Den (dewhitton) wrote,
Den
dewhitton

Day 5: Darwin, again. Sunday.

I forgot to mention that on Saturday a train came into Darwin. Everyone went down to the station to watch. There was nothing special on the train; it was just a 1.2km long freighter with 4000 metric tons. It’s just that it was the first train to run from Alice Springs to Darwin.

The trucks were unusual. They were well-wagons, and because it’s so flat from Adelaide to Darwin, they’d stacked the 40 foot shipping containers 2 high on each truck. Instead of the usual bogie at each end, they used a shared-bogie affair between the trucks so that 5 trucks used 6 bogies.

But enough of the trainspotting.


The Gecko alarm woke me at 7am. There wasn’t a lot happening on the work front now that the concretor had stopped arguing and decided to fix up the job, so Dad organized a fishing trip with our friends. I love to eat fish, but I think the catching side of things is for the birds, otters and bears. I headed off to check out the East Point military museum.

There was rather a lot more of The Bombing Raids, as well as some rifles and badges. They had a fire-control table, a 9.8” gun in its emplacement, 2 x 7” naval guns, ack-ack, bren carriers, a Buffalo assault vehicle, 2 bofurs, and a few other things designed to shoot shells from here-to-there. They also had one of the many fake guns used to fool recon planes. There were also a real lot of mosquitos.

Mid-day! Time to look for some lunch. There is a restaurant near the museum called “Peewee’s.” I didn’t go there. Bloody mafia. I went instead to Stokes Wharf to check out the eateries and wondered if I should try a schnitzel from the schnitzel place but I couldn’t decide if I should go for a pork, veal, kangaroo, crocodile, camel, buffalo or chicken. So I had a barramundi and prawns with chips. It was huge and I had to feed the left-over chips to a peewee, who managed to get some before the seagulls arrived.

The afternoon was spent wandering around the underground oil storage tanks. These were built for the war (again with the war!) to avoid the bombs. No.5 tank is 3m. wide, 5m. high, at 171m. long. It held 85,000,000,000(85 thousand million) litres of fuel oil. That’s rather a lot. Darwin has more WW2 relics than any other city in the country. In fact, they’re still finding planes in the surrounding jungle and islands.

I arrived home just before Dad and our friends. They’d had rather a good day on the boat, having caught 10 jewfish between them. The smallest was 1005mm long, and after filleting we packed 38kg of edible fish steaks in the freezer. Fish and chips for dinner, and they didn’t get much fresher than that.

Day 6 Working

Today was spent touring all the interesting work-sites: hire companies, hardware stores, steel companies and crane-hire companies. The concreter actually started repairing the faults with his work, and we lifted the 7 ton, croc-proof tank lids onto the water ponds. Tomorrow we should actually finish the job, and on Wednesday we plan on heading home.
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