Day 75, Year 3: It’s a Drag
Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Weather: Sunny and Windy
Location: Fannie Bay, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

The name for today’s log is a bad play on words. We started our day with boats around us dragging anchor in the strong winds. That is always a scary thing, especially when there is no one on the boat that is dragging. The boat that has been right beside us since we anchored in Darwin is named Larissa. We haven’t met the people onboard, but this morning early they were no longer beside us. They were dragging back through the anchorage. But at least they were able to get their boat under control
and reanchored. And no sooner than they did that another sailboat came floating between us and Larissa and headed out to sea. Mark got on the radio and asked Larrisa if they could help him recover the boat, but by the time Mark got in the dinghy and reached the boat, Bill and Jean of Pelican Express and Nancy and Steve of Toboggan were there to help. It took quite a bit of effort but finally they were able to get the boat reanchored. So the morning was not a relaxing one. Added to this is the
fact that the anchorage is as rough as an anchorage can be. Fannie Bay is shallow and with the strong winds it is very choppy. But choppy or not, we needed to go to shore to pick up our frozen meat order, so Mark went in and got that while I stayed on Windbird and defrosted the freezer and cleaned the refrigerator. Once we got that job done, we both headed into shore. It was a wet ride, but after all, this is a water sport. We took the bus into town and I shopped while Mark tried to upload photos
at the internet café. Unfortunately it was no faster there than back at the Darwin Sailing Club. So right now we are back here in Fannie Bay at the club with all of the groceries that I bought in town. We are sitting here watching the sun go down while we upload pictures and I write this log.

As we sit here, we are watching two-year old Pierre Louis play pool. Pierre Louis is the child of a French scientist and his French wife from Madagascar. We met them in Bundaberg at the end of the Port to Port Rally and it is so much fun to see how Pierre Louis has grown. He actually walked over to the pool table, found a pool cue, and then proceeded to try and hit the only ball on the table. He then got on his little scooter and rolled over to talk with us. He speaks only French and we speak
only English, but we had a nice conversation nevertheless. When I watch him I think of Sam. It won’t be long before he will be doing the same things as Pierre Louis.

Speaking of Sam, we are going to stay here at the Club until 9 pm tonight and try and call Heather, Jed, and Sam in their early Wednesday morning. One of my real disappointments in this part of the world is the fact that internet connections are just not good enough to handle video Skype calls. We will try tonight, and if that doesn’t work, I’m going to send Heather a bunch of photos of Gramma and Granddad and ask her to show these over and over to Sam so he doesn’t forget us.

Tomorrow is more of the same. More shopping and a little more work on the boat. We have really enjoyed Darwin, but it is once again time to move on. But before I end this log, I must mention one of the most exciting things that we have seen here. Yesterday when we were fighting the choppy seas on our way in to shore from Windbird, a dugong surfaced right in front of us. We have searched and searched to see these creatures, but until yesterday morning they had evaded us. The one that surfaced
in front of us was huge. His head was at least a foot and a half to two feet across. And then he drove and we got to see his back and then his tail. It was quite an exciting early morning show. We have sworn that dugongs don’t exist because we have never seen them when others have, but yesterday morning there was no denial.