Dili – Darwin. About 400km by sea

Posted: July 21, 2016 in Australia, Timor Leste
Tags: , ,

I sit on the quay in Darwin, my father at my side, taking in the surroundings – the bird calls, the trees, the clear blue skies. The Australian accents, toilet block building with a drinking fountain, the utes with the Australian number plates, the Northern Territory flag. We have only sailed 400km and it is so, so different. I can feel the desert lurking beyond the horizon as the heat of the day mounts, and I feel a welling up of emotion. I have come all this way to be here, through so many places, meeting so many people, and now I am here. I am home.

The crew of the Sue Sea

The crew of the Sue Sea

Dozens of dolphins jumped around as – playing with us – as the boat passed through the calm waters. Amazing sunsets and sunrises were presented before us on the open seas – alone in this beautiful place with only sea and sky. As the sky turned from blue through oranges and pink to black, the full moon rose and lit the seas with a shimmering beam, all through the night. We threw-up as the boat was pummelled by the violent ocean, and then returned to health and to a rhythm of cook, eat, sleep.

Sunrise on the Timor Sea

Sunrise on the Timor Sea

We have had a real sailing adventure. Thank-you to the crew of the Sue Sea who let us (Clement and myself, together with Romain – a backpacker from France) on board to take the boat back from Dili to Australia after taking part in the Darwin to Dili yacht rally. From the second we met them in Dili, they have welcomed us onboard and to their sailing family, and found a way to transport us, our luggage and our bikes on the 15m yacht.
The bikes, after the most thorough clean they have ever had (for Australian quarantine), were disassembled and stowed in with the sails at the very front of the boat. A little bit wet and jossled, they arrived safe and sound on Australian soil – all the way from Europe without a flight on a plane.

Igor, Gus, Betsy, Fons, Michael and the rest of the sailing family we met in Dili – you are legends!

  1. Peroh21 says:

    Congrats – hell of a journey. It was a pleasure following you around.

  2. Antonie and colleagues says:

    Hi Matthew, great achievement!! It was a real pleasure to travel along with you by viewing your postings. We very much enjoyed your stories and adventures. Warm regards from all Philips Management Assistants HTC34-7!!

    • Hey, everyone. Great to hear from you all! Say hi to everyone there for me. The trip is not quite finished.. I’m going to Adelaide on the south coast of Australia. A big desert crossing lies ahead, and we are preparing for it now.. 🙂

  3. Paul says:

    Yay ! I’m gonna miss these blogs , well done great adventure

  4. dreiradfahrer66 says:

    Welcome home, Matthew!
    You nearly made it. I’m looking forward to read the stories about the adventures of the last leg on your trip back home.
    Cheers, Marc

  5. Well done! I tried to find a sailboat from Dili to Darwin as well and it never worked out. I paid for passage only to find out the boat was oversold and not quite as seaworthy as we’d been led to believe. In retrospect, flying was a safer deal.

    • Yes. We were really lucky. I’m really happy to have had the chance to do this. Cargo ships don’t allow passengers, and we could find no other option other than flying..

  6. jovialspoon says:

    Congratulations!! What a brilliant achievement. It’s been a privilege to follow your journey over these past two year. Thank you for you generosity in sharing your stories and photos along the way. Your journey has been inspirational. Best wishes for your cross-continental ride across Oz.

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    Glad to hear you made it safely – 3000K of desert is serious business – hope it goes well.

  8. Julie Hughes says:

    Hope we see you we you come through Alice Springs

  9. Julie Hughes says:

    Britz Campervans on the Stuart Hwy I am Syd Morgan’s niece, when do you expect to arrive. Where are you staying when you arrive

    • Hey. Great to hear from you. My uncle Syd’s niece..
      We are now in Katherine and should be in Alice in around 10 days. We don’t have anywhere to stay yet..
      Looking forward to seeing you.
      Here is my Australian number: +61467608086

  10. Julie Hughes says:

    Hi Depending on how many people you have with you my husband and I can offer a couple double beds, I will try and ring tomorrow night. Cheers Julie

    • Cool. Thanks! That would be great. There are just 2 of us. A double bed or a piece of floor is enough.. 🙂
      Looking forward to seeing you.
      We may not have reception and i have my phone on flight mode often to save battery. If you give me your number by sms i can call when it’s on..

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