After several weeks steadily free-cruising north along Australia’s famed Great Barrier Reef, 9 of the 15 boats in the current World ARC fleet have now arrived in Darwin. Most of the rest are expected to arrive by the end of Monday 2 September, with Footloose and Ice Bear expected towards the end of this coming week.
They have all had an amazing trip up the coast, with most boats stopping at the famous Whitsunday Islands and Airlie Beach, which officially has some of the whitest sand of any beach in the world.
On arrival, boats are being temporally berthed on the welcome dock at Cullen Bay Marina in order to undergo compulsory treatment and hull inspection by the Aquatic Biosecurity team
Once treatment is complete, the boats move to their respective marinas either staying in Cullen Bay Marina (catamarans) or at the nearby Tipperary Waters Marina (monohulls), just a few kilometres away.
Eight of the current fleet (Alora, Babsea, Charm, Danica I, EQ2, Niobe, Someday and Sweet Dream) started their World ARC journey in January this year and will continue on to Saint Lucia to complete their circumnavigation in April next year. A further three (Footloose, Ice Bear and Lunatix) have recently re-joined the rally between Fiji and Mackay following a year's break from World ARC in the Pacific. Christine also re-joins the fleet here in Darwin following a year's break exploring this part of the world. Atla re-joined in Vanuatu after a two year break from the rally. Peter and Jane Craggs on board their catamaran Coco de Mer have joined World ARC in Mackay, having completed their previous circumnavigation with World ARC back in 2012!
To complete the current fleet, we also welcome Clement & Nathalie Blanc and their children Adrien and Paul on their Hallberg Rassy 46 'Fidelio' to the World ARC family. They are joining the rally for the first time here in Darwin It's great to still have two other family boats Niobe and Charm along with us to give the Fidelio children some instant friends too!
The official shore-side programme in Darwin gets underway on Wednesday with an informal crew supper in Cullen Bay Marina, followed by the amazing Adelaide River tour on Thursday, complete with giant jumping crocodiles!