Pendana Update

With time on my hands, sun shining, a light breeze, clear blue skies and calm seas, I thought I would send out another blog updating you on Pendana’s progress as she continues northward bound. I might add that this is the first ever blog to be sent via Pendana’s KVH V7 Vsat system.

When we left Sydney we experienced unusually strong currents travelling south as we tried to make our way north. These currents did not abate until we were on the mid north coast of New South Wales. The net effect of these currents was that it reduced Pendana’s speed over ground (“SOG”) by just under two knots. The knock-on effect of this has seen our arrival time at Lady Musgrove Island of approximately 6:00pm tomorrow evening (Tuesday 25th June), some six hours later than we had originally planned.

If this was a marina there would be no problem. However, as it is a coral cay with unlit beacons and coral bommies entering at night or with low visibility is not recommended. After consulting the charts and re-reading “Cruising the Coral Coast” by Alan Lucas, it is clear that only the fool hardy would attempt a night entry.

As such, I have just reduced Pendana’s speed so that we arrive off the coral cay at 6:30am Wednesday, 26th June. The reality of this simply means an extra twelve hours at sea which in these conditions is no hardship at all , although very much looking forward to getting that steak off ice and onto the sizzling bbq as well, whilst watching the sun go down, believe you me! 

I am delighted to report that the weather on this trip north has been remarkably good and nothing like the forecasted conditions from the Bureau of Metereology, PredictWind, Seabreeze and the many other sites I access to get an indication of conditions prior to departure. Currently Pendana is abeam Morton Island and is enjoying very comfortable conditions with lazy 10 foot rollers spaced well apart, clear blue skies and an easy 20C (68F).

During long trips we use a heat sensor gun during our engine room checks to measure temperature in certain parts of the equipment. There are nine pieces of equipment which we get temperature readings from via our infrared heat gun. For example both the starboard and port alternator, engine block, breather tube, exhaust, and keel cooler exhaust joint are all measured. For our main engine block we have a base reading on file from a previous long trip of 110C (230F). During this trip and the twelve engine room checks so far performed we have had a low of 81C (177F) and a high of 110C (230F), with an average engine block reading of (101C) (213F).

While taking these readings does increase time in the engine room (aka the “Pit of Hell” in Claire-speak) it provides valuable data as to the running temperatures of equipment aboard Pendana and will provide early warning if something is awry).

The following two photos are of Pendana’s primary Furuno radar. The first photograph shows a radar target being given the number 12, clearly displayed with the direction he is heading represented by the white line going to the south with Pendana’s position being centred with its green course line clearly displayed.


The photograph below shows APRA details with range from target of 6.49 nm, its spd of 12.2 knots, its CPA which is its closes passing approach ie. How close this target will get to Pendana, being 1.5 nm and as well as this it also gives us time to closest passing approach TCPA being 19.3 minutes. This function while underway at night is an absolute godsend as in most cases targets can be acquired long before you get a visual of them.


Below is an actual photograph of target number 12 as it passes Pendana at 1.5nm.

While this is somewhat off topic below is a photograph of the great Tony Jordan of Tokeresa fame. Tony and his charming wife are neighbours of ours at our home marina and who are planning to also depart for the Whitsunday Islands shortly. Photo below of Tokeresa, being a Cheoy Lee 66 canoe stern, in all her glory. And while not a Nordhavn! – it is a very lovely boat ! We are very much looking forward to seeing them.

You will remember from the first blog we had a whale breech within about eight feet of Pendana and I remember snapping a photograph with my blackberry in the hope of capturing this magnificent creature and on review you can see the whale and how close it actually was to Pendana in this rather hurridly taken shot at the time.


Yesyerday I took a 360 degree photo from the font of Pendana using Panorama 360, which while not perfect gives you a sense in full 360! Following is the link if you want to check it out.

Finally a nice shot of the Gold Coast as we motored on past earlier today.

Thats all for now, unitl we make safe harbour at Lady Musgrove Island.

Safe travels





2 thoughts on “Pendana Update”

  1. Tony Plunkett

    It’s great to hear you finally are on your way.
    We first saw Pandana in Refuge Bay, then in the article in Afloat magazine.
    We subscribed to your newsletter, and have followed your travels up and down the coast, and seen you in Broken Bay. We will have to pull up alongside and introduce ourselves next time.
    We look forward to reading your entries and follow your trip as it unfolds.
    Shelly and Tony

  2. James (Pendana)

    – REPLY —

    Hello Tony, yes please do come by and say hello when you next see us. Currently 8nm off the coast of Fraser Island with 125nm to go Musgrove. Looking forward to getting there thats for sure.

    Safe travels,

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