We’d been thinking that we’d stay in Darwin for about a week, so today was our tentative leaving date. Caitlin had been asking though if we could go to the wave pool again, and yesterday we got a text from our friends from Katherine saying they were going to the wave pool today and would we like to join them. So that made the decision much easier, and gave us more time to get things organised before we left.
Caitlin and I went shopping in the morning – I’d wanted to be at the shops by about 9, it was closer to 10 when we arrived and most things were just opening up so it was a good time. We were looking for snorkels and masks but Target had sold out. We did get new goggles for Millie and a few other things that were on our list, then bought a screen protector for Caitlin’s iPad mini so that she can use it again – the guy put it on for us so hopefully it will last and protect her cracked screen for long enough until we can afford to get it fixed properly. We also did a big grocery shop, getting supplies for when we head off. We found some good bargains which is always exciting.
Back at our tent we had some lunch and got ready for the wave pool. We dropped off a bottle of wine to Tony’s friend on the way. Our friends were already at the pool when we arrived, and Caitlin rushed straight into the water to hang out with them. We all had another fun afternoon at the wave pool. The kids did more of the everyone-holding-on-to-each-others’-tubes and riding the waves in, Millie and Tony and I hung out in the shade at the edge of the pool – Millie could just stand up there and when the waves came she gained confidence and after a while was happy to go a bit deeper. Some of the time she was in the water with no floatation devices, then after a while she went out with her swim ring (who is called Happy) and floated and swam around for a while. I grabbed a boogie board and floated on the waves on that, and tried to catch a few of the breaking waves (without much luck). Millie played for a bit with her friend from Katherine, and I had a rest out of the waves as I was feeling a bit sick from the motion of the waves. I read my book for a while, and Tony stayed near Millie when she went deeper, then I went back in the water while Tony had a rest. I convinced Millie to keep Happy on, and sit in a bigger tube as well (I’d seen her friend doing this). She was happy for me to take her out much deeper, and she and LiAM and I joined Caitlin and her friends in a group and rode the waves in. I tried to get on to my tube before the waves started and got on backwards, as I tried to turn around I flipped over into the water, so I only had time to put my arms and head through the tube rather than sitting in it, which was not quite as comfortable. Once we reached the shore we went back out into the middle of the pool and bobbed up and down on some of the big waves – one of them tipped Millie’s tube up to vertical and she shot out of it – she was still wearing Happy though so landed safely on top of the water and didn’t go under at all.
Caitlin said a very sad goodbye to her friend (they are going a different way from Darwin than we are), and then the kids and I went out deep again for the next cycle of waves. This time I managed to sit on the tube properly, the 4 of us made it all the way into the shore and it was fun. Tony then towed me on my tube back out to the deep and I floated in by myself, that was a lot of fun. He took me back out again, through some very steep waves, and as he pushed the tube one last time it caught the top of the wave and I flipped over. He helped me get back on and took me out again – it was hilarious, I couldn’t stop laughing every time he towed me out and I floated back in, it was so much fun.
The kids were almost ready to get out and they announced it was the last cycle of waves (waves go for 20 minutes then there’s a 10 minute break). So we stayed for that, Millie went out deep just wearing Happy and bobbed around out there, Caitlin tried the boogie board, LiAM and I swam in the waves and we got out when they finished, all very tired and happy. The motion of the waves had affected us more today and we all felt a little woozy walking on land again.
We got changed and headed home, had showers, ate some pasta for dinner and sat around for a little while, chatting and playing on the iPads, then went to bed to read Brisingr.