Wednesday 3 October 2012

Back to Palma Mallorca

August 5-6 2012

What 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 span again.

La 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 time.
We were back exactly where it had all started

Next 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.

On 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.

Monday 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.

It 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

Meanwhile 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.

Meanwhile 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.

Polishing 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.

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