Day 70, Year 3: Panic Time
Date: Friday, July 18, 2008
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny Weather
Location: Fannie Bay, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
The time has come to panic. We still have to upload photos for the last fifty days of travel and only half of those are named. Internet in Indonesia is slow and found only in major cities, so we need to do our internet research while we are here. We are leaving here in one week and we haven’t a clue what we need to do to get a Malaysia or Thailand visa. We don’t know what anchorages we plan to visit while in Indonesia. And we don’t even know where we are going after Thailand and this is the last place to purchase inexpensively copied charts. We are still torn between going through the Red Sea to Turkey in the Mediterranean or going around South Africa. So today we ordered charts for the South Africa alternative “just in case” and we will just have to sell them in Thailand to another cruiser if we decide on going to the Mediterranean. We were given a CD by the Sail Indonesia crew that has SO MUCH information on it and we are just now getting time to look at it. It seems we have been busy every minute since we arrived here, but we are going to have to get even busier if we are really going to be ready to leave next Saturday. We have a five-hour information meeting on Tuesday and we need to go to that with any questions we have. So in addition to doing the required reading before Tuesday’s meeting, we have sails and a bimini that need to be repaired. I had hoped to can spaghetti sauce before leaving here and it is time to make granola again. I can do that in Indonesia if I just make sure I have the ingredients I need, but I need to borrow someone’s canner and that would be much easier to do here. But one way or another, we will get things done.
I walked to the Fannie Bay Shopping Center this morning to place our meat order. The butcher there will freeze and vacuum pack the meat for us and although it costs to get this done, it is much safer. You can’t bring a lot of meat to our freezer at one time and expect it to freeze quickly and buying a little bit each day is just too time consuming. So I decided to pay the price and placed the order. On the way to the butcher I had a most pleasant surprise. I took a shortcut instead of staying on the sidewalk and walked right into six red-tailed cockatoos that were on the ground feeding. I almost stepped on one, but by the time I got my camera out, they were long gone. I think I scared them as much as they startled me. But it was really neat to see them up so close. They are much larger than I imagined from seeing them at a distance and they have such huge heads. Their heads are just a little bigger than my fist and their beaks are big and strong. I wouldn’t want to tangle with one of them.
When I returned to the Sailing Club after my jaunt to the butcher shop, Mark was using the very slow wireless internet connection at the club and had just gotten an email from our daughter Heather. She is only working part-time these days so she can be with Sam and has taken a leave from science research. She is currently working for the Cape and Islands public radio station, WCAI, doing a series of weekly reports on science and scientists in Woods Hole. Her first story just aired and we were able to go to the WCAI website and hear it. It was about ocean sounds that are heard under the water. So congratulations, Heather! Well done. We know getting the first report of a series aired is always the hardest and the most exciting. I guess those public radio genes must have passed from father to daughter. It was a great report and we look forward to hearing others as we can along the way. Our son Justin is currently working on a “virtual world” website that went public during the first week of July. After only two days, it was doing great, but we are anxious to hear an update from him. I’ll report on that when we hear.
Sunset tonight was spectacular. As the sun went down in the west, the full moon rose to the east over the Darwin Sailing Club. Acres and acres of land in the Northern Territory are control burned every day in order to try and prevent wild fires. Evidently the burning was just east of Fannie Bay today and the gray smoke added an interesting touch to the red sunset. It was a dusky sky that looked like it was on fire.
Tomorrow is an at home sewing and cooking day and then we attend the Sail Indonesia “official” barbecue tomorrow night at the Sailing Club. That should be a fun evening and it will give us a chance to meet a few more of the 250+ cruisers participating in this rally.
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