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 Med 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 after cruising Australia's Great Barrier Reef extensively are now sailing in SE Asia. Total sea miles to date = 24,273 NM.
a surprise! There was no wind again next morning so it was once more a motor
powered trip around the south-west corner of Mallorca back to Palma, back to
the La Lonja Marina and back on the exact berth Alcheringa had come from. We were moored by Sunday lunchtime and made
good use of the fresh water available to do a major clean of the boat. It may
have taken a few hours but it was fantastic to see her looking very spic and
Lonja Marina caters predominantly for charter yachts but fortunately for us
they were happy to have us stay as the boat had originally come from there. As
a result our mooring fees were less than a third of what we would have had to
pay at the nearby Club Nautica Marina. Never the less we were trying our
hardest to minimise our time in port and maximise what we got done in that
We were back exactly where it had all started
morning Marc was heading back to London, we needed to get the windlass fixed,
get the MMSI number on the VHF radio changed to our newly assigned one, find
out if our now lifeless battery charger could be coaxed back to life and do
nearly a month’s washing. We wanted to get all that done in the day so we knew
we were going to be busy.
Sunday afternoon we noticed a boat on one of the other fingers in the marina flying
an Australian flag on the stern and Boxing Kangaroo from a shroud line. It was
the first Aussie flagged boat we’d spotted here so we just had to go over and
say ‘Geday!’ Aussies being such a hospitable mob, this of
course quickly turned into sundowner drinks with Alan and Gloria from Adelaide
on their Moody Deck Salon “Just in Time
Too”. We had a great evening chatting away about where they’d been and
planned to go with their boat and the same from us. It was extremely enjoyable
with time passing so quickly it was quite late by the time we returned to Alcheringa
to get some much needed sleep before the big day awaiting us.
did not start as well as planned when we got up in the morning to find the boat buried in layers of red dust
blown in from Sahara Desert on a strong southerly Sirocco wind overnight.
Bugger!! So much for the big clean we’d
done the previous afternoon.
was washing day for Karen so first thing, the three of us lugged five huge bags
of washing to the laundromat where she then spent all morning and into the
afternoon fighting the boatie hordes. You can’t leave your washing unattended at
all or you’ll find your clothes out of the machines and piled in a corner
somewhere. She did meet an American cruiser, Scott, though and the two formed
their own AUS/USA alliance so they could at least take turns to leave and get a
cold drink or take a comfort stop. Scott used to crew on boats much like we’d
done but had now bought a Bennateau and was out cruising with his wife and young
kids. While their respective linen, t-shirts and underwear went around and
around they were able to have a long chat comparing past cruising experiences and
found we’d visited many of the same ports in South East Asia
Rob was back at the boat handling the electrician, a German named Walter who
fixed the windlass by fitting a new relay, pronounced that the battery charger was
probably deceased but he’d take it back to his workshop to see what he could do
and removed the radio for its number change. He explained he couldn’t reprogram
the VHF radio on the spot because it had to have the old number reset by
Raymarine, the manufacturer. This prevents people being able to reprogram stolen
units and has cut theft considerably since the system came in. He’d send it
away then put in the new number when it came back. When Rob asked the obvious
question, ‘How long?’ Walter said it
normally took a week. This didn’t seem to present too much of a problem because
we’d be back in about ten days or so to pick Marc up.
Rob then went and bought a hand held VHF radio
to use in the meantime and which we’d always planned to get as a back up anyway.
In between humping bags full of clean washing back from the Laundromat every
couple of hours he filled the rest of his time in on the never ending job of polishing
the stainless on the boat.
Marc, who had a thing about being early to airports just in case, took taxi at
9.30am for his 12.30pm flight. It’s only a fifteen minute ride to airport so he
was in no danger of missing his flight, particularly when he arrived to find
out it had been delayed for 3 hours. Make that 3 ½ , no 4, OK 4 ½ hours. By the
time he got to London then caught a train out to Buckinghamshire there were no
taxis about and he had to walk two miles home - over the hills – in the rain.
stainless and doing the washing was probably not so bad after all. After all,
we were done, dusted and settled in with a refreshing glass of white long
before our high flying meerkat mate dragged his cold and waterlogged body
through his back door at home.