Pendana – General Update.

Pendana – General Update05/12/2013
Pendana – General Update.
After some prompting from a reader of these blogs, agreed it was time for a Pendana update. 
With the trip to the Whitsundays only a little over five weeks away we have been doing some early preparation work to get Pendana ready for the 1,139nms trip north.
A few days ago I took Pendana with two friends of mine for a run to Sydney Harbour as I was expecting to load some 6000 litres / 1578 Gals of fuel so we could depart for our trip north with full tanks. Well, it would appear that my tank tender pressure gauges are giving me erroneous readings for some reason as all we could load on was a mere 1,135litrs / 300 Gals before all tanks were completely full. A wee bit embarrassing! One thing I really wish is that I had a sight glass for each and every fuel tank aboard Pendana. If I were ever to build a new Nordhavn this is an addition I would request without any doubt.
One thing that was pretty amazing was that when we went to fill up at Baileys Marine Fuel in White Bay, Sydney the once empty commercial wharf was filled with one rather large P&O Passenger ship and Pendana was directed to tie up bow to bow with this goliath of the sea. While P&O were in no danger of damage, Pendana could well have been as the lines that secured the P&O vessel to the wharf themselves could have torn Pendana apart. Picture below shows how close we actually came.
P&O ship a wee bit too close!
Once refuelled and anchored safely in Farm Cove we relaxed back with some great food and drinks and enjoyed watching the sunset behind the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Doesn’t get much better than this we all thought. I then decided to run a manual calculation on fuel consumption once at anchor in Farm Cove and my manual calculation equalled almost to the gallon that what was required was indeed 300 Gals and not the 1578 Gals as previously thought. As such, I am now running a separate column in my log book to calculate fuel remaining. Lesson learned.
Photo of our view from Farm Cove. Photo by Emmanuel Bohlock.
Our plan at this stage is to depart June 22nd returning December 22nd – January 10th. We plan to break the 5.6 day transit by stopping at what appears to be, the most magnificent Lady Musgrove Island, which is a coral cay and also stopping at Middle Percy Islands before making it to Abel Point Marina which we will use as our base as we explore the islands of the Whitsundays. Total travel and fuel burn times are calculated in chart below.
Fuel Burn Calculations
Lady Musgrove Island will be our first stop as we head north and as you can see from below image has a very tight entrance with what appears to be an opening of around 120ft so we will need to ensure that weather conditions are suitable before attempting an approach and entry to what does look like paradise on earth.
Lady Musgrove Island – entrance visible on west side of coral cay.
In this part of the world there are things called ‘stingers’ with two in particular that us mere mortals need to be aware of – the Irukandji and the Box Jellyfish with the former being the more deadly. Now, let’s not mince our words, if stung by either of these without being close to medical help or a hospital then death is the only outcome. The problem is that the more deadly of these two, the Irukandji, is so small you can’t actually see them.
Nasty little Irukandji
So, what to do? Well there are what they call stinger suits that one should wear when venturing into the aquatic world. These stinger suits, a little like ladies stockings, worn over your swimsuit provide protection against the stingers and as such provide almost total safety. The problem is however that these suits are less than flattering and after trying mine on, in the privacy of our home, Claire could not stop laughing and in fact, laughed so much I thought she would require hospitalisation. Yep, and then it was her turn……Bottom line is that even the most-fit of human specimens look ridiculous in these suits. Add 40kgs and you have your own personal comedy routine. No doubt, much laughter to come up north when I, strut my stuff!
File photo of these ghastly suits!
Apparently there is an off season when these nasties don’t inhabit the water which just so happens to coincide with our trip, GREAT! I won’t have to wear the suit I thought but alas, Claire found some government statistics which showed people had in fact lost their lives in every month of the year due to these nasty little creatures – even though there was no doubt that we were going in the low risk season Claire has insisted that the suits be worn. So, now not only will I have my own comedy show I will be probably the only one wearing the suit making my spectacle that much more amusing to all! Great!
Once we have dispensed with Lady Musgrove we will then head to Middle Percy Islands which is a pretty special place according to all I speak with. The reason for this is that there is an A-Frame hut that holds some 60 years of cruising history. When mariners visit this area it is a tradition for them to leave something from their boat behind. This hut now represents some 60 years of sailing and cruising history with all sorts of items being left inside. Stephen, our marina director where Pendana is berthed said that someone had actually left a prosthetic limb! Pendana will most certainly be leaving a little something there when we visit but not a limb! I know, perhaps a rather stretched out of shape stinger suit!
A-Frame at Middle Percy Island
After a short stop at Middle Percy Islands we will then make our way to Abel Point Marina on Airlie Beach to relax a bit before heading out once again to explore the famous group of islands commonly referred to as the Whitsundays.
The Whitsunday group of Islands
The plan will be for Pendana to stay up north until mid-October when we will bring her back to the Miami of Australia, the Gold Coast and have a few jobs done at Gold Coast City Marina. For those who have read the book, “From Family to Crew”, know that I am a huge fan of the Gold Coast City Marina and the staff who work there. My only hope is that one day there will be an equivalent operation a little closer to home.
The famous Gold Coast City Marina
The job list of things needing doing on Pendana is looking a little like this at present:
1./ Fix missing teak corner on rear deck (laz)
2./ Fix missing corking where necessary. 
3./ Fix fibreglass area around anchor winch.
4./ Fix small crack on main foredeck.
5./ Detail Caribe DL15 tender.
6./ Find two light fittings for rear upper cockpit seating area. Wiring done, but no light fittings.
7./ Fix one panel of roof lining in Pilothouse.
8./ Fix all panels of roof lining in fwd cabin.
9./ Fix/replace torn fly-screen netting in main hallway.
10./ Reseal shower screen to remove scum build up. (this dirt is in the silicon, hence replace)
11./ Repaint gunwale (lower, rear both stb and port) as paint has worked off in areas.
12./ Replace mirror in main on-suite as it has silvered. Note this was replaced 18mths ago and has gone bad yet again? maybe another problem at hand.
13./ Steam clean carpets inside
14./ Clean bilge.
15./ Replace coolant main engine and two generators.
16./ Check all through hulls.
17./ Re paint bottom (Seahawk Biocop TF) (Seahawk Australia)
18./ Check cutlass bearing (check)
19./ Re-stuff shaft packing gland.
20./ Replace seals on Trac-Stabilizers.
21./ Replace all duckbill valves and replace all seating parts on both master and guest heads. (SeaBreeze)
Once these jobs are dispensed with we will relocate Pendana to Marian Oceanus on the Gold Coast and spend time there before deciding on when to return to Sydney late December, early January.
As some of you would know I have been busy finalising the book I have written, “From Family to Crew”. I am pleased to report that the book is available in both print and all electronic versions from Apple, Kindle, Amazon, Boat Books Australia and from of course to name but a few. I am also running a competition via for the person who best promotes, “Nordhavn”, “Pendana” or “”. There has, by the looks of it, been much photo-shopping going on (which is NOT against the rules) so if you haven’t entered and don’t have a copy of “From Family to Crew” then here is your chance to win a free copy together with a Pendana T-Shirt. See the competition page on for details or simply to view entries received thus far.
Contestant entry into pendana photo/promo competition 
In closing, yes I will be blogging during our trip north and you will be able to follow our progress via our SPOT location tracker via It’s worth mentioning that fellow Nordhavn 62 owners Mark and Christine aboard Gray Matter ( are currently making their way across the Pacific Ocean and are blogging their way over. So if you are looking for something else to read along similar lines then the Gray Matter blog is worth signing up for.
As some would know I was very fortunate that Ken Williams, general all round nice guy and expert mariner from decided to write the Foreward for “From Family to Crew”. Anyway word is that he is not far away from starting his cruising season continuing north from Turkey into Croatia and along the Dalmatian coast in his and his wife’s Roberta, Nordhavn 68, San Souci, so again if you are not signed up with then I suggest you do as his blog sets the standard that we all try to follow!
Photo below was taken when we were arriving at Newcastle by a boat spotter who rather surprisingly uploaded it to I have heard of plane spotters and train spotters but never knew there was such a thing as boat spotters. Forever learning!
Pendana arriving in Newcastle. Photo by Frank Merrick 
I realise this blog is a little all over the place but as a request came in to give an update I felt compelled to do so. Pendana and her crew are counting the days to departure and I promise lots of lovely photos from the Whitsundays will follow. That being said, I doubt you will get to see any of me in my flash new stinger suit!
Safe travels

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *