Anyway, customs finally cleared us a
6:30pm local time, the sun was just going down. We had wanted to stay in the marina,
but the lock gates (Darwin has 7 meter tides) were broken and the estimate was it would be
6 weeks before they could be repaired. The fisherman's marina on the other side of
town was also suffering a similar malady. So, we opted to anchor out in front of the
Darwin Sailing Club in Fannie Bay.
Bay is one of those very slowly shoaling harbours. With a 7m tidal range, the shore
line at low tide is about a kilometer farther out than it is at high tide. Add to
that the desire to keep a meter of water under the boat at low tide, we ended up anchoring
a good 2 kilometers from shore. The outboard engine for the dinghy had not worked
for a few years so the only propulsion we had were the oars.
The little 8 foot Trinka was just not big enough for
three big guys to all go at once, so we had to make two trips every time all of us wanted
to go in to shore. This was not too bad as we all needed some exercise after 5 weeks
of sitting on the boat, but it was a long row. The only time it became a concern was
one night we had forgotten to leave the anchor light on before heading in. It was a
cloudy moonless night and were rowing through the middle of a very large bay looking for a
dark boat. Needless to say, we learned our lesson that night.
By the second day I did manage to get the outboard to
run somewhat and things got better. By the third day, word came down that the locks
on the fishing marina were repaired and we made plans to move the boat around as soon as