25 March 2012, Gail’s trip log

Wonderful day in Darwin, Northern Territory of Australia. Woke up and watched the ship get into position along the dock. Turns out we were not at the main pier, but at an alternate one, because the much larger Dawn Princess was in town also. Same thing happened at the Whitsundays. All day we sort of felt like the step-child of the Dawn. Our tour guide even showed up late because he had gone to the Dawn first. We did leave port ahead of her, and the ships tooted their big fog horns and we waved as we passed her – that was fun. Anyway, once we got underway it was good. First we drove around to the main harbor to get on the Charles Darwin for a two hour cruise around the harbor. The weather was spectacular – around 84 and a little breeze. They served morning tea on the harbor cruise – wouldn’t want us to starve in those two hours. Having just watched the movie Australia again, it was very interesting to cruise and see exactly where the Japanese bombing took place – lots of military history all around town. We saw a pod of dolphins jumping and playing just about 20 yards off the side of the boat. Later we also saw some of the ‘jellies’ (poisonous box jellyfish) that make it impossible to swim safely here for six months of the year without a special Lycra suit – that makes you look like a teletubby! We saw them from our balcony during our saliaway. Anyway, after the cruises we went to the Aviation History Museum – very interesting. They had a whole bunch of planes and stuff from WWII, including a B-52 from Vietnam and later. That is a huge airplane. I think Dan really enjoyed this part of our tour. We spent the last of our Aussie dollars there – a hat, two shirts, a book and a bunch of postcards. Next was a tour all over central Darwin and along the esplanade to see some fancy homes and then out to Charles Darwin National Park to see some old military bunkers and to look out over the city. Back to the ship about 230, had a quick lunch at the buffet – they were closing it up. We watched The Help from 600 to 815, then went back up to the buffet for a late supper. Dan took his computer and stayed to work on pictures and visit. I am watching a show on Discovery Channel – bed soon.

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