Friday, May 27, 2016



Our ship sailed from Darwin last night, and after repositioning all of 80km north, it anchored off Wurrumiyanga. No, I cannot pronounce it either, even after having heard it a few times. If you are having a little difficulty locating this on your Atlas, let me help by pointing out that it is a city on the Island of Bathurst. Still having trouble, OK, here is a bigger clue, it is one of the 11 Tiwi islands, of which 9 are uninhabited. Bathurst is one of the inhabited islands along with Melville. Now, maybe you finally found it, but here comes the bonus question: is it an independent country or part of some larger entity? Actually, that is a trick question. It is considered a part of the Northern Territory of Australia, however, when we departed Darwin last evening, we all had to go through a “face to face” clearance with Australian authorities. You see the Tiwi Islands, while a part of Australia, are governed by the Aboriginal Land Rights Act of 1976. I guess you could say they are somewhat akin to our Native American areas

In any event, we spent the morning being hosted by the locals, and being shown around their community. Our first stop was to the local school (quite modern) where we were given a formal welcome followed by a native performance. Afterwards, we were driven around, and then we went on walking tours. The community was interesting, clean, and we were warmly welcomed by smiling faces everywhere we went.

After being on a full ship, it now feels almost empty with only 31 passengers. I just heard from Cathy that she and Michele have only made it as far as Honolulu at this point, and sadly, Michele has become rather ill. What a sad way to end a wonderful experience.

Tonight the Captain will join Lisa and me for dinner, so I guess I have to be on good behavior. Hope everyone is well. I hear it has been raining, and raining some more at home--so we’ll just keep enjoying the clear skies, light winds, and 100 degree heat.


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