Small progress, but we have made it out of the marina and are back at anchor in Fannie Bay. Now we’re looking for weather to head east across the Top End.
Its been quite hectic in the marina. Lots of jobs to do, and inevitably, fixing one job leads to another. I got the air-conditioning working by changing the sea water pump which is used to dump the heat by the chiller. Of course, the pump I needed wasn’t available up here - so I took a spare one from the generator which then meant changing pipe work to get that running again. Then I went to wash down the engine bay I’d been working in - and the bilge pump failed. That has now been replaced. And so it goes on…
However, jobs mostly done, we could risk a trip to the Kakadu national park which was stunning. A nice bonus to our time in Darwin. Cooinda was our campsite of choice, and we spent 2 nights there. We took a sunrise cruise along Yellow Water out to East Alligator River where we saw lots of large crocs.
Let’s talk about Alligator rivers. There’s East, South and West Alligator. Named because of the crocodiles (though mis-classified originally). They bound one of the richest biological regions in Australia and in the wet season form huge areas of wetlands supporting large numbers of birds. Its also supported the Gagadju (which is where the Kakadu name comes from) people who have occupied the area for some 50,000 years.
As we’re at the end of the dry season, the water levels are very low and thus the crocs are concentrated into a small space. Now the tour we’d taken was not really a croc tour - you can go on trips on other rives to see crocs jumping for chickens but thats not our style. We were mainly looking for birds, but the crocs kept getting in the way. That didn’t stop it being utterly stunning and we did see lots of birds, from kingfishers through to the giant jabiru (which was off in the distance, and not to be confused with the South American jabiru). This was one of the reasonably sized crocs we saw…
After the cruise, we headed over to Ubir to see the rock art and escarpment there. The rock art was really good. Suprisingly good. Not as old as the Bradshaws we’d seen in the Kimberely but beautiful in their own way with more details and colours.
A long necked turtle, some good eating we’re told.
The kangaroo was particularly nice…
We climbed up the escarpment which had amazing views over the wetlands. Alas we wouldn’t be there for sunset, and climbed it in the peak of the midday heat - but it wasn’t too tough a climb and we had plenty of water.
We also visited Cahill crossing and saw more large crocs but you’ll need to wait until the videos for that one.