Rob and Karen Oberg spent a year and 7,200 nautical miles crewing on other people's boats in SE Asia and Europe before cruising the Mediterranean for 2 seasons with crewmate, Marc Beerts, on a Jeanneau 43 DS, Alcheringa (Alcheringa is an Australian Aboriginal word meaning 'The Dreamtime'). On returning to Australia they acquired a Whitby 42 ketch, renamed her 'Our Dreamtime' and now cruise Australia's Great Barrier Reef and soon the Western Pacific. Total sea miles to date = 16,796.
Lesson one in cruising is schedules are always flexible depending on weather and one thousand other variables. Well the weather has been perfect for sailing but before you sail you get the boat ready for sea. Unfortunately at times different parts of that process can be out of your control, and our departure from Cairns has been delayed by a couple of days while we wait for the rigger to finish up some maintenance on Nae Hassle. All good. Lizard Island will still be there. We now plan to leave on Wednesday morning for a roughly 24 hour passage to our first anchorage.
I could get to like this cruising life.
Meanwhile we have managed numerous trips to the supermarket, stocking the larder with all sorts of delicacies we will consume on the way to Darwin. Of course we are planning on supplementing these with all the fish we are going to catch along the way. As you can see from the photo, we have also managed to ensure the boat has adequate “Sundowner” supplies for us to reach Malaysia without going thirsty. It might look like a ridiculous amount of booze but it actually equates to 2.5 glasses of wine per head per night excluding the estimated 14 nights we will be under way and not anchored up. The rule on board is “If the anchor is up the glass is down” and we’ll all be having AFD’s (alcohol free days)when we’re doing overnight passages.
Despite not even leaving the marina yet we are quickly settling into life aboard and enjoyinggetting to know our Scottish skipper Colin and his partner, Milin, along with our fellow crew member, Marc. Dinner ends up a three or four hour affair as we chat on. I didn’t think about it until just now but we haven’t seen a TV for almost a week and certainly haven’t missed it. Cairns is also not a bad place to be in June, particlularly compared to the weather we had been experiencing at home before we left.
Tomorrow we’ll rerig the genoa on the furler, fuel the boat, stow all that wine away and make the final preparations for our adventure proper to commence. Once we head off internet access will be patchy until we reach Darwin but we’ll update this blog each time we can get service.