Sunday, February 3, 2013

Day 30 - Leaving Australia

We spent last night and this morning at dock in Darwin, but the authorities released us this afternoon.  They determined that the singer who died yesterday died of natural causes. 

Marker for site where USS Peary was sunk in WWII
While the police were completing their investigation, the crew still had to remain on board, but passengers who had tour tickets from yesterday were allowed to go on the rescheduled tours this morning.  We went on a 2 hour harbor tour on what appeared to be a small ferry.  It was a very hot morning, but the boat was air conditioned inside and had a outer deck we could go out on to take photos.  The ship's captain talked about the history of the bay, particularly how it featured in World War II.  Darwin was an important strategic point that the Japanese tried to hold.  The same generals who attacked Pearl Harbor, attacked here and in a similar plan.  There were few civilians hear because they had enough warning to evacuate, but there were significant American Naval casualties.  Most of the Australian military was deployed in Europe and Asia fighting for Great Britain, so the only native force left behind were local militia.  That was our first history lesson for today.

Today was Super Bowl Sunday.  Originally, there were a number of passengers who were upset because the ship was not planning to purchase broadcast rights to be able to show the Super Bowl on board.   As a result of the complaints and delays,  the entertainment  crew arranged for the broadcast rights.  They showed it in the theater and broadcast it to the TVs in our rooms.  Due to the time difference, it began at about 9:30AM.  We were out on the harbor tour, but when we got back to our room it was still in the 3rd Quarter.  We went up to the pool grill to grab lunch and bring it back to the room to watch the game.  The only disadvantage was that we didn't get any of the U.S. commercials.  We only got Australian commercials, and they were not very interesting.

Arrow Points to our Room on the 7th floor
After the game there was another lecture by our favorite speaker, Sandra Bowren.  This time she talked about the history of Indonesia.   I never realized how large or how diverse Indonesia is.  That will be our next stop, the day after tomorrow.  The revised itinerary was delivered this afternoon.  We will still be stopping at Komodo Island the day after tomorrow, but after that we will only be in Bali for one day instead of two.

The ship was untied from the dock promptly at 1PM today and we made a brisk exit from Darwin Harbor.  I got the feeling the crew was just as anxious to leave Australia as we were to be on our way.

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