Tuesday, 31 July 2012

New Freshwater Pump Delivered

Hi everyone,
We took possession of the parcel containing our spare parts this afternoon.  Huzzah!  The folks at SDV managed to get the package onto an aircraft yesterday morning, one day earlier than estimated.  It took several visits to their local office to arrange customs clearance, pay duty and arrange delivery, but everyone was keen to help, efficient and spoke more English than we do Tetum.

With the package aboard we unpacked it and happily confirmed the pump fits.  Only one of the four hoses provided was one of the two we wanted, but fortunately the old hoses are in OK shape.  No gasket was provided so we had to re-use the old one which was in OK shape too.  We added "gasket goo" to be on the safe side.

After fitting the new pump, the old hoses with new hose clamps, the pulley and the V-belt we refilled the freshwater system with coolant.  We decided to wait until tomorrow morning before starting the engine since that will allow the gasket goo to set.  Hopefully all will be well when we run the engine.

Kym from the Dili rally organising committee has confirmed she can assist with our clearing out tomorrow.  Presuming the engine runs OK and the clearing out goes OK we may be sailing tomorrow afternoon!

Trust all's well where you are...

Sunday, 29 July 2012

4WD Tour to Maubisse

Hi everyone,
Yesterday (Saturday) we had a great day driving from Dili to Maubisse in the central highlands and return.  We departed at 0800 and were back at our hotel at 1730.  Our 4WD driver Afonso spoke English quite well and it was very interesting talking to him during the day.  He is from eastern East Timor, near Jaco Island, and survived being shot by Indonesian soldiers during their occupation.

Driving out of Dili and up into the hills was interesting.  We passed one of the major market areas which was teeming with people.  As we headed up into the hills we got above the Dili smog and the temperature dropped rapidly.  Luckily there was no cloud over Dili or the southern hills so we had great views.

View from the hills back to Dili
View down a large river valley
The houses gradually thin out as one climbs the hills above Dili.  The road gradually worsens until there are large patches of unsealed road and large undulations and potholes in the tarmac.  There is obviously work going on to improve the roads, with large cuttings let into many hillsides to "smooth out" the worst hairpin corners (of which there are many).  The average speed for our trip was 20km/hr, which shows the roads are a little rough.

Very noticeable alongside the road once clear of Dili were the electricity poles carrying power inland.  Afonso explained that electricity was last year's project and that this year the government is focussing on roadworks.  It's great to see such clear improvements happening.  The power extended all the way to Maubisse and apparently provides the first ever reliable power to some of the towns along the way.

At Dare (pronounce Dah Ray) in the hills immediately above Dili there is a memorial to the cooperation between the East Timorese people and the Australian Army "Sparrow Force" which waged a guerrilla war against the Japanese during WW2.  The memorial is well worth a visit.  It has a great view of Dili, interesting information, a small cafe and is well kept.

Traditional village buildings

Memorial for 1942 massacre
Rice paddies in a river valley
From Dare we continued inland where we passed many coffee plantations.  Some surrounded small lakes formed near hilltops where no natural drainage occurs.  Most plantations have groves of tall Samtuku trees (very like Jacaranda) which provide shade for the smaller coffee trees.

The country changes dramatically between Dili and Maubisse.  Areas of coffee cultivation are mixed with river valleys filled with rice paddies and market gardens, and with areas where the hills are quite barren.  The latter reminded us of parts of Australia.

Lunch venue in Maubisse

Another memorial
All in all it was a great day.  Sometimes misfortunes have a silver lining and our being delayed in Dili has allowed us to see a lot more of East Timor.  It also allowed us to watch the Opening Ceremony at the London Olympics which we didn't expect!

Today (Sunday) we checked-out of the hotel and managed to get a ride out to Zen Again on a small powerboat which was escorting divers in Dili harbour.  It's blowing quite hard from the east here and the boat is jumping around uncomfortably.  Nonetheless it's good to be back aboard.  We've started listening in to the Sail Indonesia HF skeds.  As the fleet moves further north we should be able to play our part as radio backup for the fleet, despite not being where we expected to be.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Parts Enroute

Hi everyone,
Our new freshwater pump arrived in Darwin from Sydney yesterday but the first available flight to get it to Dili isn't until Tuesday morning.  So we have an enforced stay here in Dili.  We can think of worse places!

We spent most of yesterday morning arranging transport of the pump.  Later in the morning Barry and Sue from Nefertiti 1 visited us on Zen Again and then gave us a ride ashore.  We checked-in to the Dili Beach Hotel and spent the rest of the day relaxing.  We had a very nice meal at the Beach Cafe nearby which has Burmese style cuisine at reasonable prices.  Most main courses seem to be under US$10 here in Dili.

Dili Beach Hotel
Today we spent the morning walking around central Dili.  We visited the ANZ bank to change a US$100 bill which the hotel and restaurants we've visited wouldn't take (successful); visited a Timor Telecom office to try to get "internet tethering" or "personal hotspot" on our iPhones working (unsuccessful but see below); the Tais markets to order a custom woven runner with "Zen Again" woven into it (US$20); and visited several cafes along the way for refreshment.

There are a surprising number of traffic light controlled intersections in Dili.  Interestingly some of them have downcounters displaying how long until your turn.

Castaways Restaurant
Tomorrow we have a tour booked with Eco Discovery Tours which will take us out of Dili to Maubisse in the Central Highlands.  On Sunday we'll return to Zen Again where we'll stay until departure, hopefully on Wednesday.  We have advised Sail Indonesia that we will enter Indonesia in Kupang since that's a shorter trip from Dili and we're late!

View from the beach adjacent to the Dili Beach Hotel
With regard to iPhone "internet tethering" / "personal hotspot" with Timor Telecom we eventually stumbled upon the trick.  In General => Network => Cellular Data Network you need to set the Internet Tethering APN to "internet" and then restart the iPhone.  We got one of our phones into a strange mode where it was eating credit at a rate of about 5c/minute.  We got out of that by turning off Cellular Data entirely, restarting the phone and then enabling Cellular Data.  The data charges are very reasonable, but watch out for your phone getting into a strange mode and eating your credit.  We turn off Cellular Data when not using it to be on the safe side.

Also on Timor Telecom more generally, you can buy credit from street sellers.  They sell at face value and you simply scratch the little card to reveal the number.  You then dial "100" plus the card number appended.  i.e. The trick is to prepend the "100".  To check your credit dial "*#102#".  Don't include the quotes in any of the above!

Hope all's well where you are.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Organising Parts

Hi everyone,
Thanks to everyone for the comments on yesterday's blog. We had a busy day today. We started by going ashore to meet Bruce who recommended how best to get goods into East Timor. Bruce runs the Beachside Hotel (mailto:beachsidehoteldili@gmail.com) here in Dili and was involved with the rally. Next we drained the engine's coolant and removing the fresh water pump. We then took the clearly damaged pump ashore to A1 Services where Leigh had a look at it and declared it unrepairable. Evidently pressing the shaft out always damages the casing. Yanmar's workshop manual says to always replace the full assembly. Leigh gave us further information on importing goods rapidly.

The next job was to obtain SIMs for our iPhones. We hadn't bothered previously but now needed a phone to arrange the spare parts from Australia. A SIM for an iPhone costs US$10 here and took about 30 minutes to buy, fit and test at the Timor Telecom office. Take your passport! With US$20 credit added we suddenly had voice and data communications! A combination of phone calls and emails resulted in Darwin Shipstores ordering the required parts from Sydney and SDV in Darwin being prepped to transport the package by air to Dili, through customs and to their office (only 200m) from the beach. With luck the parts will arrive in Darwin tomorrow morning, but if not they won't get there until early next week due to the public holiday in Darwin.

We've booked into a the Dili Beach Hotel (US55/night) for Thursday and Friday nights. We might as well enjoy our enforced stay in Dili so being ashore for the first time since early May will be fun. We also hope to do one or two day tours into the hills around Dili.

We've informed Sail Indonesia of our delay in Dili. There's a chance we may make it to Saumlaki before they all depart, but if not we can clear in ourselves without them. We have all our paperwork aboard.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Back in Dili

Hi everyone,
We're back in Dili this evening after an eventful day. We departed shortly after dawn for Atauro Island, initially having to motor due to lack of wind. We eventually got a good wind which took us close to the island.

Departing Dili with Babar
Early morning departure
As we approached the island the current became stronger and directly against us rather than across our course. It built up to 4 knots just as we entered the wind shadow of the island so we had to motor again. There were several "tide lines" where rough water met calm water, both with strong currents. At these lines we saw lots of dolphins and big fish. The water was amazingly clear.

Approaching Atauro
Jumping Fish
Amongst the fish
Just as we were breaking out of the strong current passing the west-most point on Atauro Island a nasty noise started coming from the engine. We throttled right back and opened the engine bay doors for a look. The belt-driven pulley which drives the fresh water pump was jumping around instead of spinning neatly - the bearing had collapsed. We shut down the engine and realised we needed to sail back to Dili. Sailing back was an adventure with 2 to 4 knots of current with us but wildly varying winds in the lee of Atauro Island.

After bobbing through the tide lines with zero boatspeed but 4 knots over the ground we finally got into a nice easterly breeze which carried us rapidly back to Dili. The breeze held in the harbour as we picked up a mooring first time. We hoisted the Q flag and went ashore to arrange inward clearance since we had officially departed East Timor. Happily the rally organisers were still about, and they arranged our clearance. They also arranged for a mechanic to visit us early tomorrow morning.

With the official requirements taken care of we visited Vega (http://www.sailvega.com). They provided a cup of fine coffee which was very welcome!

Hopefully we'll get the bearing or water pump assembly fixed within a week. That means we'll be late to Saumlaki, but we should be able to catch up with the fleet. Just one more drama!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Cleared Out from Dili

Hi everyone,
We've had a great 5 days in Dili but it's nearly time to leave. We arranged our outward clearance from East Timor today so need to sail from Dili tomorrow. We intend to sail north 20nm to Atauro Island with several of the Dili Rally boats. We all have 90 day cruising authorisations for East Timor. We hope to overnight there before heading east for Saumlaki.

Awards Ceremony Band
The Skippers
The anchorage
Our time in Dili was spent on organised rally events, doing our own thing, and resupplying the boat. Fuel was arranged by the rally organisers at US$1.55/litre. Water was also supplied, as was a bar, a water taxi and dinghy guarding service. The organised events included a tour of Dili, a presentation ceremony and a dinner. We had dinner with the guys from Freedom Express one evening and Scot Free 2 on another. Both were adventures due to difficulty communicating with taxi drivers.

Today we shopped for fruit & veg at the markets and for bread at the "supermarkets". We had a good walk around the centre of Dili which is quite dirty but full of all sorts of shops supplying everything from food to computers to satellite dishes to furniture.

Charity suppler Vega
Zen Again the The Doctor
We also spent some time at the Hotel Dili using the free WiFi internet connection they made available to rally yachts.  For some reason we couldn't edit our blog, but it was good to get our email and take a look at what's been happening in the world recently.

It would be nice to have a few more days in Dili to explore, but time marches on and we need to meet up with the Sail Indonesia fleet in Saumlaki next weekend.

Hope all's well where you are.

Friday, 20 July 2012


Hi everyone,
We arrived in Dili at about 1130 on Wednesday after a good sail along the spectacular coast. After finishing we entered Dili harbour with our courtesy flag and Q flag flying. We picked up a mooring buoy in the set laid specially for the event. It was great to arrive in Dili after just over 4 days at sea. We logged 512nm, so pushed about 50nm of current since we stuck close to the direct route. We motored for 60 hours which is by far the most motoring we've ever done on a single passage. We used about 100 litres of fuel. Our top boat speed was 9 knots. We broke nothing!

Many of the other boats had various breakages or other adventures so we're happy our passage was relatively uneventful. It was fun running the skeds and many boats have thanked us for doing so. It was good to confirm our radio's performance.

Zen Again Track
After arriving we went ashore and presented our papers for clearance inward. That was straightforward process with the help of the rally office. We never even saw an East Timorese official! We went to dinner with the crew of Freedom Express, being thoroughly ripped off by the taxis but having a great meal together.

On Thursday we went ashore and had a shower at the Hotel Dili, then took our laundry to the Hotel Ventura which provides a service at reasonable cost. Then we taxied to Castaways cafe for a very pleasant time with The Doctor and Nefertiti crews. From there we returned to the rally office area where we found Ano waiting for us. Ano was recommended to us by Urs and Maggie on Better Than Shares. He sought us out and we had a very nice conversation with him.

In the afternoon we joined the complimentary rally tour of Dili which was really good. We visited the statue of Pope John Paul which overlooks Dili from the west, the art school, the Tais markets, the excellent Museum of the Revolution, the beach at the foot of the path up to the Jesus statue (which overlooks Dili from the east) and then to the Beachside Hotel for refreshments.

In the evening we all had dinner at the Turkish Kebab Club, featuring "belly dancing" on the tables by some rally competitors. It was good to catch up with the crews of Scot Free 2, Our Philosophy and Ala De Oro who arrived in Dili today. Great food and a fun time had by all.

Today (Friday) we have the formal presentations this morning and the formal rally dinner this evening. We'll also change to a smaller headsail, top up our water and fuel, and try to sort our our photos and video from the trip so far. So plenty to do - must dash!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Along the East Timor Coast

Hi everyone,
Last night we had a mixed bag of occasional great sailing between long periods of motoring due to light wind. We think the increased wind was due to funnelling down valleys on the coast. Although there was no moon we could still see the silhouette of the mountain ranges. Very spectacular. The short bursts of sailing had us charging along at 9 knots under full main and No 1. Great fun.

We had a brilliant, red sunrise this morning. Most of the cloud cleared away overnight and the coast alongside us is slowly changing from grey-scale to full technicolour. Tall tree-covered hills and mountains with cloud capping some of the mountains.

Only 15nm to go to Dili but we still have a strong current against us. We're only a mile offshore but the water is over 1000m deep! Haven't seen a reading on the depth sounder since the middle of the Timor Sea (which is very shallow on its southern side). We hope to get to Dili in time for lunch.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Passed Jaco Island

Hi everyone,
After last night's excitement with Colleen's steering problem, today has been relatively quiet. We had a good sail to the approaches to Jaco Island but then the seas became quite confused. We also had the wind almost behind us which made the ride very rolly. Worst of all we had 2 knots of current against us. In short it took a while to get around Jaco Island!

When we did approach the island it was only glimpsed between rain showers and low cloud. Similarly the main island of East Timor, which is very high but was (and still is) mostly shrouded in cloud.

Storm approaching
We're now motoring along the north coast of East Timor. The swells are gradually dying away and the ride is improving. The wind is very light and has been varying in direction continuously as showers come through. It rained hard several times, giving the boat a good wash and forcing us to don our wet weather gear.

East Timor to port

I'm sure East Timor will be very spectacular when a bit of sun arrives to illuminate it!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Rescue 481

Hi everyone,
Zen Again has been running the rally HF radio skeds since Sunday because propagation from Darwin was poor. After each sked we send an email (via HF radio like this message) to the rally organisers so they can upload the latest positions to the web site. Although most of the racing yachts use SPOT messenger units to send their position, most of the cruising yachts are using HF. It's been fun running the skeds and it has shown our radio is performing well.

After this afternoon's sked I received an email from the rally organisers saying the yacht Colleen had lost its steering and needed spare parts. At the same time I heard Colleen on HF and got the same information directly from them. The organisers had contacted RCC Canberra and they tasked a CoastWatch Dornier aircraft to air drop the parts. Within two hours the aircraft (callsign Rescue 481) was on the scene. When I told Colleen via HF that an aircraft was en-route they could scarcely believe how quickly it had been organised.

Apparently Rescue 481 is very good at "bombing". They dropped the box of spares squarely on Colleen's deck. Timely, efficient and dead on target. The drop was made at last light. Fantastic to witness (listening on VHF ch 16) such great professionalism. When I spoke to Colleen on HF after the drop they were delighted.

Rescue 481 went on to the rally yacht Ala De Oro which was closest to Colleen. Ala De Oro was asked to stand-by Colleen which I believe they are doing now. Colleen is fitting the dropped parts to repair their steering.

During all this Cutting Edge and Zen Again kept in touch with the rally organisers via satellite phone and HF email respectively. We connected via the Winlink station located at the Sunda Straits and remotely controlled from Jakarta. Very good signal.

Interesting afternoon and evening.

65nm to Jako Island

Hi everyone,
We've had a great sail today after the initial excitement described in the preceding blog. The wind settled in the SE at 20 knots. We're very comfortable with one reef in the main and about a metre of the No 1 genoa furled.
The winches and locking footblocks we installed over the wet season in Darwin were a good investment. The footblocks make it really easy to swap between normal and reaching sheets, and to adjust the boom brake.

We have about 65nm to run to Jako Island. Hopefully the wind will hold in at least until we get around the island.

Wind, Rain and Squalls

Hi everyone,
After a short sail yesterday afternoon the wind died yet again. Motoring again. Finally at 0300 this morning a real wind arrived and we have been sailing since. Fantastic!

The sailing probably wouldn't be described as "champagne". From about 0400 there were occasional showers. Then at 0600 (just before dawn) a rain squall came through with 30 knot winds. One of the rally yachts - Cutting Edge - broadcast a warning which was timely. We got a reef in just as it hit, but didn't have time to don our wet weather gear. So we got a free wash which was actually very pleasant. I'm sure the boat loved the fresh water wash too - she flew along at 8 knots during the fun.

Of course the wind is now blowing directly towards Jaco Island, so we're not managing to head directly there. Still quite rolly as the waves kicked up by the squall persist. Nevertheless - it's all good - we are sailing!

We've logged 207nm from Darwin in 44 hours.

Hope all's well where you are.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Still Motoring

Hi everyone,
After our recent engine troubles the last thing we needed was no wind on this passage. That's exactly what we've got, and our nerves are suffering a little. The noise level doesn't help. Must insulate the engine compartment! Happily "lazarus" the engine is performing well, although using both fuel and oil faster than I'd prefer. Plenty of both, even if we have to motor all the way to Dili. At noon today we had logged 115nm at an average of 4.6knots. We've been motoring for 20 of those hours. That's one of the longest periods under power during my 30+ years sailing. This afternoon we transferred 40 litres of fuel from the deck jerries to the main tank, refilling it and establishing a rough burn rate of 2litres/hour at 1800rpm.

Aside from the interminable motoring all's well aboard. The one advantage of motoring is abundant energy, so the drinks are cold and the computer hot. We're sailing about 1nm from the catamaran Cutting Edge and can see Kokomo V on AIS at about 10nm. A few ships visible on AIS, only one of which approached close enough for us to see her.

We're hopeful some wind will appear tomorrow, if not tonight. According to the forecast it should happen and the wind should hold in until we reach Jaco Island at the eastern tip of East Timor.

Trust all's well where you are.

Dili Here We Come!

Hi everyone,
We are now on our way to Dili. The fleet of 17 yachts started at 1100 yesterday in quite a festive atmosphere. The start boat Spririt of Darwin was crowded with spectators and several boats saw us out of the harbour. Winds were light at the start and most of the cruising division motored-sailed over the line. After about an hour a light sea breeze settled in and we had a good sail for a few hours. We stayed in touch with most of the cruising fleet during the day.

Zen Again approaching the start
In the late afternoon the sea breeze gradually faded away and we had to motor. The wind returned briefly at about 2200 and we had a great close reach for an hour, reaching speeds up to 7 knots. Sadly the wind died again and our boat speed fell back to 4 knots. We rounded Cape Fourcroy at about 0200, battling adverse tide which reduced our ground speed to 2 knots. By then most yachts had passed us (unsurprisingly since most are significantly larger than us and have bigger engines!).

Nice sail across Beagle Gulf
At about 0300 the moon rose, followed by Jupiter, Venus and the constellation Orion. The night sky was clear and full of interesting objects. We saw a few "falling stars" and a couple of satellites. Quite a bit of bioluminescence in the water at times last night too.

The sun is now up and we can identify some of the boats still in sight. Kokomo V is about 3 miles ahead. Cutting Edge (we think) is about a mile off our starboard bow. Raucous and another racing yacht (Scott Free 2?) are falling behind on our starboard quarter.

We've covered just under 100nm since 1100 yesterday. We hope more of the miles we cover today will be under sail!

Hope all's well where you are.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Engine Restored!

Hi everyone,
Our engine has been checked and declared OK by Darwin Shipstores' mechanic Nafea.  'Tis a miracle! So we're all-go to depart for East Timor on Saturday.  Amazing.

On Sunday we attended the Sail Timor Leste and Sail Indonesia Technical Briefings, followed by the Sail Timor Leste BBQ.  At that stage we still weren't sure the engine was OK, but we went just in case.  It was great to meet more of the people sailing to Dili.

On Tuesday and Wednesday Nafea visited us to complete the restoration of our engine.  Over the weekend we had charged up and down between Fannie Bay and Cullen Bay at full throttle to give the engine a thorough workout.  Nothing broke, so Nafea finished his work by adjusting the tappets on Wednesday morning and reseating the rocker cover (which had been leaking oil).

Yesterday we collected a set of bagged clothes to deliver to the yacht Vega which will be in Dili when the rally boats arrive.  Several boats in the fleet are carrying charity goods to Vega, which will then distribute them.  The bags fill much of our forepeak.

We also have aboard two huge bags of kid's clothes we bought from the Salvo's.  We expect to give these away as we sail through Indonesia.

For the last couple of days we've been meeting with various people to say our good byes.  It was great to see Rik and Fiona from Dikenga, and Tony and Andrea from Irish Melody.  That's cruising - meeting great people and then sailing away!

Today we:
  • went for a swim to clean around the log impeller and to clean the rudder;
  • topped up the fresh water and outboard fuel;
  • changed the engine oil; and
  • went into Darwin for a final trip to buy fruit and vegetables, and to collect our mail.
Tomorrow we'll "clear out" with Australian Customs at DSC.  Less then 48 hours to departure!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A Horror Week

Hi everyone,
On Sunday we sailed over to Woods Inlet for another few days of R&R.  By then I was coming down with a bad cold (which has turned out to be some sort of flu).   Getting sick turned out to be the least of our worries...

On Monday I fitted a new fuel lift pump to the engine.  This was the last major spare part of the set I bought to fit before departure - the others being starter motor, raw water pump and mixing elbow.  The elbow was fitted by Shipstores as described in an earlier post.

After fitting the new pump I turned over the engine with the cylinders "decompressed" and all appeared fine and the pump was pumping fuel.  I bled the fuel system to the high pressure pump, then reset the decompression levers and went on deck to start the motor.  When I engaged the starter motor there was a very nasty clunk.  Not good.  I went below and discovered water was leaking from the engine case.  Very, very bad.

I removed the fuel lift pump and found its cam-following lever was bent.  Only then did I compare the lever with that on the old pump and found the two did not match.  Mea Culpa, although you'd hope to be provided with the correct parts by an authorised parts dealer (the parts came from a dealer in Sydney).  The morals of the story appear to be:
  • never assume a spare part is the correct spare part - examine every aspect in detail; and
  • never work on engines while sick!
The engine was fitted by the original owners in 1991 so it has done very well.  The local mechanic who worked on the engine here in Darwin estimated it has done over 4000 hours.  I still can't believe I killed our engine, but on the other hand we have been half-expecting to have to replace it at any time.  That time appears to have come.  It will be good to have a new engine when we head overseas.

Yesterday I called Darwin Shipstores and arranged for them to take a look at the engine as soon as we returned from Woods Inlet.  We sailed back this afternoon without incident, although the wind was light and the current strong as we came to anchor off Cullen Bay.  Hopefully the engine will be looked at tomorrow and if it is really beyond economic repair we'll get a new one on the way ASAP.

All this means there is little hope of our making the start line for Sail Timor Leste.  Hopefully we can make the start line for Sail Indonesia.  If not we'll just catch up with everyone somewhere in SE Asia!

Always look on the bright side of life!  ;)

Museum Visits

Hi everyone,
Last week we spent a couple of days visiting places of interest in Darwin.  We visited the Military Museum, and the Museum and Art Gallery.

We walked from the sailing club to the Military Museum on East Point.  About 9km round-trip so a good walk.  The new "Defence of Darwin Experience" was quite good but we enjoyed the "old fashioned" static exhibits.  East Point housed Darwin's big guns during WW2, including 9" and 6" guns.  They were obsolete soon after installation (if not before) - the attacks on Darwin all came from the air and the big guns were useless.  Nevertheless the guns and their emplacements are very interesting.

The static displays also include lots of smaller weapons - from field guns to anti-aircraft guns to machine guns to rifles to handguns.  Also a range of vehicles from trucks to armoured vehicles.  The displays in the buildings include the fire control computer and plotting table which controlled the big guns, and all sorts of memorabilia from uniforms to flags to letters to/from soldiers.

Belly gun from B17
AA gun
Field gun
9" gun in bunker
We also visited the Darwin Museum and Art Gallery.  Sadly photography not permitted there, so no photos.  The gallery had lots of interesting Aboriginal art.  The museum includes a very good natural history section, a section on cyclone Tracy, and a section on boats.  The latter includes a pearl lugger and a range of SE Asian craft.

Both museums are well worth a visit.