The Odyssey is now anchored in Darwin Harbor.
Photo: Chris Johnson
August 24, 2001
The Land 'Down Under'
The Odyssey crew has spent the last week riding the rolling 4-meter swells of a clear blue following sea while dolphins, turtles and sea snakes accompanied us along the way. We even observed a manta ray keeping pace with the boat at a steady 7 knots.
As the days passed by, we marvelled at the change in water color, temperature, island vegetation and bird life while sailing from one body of water into the next. It is quite remarkable to consider that the one thousand miles of ocean we have travelled over the last couple of weeks have included the Solomon Sea and the Coral Sea, which marked the end of the Pacific Ocean. We then sailed through the Torres Strait and out along the top end of the Gulf of Carpentaria into the Arafura Sea, which marks the beginning of the Indian Ocean and is situated directly beneath the Timor Sea.
This morning the Odyssey sailed through the Dundas Strait and into the Port of Darwin, Australia, named after the great naturalist and explorer, Charles Darwin. We will spend our time here doing boat maintenance and changing crew. We are particularly eager about the prospect of exploring some of the country, and as we have discovered so far, there is no shortage of things to do and see here in the land 'down under'.
Darwin, the capital city of Australia's last frontier is isolated from Australia's bigger, powerhouse cities by vast expanses of bushland and the famous 'outback'. The Northern Territory is a bewitching land of big rocks, stone-age culture and adventure travel. The Territory is also home to a bevy of unique wildlife. Included in this gallery of creatures are some of the world's deadliest, venomous snakes, spiders and scorpions, the infamous saltwater crocodile, sharks, stonefish, blue ringed octopus and the world champion of deadly jellyfish, the box jellyfish.
Inhabited by fewer than one percent of Australia's population, the Northern Territory is home to 150,000 people, one quarter of them being aboriginal, the remainder reside in either Darwin or Alice Springs. Much of this wide open land has been set aside as National Park or has been given a world heritage listing, such as glorious Kakadu National Park, the home of 'Crocodile Dundee' and the rivers that run rife with those very large crocodiles. We look forward to exploring some of these areas in the next couple of weeks, which encompass the Aborigine's Arnhem Land with its abundance of native rock art. There are also turquoise beaches, spectacular gorges, thick rainforests and raging waterfalls to be enjoyed.
This is a Genevieve Johnson, speaking to you from the Odyssey in my homeland, Australia.
Log by Genevieve Johnson