reasonable prices and a live band. There were lots of BWR crews there and it was wonderful to catch up with everybody once again. Needless to say we turned this into another party!
We were determined to “do” some tours, so the next day we booked a three day ourtback tour. Which was just brilliant. More Anon.