What would be the perfect end to five days in Darwin’s heat? My wife and I discovered it a champagne dinner cruise on the harbour. Well it wasn’t actually champagne but an Australian bubbly, it did however start to flow the moment we stepped aboard.
There are several sunset dinner cruises on offer but we chose Sail Darwin with their three hour trip on the Sundancer, a 50 ft ocean-going catamaran. With 100 metres of deck space there was plenty of room for the smallish party of guests who sat around the main mast at the bow of the boat, some on netting that overhung the water.
As soon as were all aboard the boat chugged away from the pier into the dead calm water of the huge harbour, which is bigger that Sydney’s!
There was a crew of two – Mark, who we called Captain, who looked after the sailing and poured the bubbles, and Tracey who did all the food preparation and serving.
What a great job they did. Tracey was up and down from the galley as she prepared a tapas-style meal, with plates full of delicious bites that were perfect for the casual evening on the water.
It was close to idyllic as we sipped on the bubbles, nibbled on the food, and watched the sun sink slowly into the water. The breeze was perfect and so cooling and enough for Mark to stop the engines and hoist the mainsail and let the big boat sail on under her own power.
There is nothing quite like the silence of a vessel under sail and I was looking forward to that: unfortunately I didn’t get it.
For the entire trip music played from a speaker on the bow. I had no problem with the music style, it was not loud and of a vintage that suited me, and it kept the younger noise-oriented guests happy.
However I would definitely recommend management to allow at least thirty minutes of silence so guest could appreciate the quiet smoothness of sail.
For $95 a head, though it was value for money and Mark and Tracey were top class hosts.
Sunset over the water
Darwin from the harbour