Pendana arrives safely in the Gold Coast

Nordhavn Pendana and Atlas two N62’s

Pendana arrives safely in the Gold Coast and is currently tied up at the amazing Gold Coast City Marina which is without doubt the premier marine facility in the southern hemisphere, if not the world! 

Our trip down from the Whitsundays to the Gold Coast took three days and while underway we experienced the best and worst of sea conditions, from a dead calm one day to short sharp 2mtrs seas which made for an uncomfortable last 24hours.

Pendana Nordhavn 62 Whitsundays

Photo above taken on day one. Simply superb!

So far we have travelled some 2,000nms/3,704klm and Pendana has performed (almost) flawlessly and has kept us comfortable and safe from the elements. While our six month odessy is far from over the highlight to date has been Middle Percy Island which lies approx. 50nms off the coast of Australia. Middle Percy simply had it all, from the feeling of isolation, the white beach and cove, coconuts and of course the A-frame which I talked about in an earlier blog. That being said, the Whitsunday Group of Islands were also magical with Turtle Cove, Hamiliton Island and of course our extended stay at Whitehaven Beach being standouts.

As most would know for our trip south we decided to transit the Great Sandy Straits. I must say that I was a little disappointed with the straits as I had expected so much more in terms of scenery. While the straits were no doubt a wonderful wetland area they lacked anything that one could be remotely described in the same terms as the Whitsundays and while the navigational exercise was challenging I was somewhat disappointed with the overall beauty or lack thereof. There is little doubt, however, that it is a great passage as it avoids the outside of Fraser Island where you are almost guaranteed of very harsh sea conditions so for that reason alone the straits are worthwhile and we will certainly be back in the future to transit her once more when, not if, we return to the Whitsundays. 

Pendana Nordhavn 62 Whitsundays

Photo above of a baron wetland.

Alan Robinson from All Marine Electrical

Capt Mark James and Capt Adam Hoare double check waypoints.

Before entering the straits we contacted the local Coast Guard to check to see if there were any navigational changes we should note and as it happens there was. Port buoys #27 and #28 had been moved to reflect the shifting sand bank. Image below show us rounding the port buoys well away from our GPS location. A lesson in why to not always trust your ECS (Electronic Charting Program) was delivered to the crew on board Pendana. When you are navigating a heavily sand banked area these sand banks can and do move so thank god for the Coast Guard and their commitment to the boating community.

Pendana Nordhavn 62 Whitsundays

Photo above shows our ECS position which was correct as sand bank had moved.

Exiting the Great Sandy Straits was managed with little difficulty and once we has received the latest GPS waypoints for our exit from Coast Guard we were clearly in for a relatively easy time of it with slight seas and not too many breaking waves along the bar (Wide Bay Bar) itself. I can imagine in less than ideal sea conditions that this bar would live up to its reputation but for us, it was smooth sailing all the way.

Hydraulic failure on Pendana

Pendana exiting Wide Bay Bar.

Broken pressure gauge

Captain Adam Hoare at the controls for what was a rather mundane exit!

One thing to note was that on our exit from Wide Bay Bar. We picked up a hitchhiker who would stay with Pendana for just under 24 hours. This little bird was very tired and simply needed a place to rest, and rest it did!

Helicopters on Whitehaven Beach

Our cute little hitchhiker.

Other than a rough 24 hours prior to arrival to the Gold Coast all went well and there were no real incidents to report. Pendana is now tied up at the great Gold Coast City Marina which is where she will be lifted from the water and have some work done on November 5th.

Alan Robinson from All Marine Electrical

Pendana’s pilothouse at night.

One thing I did notice after we had tied up was that my M-Series pump which creates vacuum for the four heads (toilets) sounded a little different to usual. I asked the Jason from SeaBreeze Industries to swing past and within moments he had diagnosed the problem. The diaphragm was worn so Jason decided to replace it with a new one as well as replace the duck bill valves with the new and improved heavy duty duck bills especially designed for the M Series pump. She is now purring like a kitten one again! Thank you Jason

Tender to Nordhavn Pendana

Worn diaphragm

Whitehaven Beach

Jason working his magic.

So it is now time to focus on the jobs list to make sure that all items are managed and that all suppliers are ready to go. I have already met with both Jason, who will be installing the new heads and Andy our shipwright to go over his items. So it is now time to contact the other folks and have them ready to go on November 5th.

The work list at present is as follows:


To be done by Andrew Giese

./ Fix missing teak corner on rear deck (laz)

./ Light sand to all decks.

./ Fix missing corking where necessary. 

./ Fix fibreglass area around anchor winch.

./ Fix small crack on main foredeck.

./ Find two light fittings for upper cockpit seating area. Wiring done no lights.

./ Fix/retention one panel of roof lining in Pilothouse. (Maybe Jason from Pacific trim)

./ Fix/retention all panels of roof lining in FWD cabin. (Maybe Jason from Pacific trim)

./ Fix/replace torn fly-screen netting in main hallway/master cabin.

./ Reseal Master shower screen to remove scum build up. (this dirt is in the silicon, hence replace silicon seal)

./ Replace mirror in main on-suite as it has silvered.

./ Steam clean carpets inside

./ Replace vent hatch seals (rubber only) over helm chair and office desk in pilothouse and main hatch in master cabin.

./ Clean fwd bilge

./ Outside cushions quote to replace foam only.

./ Re paint bottom (Seahawk Biocop TF)

./ Pest man to spray boat for nasties!


./ Replace coolant main engine and two generators. – Coolant needs to be sucked out under pressure. (On The Water Sydney)

./ Change oil in TwinDisc gearbox. (On The Water Sydney)

./ Fill new oil to new oil tank and remove used oil from used oil tank – I need 120ltrs of new oil. (On The Water Sydney)

./ Replace water temp gauge and sender on E/R panel and replace oil pressure gauge and sender unit Pilothouse.


./ Replace HYD Oil FILTER ONLY (0755028133 – Watsons Eng.)

./ Check cutlass bearing Prop-speed/Anodes (5502 8133–Watsons Eng.)

./ Investigate and re-stuff shaft packing gland if required (07 5502 8133 – Watsons Eng.)

./ replace/fix seals on Oberdorfer Oil transfer Pump N991-32A96


./ Replace seals on Trac-Stabilizers 1-800-458-895 or +61 4 1979 6855 (Nu Sins). NOTE: strip Stabs before Anitfoul.

./ Replace seal on bow thruster.(nu Sins)

./ Water Maker Pump Seal fix.. (Nu Sins, 37 South)


./ Replace all toilets electric flush (SeaBreeze) Jason/Colin 0450-387-006

./ Replace vent filter for toilet system

./ change out all two way valves near vacuum cyclinders.

./ change duckbills on all heads and both grey and black water discharge pumps.


./ Replace lift mechanism wire on tender (Mark James)

./ Replace to chain the flopper stopper set up. (Mark James)

./ Investigate salting of exhaust stack (Mark James)

./ Check all through hulls (Mark James)

./ Design anchor hold mechanism (Mark James)

./ New battery for tender. 

So as you can there are a number of items, mainly all small that are on this year’s list. As I have mentioned before the only place I have Pendana lifted is at Gold Coast City Marina and there are a number of reasons for this. One, they are truly a very professional lift outfit and have the latest equipment to ensure Pendana arrives on hard stand without a scratch. Two, they have a facility which is on par with any in the world and truly the best in Australia with all services on site and available and finally, both Kym and Ryan are always only too happy to help regardless of request. This combination of qualities in a single facility is hard to find and I am blessed that the folks at GCCM are happy to help Pendana and her crew.

So, as I prepare to fly back to Sydney for a few weeks before returning to manage the jobs list and to make sure everything is completed I leave Pendana in the secure hands of Kym and Ryan from GCCM until my return in early November when I will see her on hard stand.

Whitehaven Beach

Pendana all tucked up for the next few weeks.

Safe travels.


PS: some new photos have been added to website under Whitsundays tab.


2 thoughts on “Pendana arrives safely in the Gold Coast”

  1. James,
    You will like the GCCM.
    I have just completed a 5.5 month refit there and now based back at Mooloolaba.
    I found the GCCM contractors very professional, competitive in price and most if not all had a fantastic work ethic.
    I used Broadwater Marine for most of my shipwright work and supervision of other work.
    Tidahapah is now 18 years old and has cruised the length of the Qld coast nearly every year in that time plus numerous visits out to the Swains Reef so she was deserving of a major upgrade.
    As an aside I am a Marine Engineer Class 1 Steam & Motor and have been at sea for over 40 years and Tidahapah is a 50 ft timber Qld motor cruiser (now motor sailor with the addition of a couple of masts and paravane stabilisers)
    By the way the Sandy Straits are not boreing , one of the most interesting stretches of watr with an amazing biodiversity.
    Some of the best dingo sightings will be had on those inside beaches and also it is worthwhile anchoring of Kingfisher Bay resort for a day or two to go ashore for good food and wine.
    Enjoy your working stay at GCCM

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