Darwin, named for the well-known English naturalist, is Australia's
northern most port. Darwin has been completely rebuilt twice in
the 20th Century, first after being bombed 60 times by the Japanese
in WW II (1942) and again after being leveled by Cyclone Tracy in
1974. Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory, a region
of outback Australia that occupies about a sixth of the entire continent.
The "top end" of Australia is home to Aborigines, as well as to
crocodiles. We traveled down the Adelaide River by boat thorough
a vibrant rain forest to see some of its 1500 crocodiles. It was
wonderful to see these magnificent creatures in their natural setting.
Crocodiles, the only reptile with a four-chambered heart, can miraculously
shut down major portions of their circulation to prevent fatal hemorrhage,
if mortally wounded in combat. Crocodiles possess a most extraordinary
resistance to infection and are presently being studied to enhance
our knowledge of human immunology. You haven't seen anything until
you see Crocodile Dundee Bob Boozer wrestle one of these magnificent
2000 pound creatures! A word of comfort to you members of the Flatworld
Society: We fully expected to encounter Earth's Edge somewhere in
the Coral Sea, but here we are crossing the Equator again in the
Banda Sea, without any indication of that reputed "drop off". We
remain at the ship's rail looking out for first signs of the "Edge",
so we can forthwith phone the bridge and warn the Captain to cut
the engines. Our motto is "Vigilando".