30. september 2012  
  Australia
 
 

19. Calls august we Tovnsville in Queensland. We had to cross the barrier reef in the dark. The wind blows as it does, and it is sometimes impossible to find a good timing. We set waypoints approximately every mil, and let all the "eggs" in the GPS bowl. It went well. This reef is incredibly huge and much bigger than we could imagine. Therefore, it is fairly ample room for a boat spring, although there is plenty of boats that have gone down here. even capatin James Cook went on here, but he had probably not GPS. Moreover, it was he who designed many of the maps!

Townsville was a lovely breather after circumnavigation third longest leg - from Vanuatu to Australia (1270 nm9). Townsville is not dominated by tourism in the same way as Cairns few nautical mil farther north, although it has a wonderful aquarium in the center, and an extensive history. The city is a great base to see a bit of outback Queensland, and several of the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. We rented a car and drove to Charters Towers - a city in the country based on huge deposits of gold. The gold was discovered in 1872 and over 45 years, it was dug out of 200 tons gold. City are similar to a city from the "wild west" of America, with its typical main street and buildings from the late 1800's.

Julia with two hungry Australians (actually three - you only see the back legs on the third).

We also visited the Billabong Sanctuary, an informal zoo where many of the animals walked freely around. Here we cuddle and feed kengeruer, hold koala bears and chat with Cockatoos. Most dangerous species were safely stored behind fences, or as Australia's three venomous snakes, behind thick glass. It was possible to keep pythons and crocodiles cubs. Krogodillene is incredibly fast and has the teeth of the blade, and the great eats you. Well it's tape that can hold his jaw together, while one gets to know them.

From Townsville we headed inside the barrier reef north to Cairns. This is a lively city, which is dominated by tourism. Tour operators have outlets on every street corner, and the offers are many and varied. How about a ride in the cable car over the rainforest, a historic train ride to Kuranda hippibyen, a relaxing day around the swimming lagoon in the center or liveaboard diving on the Great Barrier Reef? The train journey to Kuranda was exciting, and the stories surrounding the construction of the path are many and amazing. We get servergt more of them on the road to Kuranda, and can vividly imagine the harsh conditions workers worked under. Hot .. malaria ... poisonous snakes ...!

Gunnar and Oscar went on a 3 day liveaboard with ProDive on the Great Barrier Reef.

We visited Magnetic Island, located just outside Cairns. A popular destination for tourists, where ferries have much to do and sailors lured out for the weekend. There are beautiful beaches, many of them have bodyguards. Quite reassuring, when tiger sharks have breeding place in the strait between the island and Cairns ... It is set out bait for sharks several places beyond the beaches, to check if they are close. We also stopped at Fitzroy island, where the beach was packed with beautiful shells and dead corals. Picking .. pick .. We were stuck in the mud in Cookstown, before hurrying out during high tide at. 6:00 in the morning. Next stop was Port Duglas, which is an exclusive tourist destination, with expensive shops and many restaurants. Our budget was just to go ahead as soon as possible!

Lizard island is the last place you can swim on the way to the top of Australia (crocodile danger), and the most beautiful place on the route. A tropical paradise with sandy white beaches deserted. We met several sailors anchored in the bay, which had been there for weeks. They just could not tear himself away. Every evening met sailors on the beach for sundowners and dinghies dotted the water's edge. There are several hiking trails around the island, where you can see large lizards, birds and termittuer.

We anchored in the river Escape before the entrance to the Torres Strait, to get the tide right. Here are several pearl farms, and it was difficult to maneuver between rows of oyster buoys. With good piloting from the pearl farm, we found a place in the river, where we had good views to krogodillen who basked on the sand banks. Then there was the Torres Strait? Where the Pacific Ocean meets the Indian Ocean, where Papua New Guinea is located in the north and Australia to the south. The Coast Guard is constantly present to avert Indonesian refugees from taking into Australia. We think strait must have shown itself from its best side when we sailed through. With the nice weather, gentle waves and clear visibility, mug we through in around 11 knots. We had timed tides perfect! This was one of the best sailing days we had. All fears were put to shame, but we can well understand hvorden this area can be anything but pleasant.

We have spent one week in Darwin and it has been both enjoyable and interesting. Darwin is a relaxed city with many offerings. We've done quite a normalliv contains, like going to the cinema and stroll in the city. We've finally had a close encounter with the original culture in Australia, Aboriginalkulturen. We visited a Billabong (a lake / pond), where we were greeted by the father and daughter from Crocodile Clan. Father, highest respected in the tribe, and the daughter with the degree "respected". Before they started with stories and demonstrations by local weapons, crafts and instruments, daughter spitting water down on us, to protect us from snakes and crocodiles in their area. It may have worked, as we got up close with some of the animals while we were there. They openly and willingly about their culture, and we took to us with great interest and amazement. We could also ask what we wanted. The members of the clan are subject to a strenkt regime, where such can not talk to siblings of the opposite sex after age 10. They have in addition to the Official Australian court on a separate system, which includes discipline with a stick (one less for women). They have a separate Aboriginal school in Busch where youngsters learn about their culture and nature. When they come back from school after several months, they go from being ungommer to qualify as adults. All the preamble and what they taught us, has given us a lot to think about and philosophize over. This close and unique meeting has been one of the most innteressante the entire journey!

 

Here we demonstrated different types didgeridoo'er. Interesting instrument, chock full of symbolism and mysticism.