Thursday, June 30, 2016

Darwin: ready

        Late Afternoon.
        The last row out to GANNET is over and the dinghy mostly cleaned of sand, dried, deflated and stowed on the starboard pipe berth.
        The flags have been brought in.
        Spare jib halyard, spinnaker halyard and vestigial topping lift moved from the pulpit to the base of the mast.
        And I’m about to go on deck for libation, music and my last Darwin sunset.
        I did not get my pizza today.  Apparently Darwinians do not eat pizza for lunch.  After getting GANNET’s clearance from Border Protection, I goggled ‘pizza places near me’ and found four.  Two were no longer in business and the other two didn’t open until 5:00 p.m.  So I had a fresh fruit salad with yoghurt instead, which no doubt was better for me, but I really wanted pizza.  And the next one is an ocean away.
        To the extant that any generalization about a nation is true, Australians are friendly people.  But here in Darwin they have been even friendlier and more helpful, from sharing a lunch to powering all the way out to GANNET to deliver an unexpected gift.  This includes the officials at Border Protection. Both clearing in at Bundaberg and clearing out here could not have been easier.
        I like Australia and always have.  The climate and feeling are very different, certainly in Queensland and the Northern Territory, than in New Zealand.  I love the sense of vast emptiness.
        But I am ready to go back to sea.  Even eager.
        As soon as I post this, I’ll turn on the Yellowbrick.  It is set to upload positions every six hours.  It may need to be recharged during the passage, and I don’t know if it will be able to upload a position while recharging, so if an update doesn’t appear on schedule, don’t panic.  I promise I won’t.
        If all goes well, you will next hear from me in the last half of August from Africa.
        I wish you joy.