Broome, West Australia
Raised the continent of Australia at 0900 this morning and a few hours later found ourselves in the Western Australia pearling center of Broome. An excellent bay cursed with 29-foot tides!
Expected to be put ashore in one of the towns two hotels. Grabbed the first boat ashore, and after a long walk (wharf and dusty road) and a broiling and brilliant sun, finally hooked a ride for the last few blocks on the wheezing, miniature old engine (a museum piece if I ever saw one — the one in Stanford University museum is a mountain mallet in comparison). Stepped on to the veranda of the Continental Hotel (bar shut from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.) and ran into a couple of the boys from Surabaya, who came down and those two old wrecks #26 and #5 (wallowing out in the bay in company with two, more graceful, Short Empire boats).
Heard that in the past three days the remaining PBY-5s (#44, #42 and one more from the Dutch — with old #12’s engines) have disappeared on patrol (one per day) — crews included.
So that’s that — just about the end of Patwing 10.
In town about two hours, when the captain of the Childs told us we were shoving off in an hour. Raced down to the Chinese section and bought myself a sheath knife — just in case. Jap pearling fleet beached on shore; 600 former Jap residents interned in Perth (total population before war 1,700). Admiral came aboard. Pulled out. Headed south?