Another beautiful day in Paradise! More odd jobs today, starting with dismantling the cold water taps to clean out the inevitable build-up of calcium from using outback bore water - it will eventually clog up the taps completely if not removed. It does not seem to happen with the hot taps so the calcium deposits must be dissolved in the hot water - although you do eventually get some in the kettle, which we remove with CLR. Second job was to try to repair the roller that supports the middle section of the roll-out awning. David had replaced the worn plastic bearing surfaces with bolts and nuts - however the nuts keep on coming undone - so he again tightened the nuts and used some superglue to try and stop them coming loose.
Like a lot of fittings and fastenings on caravans, they do not seem to be quite up to extensive use, this is the fourth year that we have travelled for about 5 months, and the caravan has now covered more than 50,000 kilometres. I think that the average caravanner covers less distance and spends more time in one place - at two weeks in Darwin this is the longest that we have spent anywhere since we got the van. Almost everywhere that we go we seem to spend a lot of time in Bunnings, Mitre 10, Caravan Accessory shops and Boating shops getting bits and pieces for minor repairs to the van.
After lunch we went into Darwin to check out the eateries on Stokes Hill Wharf in Darwin Harbour. At the start of the wharf complex there is a memorial to the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 when two devastating Japanese air raids killed 292 people. Twice as many bombs were dropped on Darwin in those two raids as were dropped on Pearl Harbour ten weeks before. The death toll included 91 crew aboard the USS Peary that was in Darwin at the time, and it remains on the Darwin Harbour seabed. The first bombs to fall on Darwin destroyed the Stokes Hill Wharf, and the Darwin region would endure another 62 air raids up until 12 November 1943, but none were as destructive as the first two.
We spent some time sitting on the wharf having a quiet little drink watching the activity on Darwin Harbour. Darwin Harbour is now undergoing a major dredging project associated with a new LNG facility. The Ichthys Field in the Browse Basin off Western Australia first demonstrated its potential to be a world-class gas project in 2000, and in September 2008 Darwin was selected as the site for the LNG processing facility. Gas from the project will undergo preliminary processing at the offshore central processing facility before being transported through a subsea pipeline more than 885 kilometres long to the onshore LNG processing plant proposed for Darwin, Northern Territory.