To the land down under we go! It was so exciting to head to Australia, its exciting to listen to Australian’s talk and to eat crocodile, but it’s also exciting because of a long standing Navy Tradition of evolving from a slimy dirty Wog to a trusted shellback when crossing the equator line. I have been anticipating this ceremony since I got into the Navy and am so glad to have the chance to go through with it. But, more about my transition to a shell back later.

My first Australian venture was off the beaten path, to the Northern territory, with a population of around 200,000 people called Darwin. It’s a hippie kind of place, full of back packers on journeys large and small, and a portal to the outback. If you want to go and see Kangaroo’s and spend time in a state park on 4 to 5 day excursions, then Darwin is a stepping stone to get you there.

We, unfortunately were only going to be there for a few days so we had to make due without the outback which is a huge bummer, but its best to make the most of it. And so it begins…

IMG_3604After getting dropped off down town this was my first taste of Darwin. Winning! Now I have high expectations.IMG_3605Getting some money out the bank. You can see through these bills, yo.

IMG_3608On the first night we went to a fabulous Irish pub called Shenanigan’s and I ate two firsts: Crocodiles and Kangaroo. They were both very tasty and something I definitely recommend. The Kangaroo is very tender and it was a feast to behold. As it turns out, my first night in Darwin Australia also happened to be the 4th of July. I ended up at a bar called Monsoon’s being serenaded the Star Spangled Banner by some cross dressers and it was a bit surreal for me and also a good time! No pictures of that excursion I am afraid.

IMG_3612The next morning it was time to set out on an excursion. What does Darwin have to offer… that is the question?! We can’t wait to find out. (If you look in the upper left corner you can see my ship.)

IMG_3613We decided to go down and check out the Lagoon. The only safe place to swim in the area. Unfortunately all beaches are off limits for swimming because they have a high number of crocodiles in the area. A local woman told me she saw a crocodile come out of the water and eat her neighbors dog. That may be extreme but its enough for me to steer clear of the waters. No matter, there were drinks to be had instead.

IMG_3626So we set up shop in the sun at a very adequate outdoor bar and we let the days events begin.

IMG_3627I started off with a white wine Sangria and who can say no to a bucket of Coronas? Needless to say we spent the majority of the day there and then it was time to head to the hotel and prepare for the rugby game.

IMG_3633Hello boys. This was an Australia minor league game and I can’t say I remember the names of the teams but it turns out that the away team was staying at our hotel.:)

IMG_3645It’s time for some drinks. Jess knows how to dress and she’s ready to party.

IMG_3642Hey girl Hey!

IMG_3650The next morning we decided to head over to the crocodile park to see a few crocodiles, because what’s Australia without Crocodiles and Aussie Accents. Probably not Australia, right?

IMG_3666At the crocodile park you have the option to get in a tank with a crocodile while they feed it. It was a bit to expensive for our tastes.

IMG_3663There’s a piece of meat for the crocodile.

IMG_3656 I got a close up of the crocodiles foot and it just looks quite gigantic. I don’t want a piece of that.

IMG_3668He seems to be very hungry, and he wants a piece of that meat.

IMG_3671Swimming around in the tank. Most of the crocodiles at the crocodile park have been injured in some way and are recovering. After they recover they send them back into the wild or if they are too injured they stay longer.

IMG_3691To me this turtle has an unusually long neck, what do you think?

IMG_3706I don’t know the people in the cage, but they look like their having fun checking out some crocs.

IMG_3707Could you imagine being hit int he face with that thing? Good thing the glass held.IMG_3700So, in Darwin you can get yourself a raw hide off a croc. It’ll cost you a pretty penny though. This crocodile hide was going for about $5,000. It would make a good cape I think… but very heavy. haha.

IMG_3717That day there was an event in which they made boats out of beer cans and had what’s called the Beer Can Regatta. They then sailed them in the bay until they sunk. Afterwards the sun set on the bay and I have to admit, this was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’d ever seen… without trying my hardest to find it. I can’t wait till the next adventure, but Darwin was a great prelude and a good first visit to Australia.

This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.