Tahina Touches Ground and Departure Imminent

The tides in Darwin are quite a large spread. The high tide is 22 feet (7 m) above low tide right now. We have to be careful where we leave the dinghy according to the tides. Fortunately, they have carts you can borrow from the Darwin Sailing Club, which just barely fit our dinghy, that allow us to pull the dinghy up or down the sometimes expansive beach (up to 300 feet/100m).

Today we were working on our computers when we felt a jerk. We thought at first our dinghy had bumped us, but then it happened again, and again. I looked out and realized our problem. We were touching bottom at the bottom of very low tide here. Boats closer to shore were high and dry, or – in the case of mono-hulls – leaning over on their sides. The motion is very unsettling, but will only last a few minutes as the tide comes back in very quickly.

Meanwhile, we have scheduled our Australia customs clearance meeting for tomorrow early afternoon. Our last package should arrive tomorrow. If not, we have 24 hours after we get our clearance to leave. Or, we can ask customs to extend the clearance if necessary.

We hired a car a couple days ago and have made numerous runs around town to get provisions, customs flags for upcoming countries, school supplies to give away to Indonesia kids we will likely meet, filled our LPG gas tanks, got our scuba tanks, visited a chandlery, got more eye patches, etc., etc. Oh, and we got our passports and the visas from the Indonesia Consulate.

We plan to go out to dinner tonight, return the car tomorrow morning, and hopefully retrieve our package either before or after our meeting with customs. Then we will be on our way for Kupang, Indonesia – our first port of call. It’s about 460 nautical miles away (about 3 days).

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