September 1, 2015

The sky feels too low here. That was my first and most enduring sentiment about Darwin. I also have an overwhelming desire to open my photo editor and drop the exposure, turn up the contrast, add a bit of saturation, and mess with the white balance.

What Darwin lacks aesthetically, it more than makes up for in hospitality. On the business side, I have never had more things gifted to me. Including engine parts (small but significant, and delivered to my door), ice cream for the kids, tiny glass bottles with a scroll for messages, and rides. The kids are free on the busses, sailing club, and generally (it seems) anywhere there isn’t a specific kids price.

We made friends with a prospective cruising family that I suspect we’ll bump into again out there some day. We were invited to their bush property over the weekend but got terribly sick and had to cancel.

Officialdom has been unexpectedly jocular here. Twice I’ve had the piss taken by Customs agents (of all people). It’s a bit off putting at first, but it’s so very Australian that it just underscores that Darwinians are just very comfortable in their skin.

Other than that our focus has been steady. We are going to Indonesia, and there is a lot to consider when leaving the first world for the first time in 3 years. We have had to refresh our first aid and emergency supplies, repack the liferaft, replace countless worn bits of line and gear, reprovision, fix the head, fix the engine, fix the brand new outboard, the screens, replace the radar reflectors, the running lights, the cheese grater… the list goes on.

As it stands, we leave on Friday. The winds were supposed to be perfect, but now it’s looking like it might be a lot of motoring 🙁 Oh well, it’s time!

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