I am very, very pleased to report that Phase Two of our trip away has now begun.
Before I continue, it’s important that I give you fair warning that this blog does have some graphic images included. So read on at your own peril!
I can’t believe that it has been five weeks since I was last on Pendana. For me, that has been the longest time I have left Pendana alone in almost two years of ownership and while it was a smart move to leave Pendana in the Whitsundays (logistically) I didn’t realise that the sense of missing her would be as strong as it was. That being said, there have been lots of odd jobs completed around the house which wouldn’t have been completed if Pendana was closer!
The sense of missing Pendana is very strange as both Claire and I have owned several boats in our past that have had very little effect on our emotions. I guess the connection between Pendana and our family is due to the fact that she has carried us safely through some very rough seas and never lets us down over some 5,000nms/9260Klms. There is a real bond between this inanimate object and our family and, as such, she is very much part of all of us. Bianca, our youngest, actually said to me the other day, “daddy I miss Pendana, I do hope she is not too cold”. I guess that sums up the difference between just any boat and a Nordhavn! There has been talk in the Ellingford camp about moving up to a N68 but the idea of seeing Pendana potentially move to new owners is horrendous and a huge hurdle for all of us.
As mentioned in an earlier blog, this seven month odyssey, some 1200nms north, has been broken up into Five Phases. The reason for this is that we still have two school aged children who need to attend school and both Claire and I have commitments, both in Sydney and Perth for which we need to be available. As such, the trip has been broken up into five distinct stages with Qantas Airways providing the link between Pendana, Sydney and Perth.
Below is a quick recap of the five phases of our trip.
Phase One – Travel north, arrive Abel Point Marina/Explore Whitsunday area (June-Aug).
Phase Two – Continue exploring area, the islands and Reefs (Sept – Oct).
Phase Three – Move Pendana to the Gold Coast, Marina Oceanus (October 6th).
Phase Four – Move Pendana to Gold Coast City Marina where she will have some work completed (Nov).
Phase Five – Spend December on Pendana at Marina Oceanus and then return Pendana to Sydney and her home Marina (Jan 2014).
The plan at this stage is to visit a number of different places over the coming weeks including, but not limited to, Hook Island, Hamilton Island, Shaw Island and of course, weather permitting, we want to spend some time anchored at Bait Reef some 40nms or 72klms off the coast of Australia on the Great Barrier Reef. Map below shows the seven legs planned over the next few weeks and while this may look like a busy schedule it really isn’t as the distances travelled will be minimal. This entire area only covers a 40 x 40nm radius, as such our longest single trip is only 24nms (about three hours) which is from Bait Reef to Hook Island (leg coloured in white below).
We plan on this trip to spend a few days at Hamilton Island Marina. Hamilton Island is a must stop and while on Hamilton Island we will be able to use the resort’s facilities and considering my fear of sharks and the fact that the stinger season will have almost just started it may be a good opportunity to get into protected water (i.e. the swimming pool) rather than taking our chances out on the islands!
Another reason for the stop at Hamilton Island is that we will be collecting one of Abi’s friends who will be flying up to spend the holiday with us. Yikes, another child to watch out for and to protect from the dreaded Great Whites!
File photo above of Hamilton Island Marina
Hamilton Island is truly the pick of resorts in this part of the world and by far the most developed island in the Whitsunday Group of 74 islands. One thing I am looking forward to in particular is hiring an electric buggy to drive around the island.
File photo above of golf buggy available for rent on Hamilton Island. Can’t wait!
Just on a side note: I read with some horror the story of the Erik Norrie, CEO of Seahawk Paints. Seahawk Paints provide bottom paint/antifoul worldwide and Pendana uses their product (Biocop TF). The particular paint has been on Pendana now for over three years and while due to be replaced in November it still looks really great! Anyway, to cut a long and somewhat colourful story short, poor old Eric was bitten badly by a shark in the Bahamas of all places! Now, it must be said that Eric is not the luckiest guy around after being hit by lightning, being bitten by a nasty Rattlesnake and even been beaten up not once but twice by monkeys (yes, the ape type). Anyway, the fact remains; he was bitten by one very nasty shark in the Bahamas, so maybe my fear of these things is justified after-all!
Eric’s injuries after brutal unprovoked attack.
Seeing as how I have crossed the boundary of good taste re graphic images I thought I would share a photo of my toe which was injured on our journey north a few months ago. Basically, said toe was caught in the scupper and bent sideways and backwards so far that the skin underneath was torn away in a sickle pattern. I could have enlarged this photo but in the interests of not offending (too much) will let you decide if you want to enlarge yourselves.
All recovered now but it took a while!
On a more serious note and while speaking of real horrors, the photo below shows what was left of Grey Pearl a Nordhavn 62 after a fire destroyed her in Thailand. I am pleased to report that Braun and Tina Jones have bought another Nordhavn and named her Ocean Pearl. Braun and Tina have recently crossed the Atlantic in their new Nordhavn and are currently in the UK cruising once more. I believe this photo is far more horrifying than the above two. Very, very sad indeed!
Grey Pearl, may she rest in peace.
On a more positive note, Nordhavn PAE have successfully delivered their biggest boat yet. The Nordhavn 120 named Aurora. Aurora is a goliath and a real stunner having travelled under her own steam from China to Vancouver Canada only weeks ago. Bob and Diane Conconi are Aurora’s owners and travelled with her on the crossing. Pendana is available for tender duties to Aurora given enough notice!
Aurora looking simply stunning!
Anyway back to the plan….once we leave Hamilton Island the plan will be to head for Shaw Island. Shaw Island is to the south of the main group of islands and just south of the once famous, Lindeman Island. Shaw Island will be a perfect spot to relax and unwind after what will no doubt be a tourist filled assault on Hamilton Island.
File photo above of Billbob Bay, Shaw Island.
From Shaw Island the plan is to head to Whitehaven Beach which I have covered in an earlier blog which can be found here (http://www.pendanablog.com/aspx/m/Pendanas-Blog-Entries/beid/740206). The main reason for this is so that Abi’s friend can experience the whitest sand (silica) of any in the world! However, if weather is really good we may head straight to Bait Reef. Actually the more I come to think about it the more I wonder why it is in fact called Bait Reef.
Bait Reef, located on the Outer Great Barrier Reef is one of the most pristine scuba diving locations in the world which benefits from protection under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. With a diverse range of coral structures, this particular reef acts as a ‘haven’ for tropical marine life including manta-rays, turtles, sharks (Sharks, who said sharks!) and much more. Coral gardens, swim-throughs, underwater canyons and dramatic wall drop-offs which offer divers (not me) and snorkelers (maybe) a vast range of terrain to explore.
File photo above of Bait Reef
From Bait Reef we will head to Hook Island and in particular to Butterfly Bay where the snorkelling is supposed to be incredible. Hook Island, which lies south of Hayman Island, is one of the larger islands in the Whitsundays group.
File photo above of Butterfly Bay, Hook Island.
…and from there it will be back to Abell Point Marina so that the girls can fly home, relax for a few days as well as, go the ‘One Direction’ concert which they are very excited about. Claire, not so much.
Stay tuned for more updates from each location with more information, pictures and no doubt the odd sunset thrown in for good measure. It is great to be back on-board Pendana that’s for sure!
Someone asked me what has been the best location to date and its simple, the most amazing location we have been to so far, has been, Middle Percy Island. I will be very interested to see if any of the above locations can come close to matching the magic of Middle Percy! Time will tell.
View from Percy Hilton, on Middle Percy Island
On a side note, I have just received a cheque in the mail from Google (see below). What for you ask? Well, apparently when people see my YouTube videos I am paid a small amount of the money Google receives from it’s advertisers. The cheque was for a whopping $152.75! So to Google executives around the globe and to all the folks who have watched the Pendana videos via YouTube, thank you! At 105,312 Pendana videos viewed that works out to be a staggering 0.145cents per view. Perhaps I could spice my Pendana videos up and start a business on the side, emmmm, not sure Claire would go for that! Anyway the funds received from Google will be donated to the RSPCA (animal welfare) as it was never my intention to make any money from this.
I mentioned in an earlier blog a product I used called “2 in 1 Metal Polish” and how once applied one doesn’t have to worry about polishing their stainless steel anymore. See original review here: www.pendanablog.com/aspx/blob2/BlobPage.Aspx?msgid=1032666&beid=710247. The product has been on Pendana now for over a year and Pendana’s stainless still looks like new. Anyway, a few folks contacted me only to find out the company couldn’t ship the product internationally due to the product being flammable. I am pleased to report that they have now altered the formula slightly and as such can now ship internationally. The product is available from ITC (www.itc.net.au) or email the CEO directly on email@example.com. The product really works and while I have no financial interests in the company whatsoever (perhaps I should) I am always happy to recommend products that do what they say they do and “2 in 1 Metal Polish” is certainly a product that delivers on the promises made.
I appreciate that I have issues!!
Finally, for those who would like to read more, “From Family to Crew” is available for a special price from CreateSpace. Using the discount code of TFX6MZ2V you will receive a $20.00 discount from your order. Packed with over 320+ pages and more than 150+ colour photos. Australian buyers can buy direct at special pricing via www.pendanablog.com to save time, money and freight charges.
Discount offer – $20.00.
Discount Code: TFX6MZ2V
“From Family to Crew” is also available on all electronic formats from your usual outlets i.e. Smashwords.com, Kindle, Amazon, ibooks, Sony Reader etc.
Also a book that changed the face of passage-making, which I can’t recommend highly enough, has recently been re-released in full colour to celebrate its 10th anniversary. “Crossing an Ocean Under Power”, written by guru mariner and all round nice guy, Mr Ken Williams is a must have.
Sailors have crossed oceans for centuries, but the era of couples cruising the world in small powerboats is just beginning. The author starts out with limited long-range boating skills, but a strong desire to learn them. As he chronicles the trip across the Atlantic, he shares his parallel journey from “coastal cruiser” to “ocean crosser.” Readers learn these same lessons with each passing page as Sans Souci, the Williams’ boat, travels as part of the first Atlantic powerboat rally—a fleet of 18 small power boats averaging just 50’ in length, owned and operated mostly by retired couples.
In this “Beginner’s Guide to Crossing Oceans,” Ken’s honest, entertaining style will keep you turning pages as you travel with the crew of Sans Souci to experience life at sea: satisfying work, warm camaraderie, and, memorable adventure. This 10th Anniversary Edition adds new details, colour images, and retrospective insights from author Ken Williams, other rally participants, Nordhavn CEO Dan Streech, and Nordhavn’s co-founder and the Atlantic Rally’s creator, Jim Leishman.
Order now by clicking on this link, you wont regret it! http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484890604
That’s all for now,