This is the northernmost city in Australia, a country that has more than its fair share of venomous or aggressive wildlife. Swimming in Darwin Harbour is not recommended. Like most of the Australian coastline, Darwin has sharks. But Darwin is the capital of the Top End, and unlike other major cities, Darwin also has crocodiles. Seriously big saltwater crocodiles which have no qualms about eating people.
Then they have the notorious box jellyfish, the notorious silent killer which gently floats in the water entangling people within its murderous tentacles.
Darwin is a dangerous place, and so I decided to venture out into its wild waters and take on all the local marine monsters it could taunt me with.
Leaving from trendy Cullen Bay, where the upmarket restaurants seem to mock the fact that within metres of their portals the world’s most feared creatures lurk.
I joined eleven other brave souls with the shared aim of conquering these seas and taking on whichever peril King Neptune could throw at us.
We headed out through Darwin Harbour with nary a vessel near us to join us on this massive challenge. Powering out through calm seas we brave expeditioners gathered our thoughts and worked out our strategies for capturing these behemoths of the deep. After an hour of rushing straight to our target area in the Arafura Sea, we were handed our weapons: sleek rods fitted with vicious tackle.
After baiting up we cast out, letting the line run free until we could feel the sinker hit the bottom. Sensing danger, the creatures of the deep avoiding us, but we were not to be deterred, so chased them to another part of the sea.
In went the line, soon after I felt the sinker smash into the sandy bottom there was the unmistakable tug of a pescatorial beast taking my bait. A short battle ensured. Pescatorial Beast 1 Me 0.
I was determined not to be thwarted. Baiting up again, in went the line. A violent jerk on the line, a quick flick of my rod, a thrashing beast hooked. A massive battle of strength between man and beast. Golden Snapper retrieved from the sea. Golden Snapper determined to be too small, so released.
Several other contests occurred, but no gigantic fish for me today. Fortunately, my son is more used to these waters than me, and a good meal was caught by he and passed on to me.
Marine world conquered by proxy. King Neptune must have been angered by our assault on his domain as he turned his seas into a turmoil as we raced back to port. The swell was up, the spray covered our vessel as we pierced giant waves, the sea was throwing itself at us as if to punish us for robbing it of its creatures.
We returned to land, feed in hand, mission accomplished.