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Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 2 – 4, 2012 Running Around Darwin and Happy Independence Day, America!!!

Monday we rented a car (just for a week), realizing we had a lot of running around to do and of course the places we need to go are scattered all over in various suburbs of Darwin. We walked the few miles into town where we picked up our little Hyundai and then darted off to drop off my MacBook Air for repair. I was told it could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the problem. Thank goodness it can be done here and will not need to be sent off for repair.

Frank is working on his own projects – installing and testing our new AIS that was delivered to us here, and other various "blue jobs" to do with the stove, pickling the watermaker, etc. We needed to pick up parts for these projects. I need "pink job" supplies: UV sewing thread and some heavy duty fabric to repair a worn patch on the front of the dodger where our preventer has rubbed through, fabric and thread to make fender covers, bits for this and pieces for that, etc., etc. The list goes on and on as any cruiser can attest. We made doctor and dental appointments, and appointments at health services for immunizations. We ended Monday downtown at a pub named "Shenannigan's", one that our friends Andy and Melissa (s/v Spectacle) had recommended. It was very good! Afterward we went into the Coles grocery store to pick up a few items. We got to the check out and there were NO BAGS. They do not use plastic or paper bags at all. Because this was an impromptu stop we had no bags with us. We piled our arms full and stumbled out to the car, dropping this and that and stooping to pick them up, laughing as we went. On principle we are not purchasing one more shopping bag!

Tuesday, we took down the main sail, which has worn a long rip along the very bottom edge. We had never taken it down before. Gee, this sucker is huge when it isn't "up there"! This quick job took us about 45 minutes. I was on deck getting buried in sail, trying to lay it in proper folds as Frank dropped the top. Thank goodness there was no wind at the time. We dropped it off at the sailmaker for repair and then set off for my doctor appt. By the time this was all done, we decided to head out to The Wharf that everyone had been urging us to do. We got out there just in time to get attacked savagely by sand fleas coming out to feast for the evening. Sitting at one of the trendy restaurants, sipping our drinks we were twitching and itching as the invisible terrorists attacked our arms and legs. Everyone around us is scratching! We look like a bunch of dogs scratching ourselves – and I couldn't help but burst out laughing at the thought. We quickly downed our drinks and fled to the safety of the car. That's it – I'm keeping a can of Bushman's with us at all times form now on, as well as a large supply of shopping bags.

Wednesday – Happy 4th of July, America!!!! It was just another day here in Darwin to the Aussies. What? No celebration for us, their allies? We went over to the Darwin Sailing Club to pick up our Rally Packets. This is the strangest rally – there are no real people, as in someone to deal with in person. It is all organized online. The lady who met us to give us our packets is just a visitor here on vacation from Ireland. She smiled, handed us our packets and basically told us not to ask any questions because "It is all IN THERE for you". She is just here to hand packets out and to take orders for T-shits and hats that we may want to purchase to commemorate our spending $500 + to join the rally. Bummer. I was looking forward to meeting someone who could answer our questions and give us direction and advice. So, we sat and looked at our 25 page information brief to find out what to do next.

Next is a stop by the Indonesian Consulate to apply for our visas, which by the way turned out to be a very pleasant experience. They were very friendly and helpful. We dropped off our passports, photos and paperwork and then walked a few blocks to Darwin CBD where we ate a delightful Thai lunch. Being so close to Asia, Darwin hosts an abundance of Asian, Thai and Sri Lankan eateries. This is the authentic good stuff – much better than what we have tasted back in America.  Afterward we ran here and there to various camping, boating and hardware stores. This will be a theme for the duration of our time here.

For our July 4th celebration, I got a call from Leading Edge, the company that has my laptop. They have fixed it and she is ready for pickup – Hooray!!!! The problem was a defective something, something. I think it had to do with the logic board.  To commemorate our happy day we picked up a small roasted chook (chicken). I made a salad and mashed potatoes – comfort food and we feasted for dinner, followed by homemade banana splits - yummo. 

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