All things Pendana have been a little quiet lately with us getting back into the swing of things back in Sydney, the children starting a new school year, three cats and of course Caesar The Magnificent to collect from their holiday – life as they say has been a little hectic!
Once things on the home front had settled down a little I decided to do my annual check of every nut, bolt, fitting, electrical connector etc and also as part of this regime have all thirteen of our monster batteries load tested. To my horror, seven of the thirteen batteries were dead (almost) and returned under 30% load capacity with the balance of my batteries returning a very reputable +90% load capacity.
With this news at hand I decided to replace all seven bad batteries with new AGMs GPL8DL. Why these batteries cost around $600.00 in the USA and around twice that A$1,178.00 in Australia is somewhat beyond me. Even when one considers the higher wages in Australia, freight, local transport and forex I am not sure how the local distributor arrives at this price. Being time poor, I decided to allow the injustice of this situation to stand and simply get on with the purchase and replacement of old with new of all seven batteries.
For those yet to go through large battery replacement let me warn you that each of these batteries weigh around 70kgs and while access to them from within Pendana was fantastic lugging them from the car park to Pendana was no fun at all, in fact, I would rather have had root canal work on my front teeth.
New Lifeline Battery above.
With the new batteries installed it was time to arrange a weekend away on Pendana for a little R and R. The weekend we had selected came with it a miserable forecast of 25kt winds, continuous rain, low cloud and cooler temperatures and while we considered for a second not going, we knew from past experience that being on the water with rain sheeting down can be a rather wonderful time especially when you wake in the morning to the mist which hovers above the water line like a blanket on a child’s bed.
Low cloud hovering over the hills as we departed.
As it turned out the forecast and actual conditions were about as far removed from one another as a Moped is from a Bentley Arnage. We enjoyed cool conditions with very little wind and while we did sustain the occasional downpour we were all very comfortable tucked up inside Pendana playing board games, reading and relaxing. There is something very nice about being on the water in less than ideal conditions. The peace and tranquillity is beyond the norm as other folk’s stay away, making for deserted anchorages, an unusual calm and a peace that is rare in what are popular boating waters.
As we motored from our overnight anchorage on Sunday noon, we decided to circumnavigate Scotland Island which lies to the southern end of Pittwater. This would normally be a stressful event as the channel that leads around the island is not overly wide with hundreds of boats on swing moorings on both sides and traffic usually coming thick and fast in this congested part of Pittwater. That being said, as most folks had decided to stay off the water this weekend we were treated to a lovely trip around the island without any dramas and other than the odd kayaker and ferry to avoid our trip was wonderful.
Clouds, clouds and more clouds.
As we headed north up Pittwater Claire, Bianca and I were commenting on how calm the water looked and how magical everything appeared with the low cloud and mist steaming off the water when all of a sudden we noticed a dorsal fin cutting through the surface. As Pendana got closer it was clear that within the calm of Pittwater there was a 3 metre/ 10 foot monster (Bull shark) casually swimming on past looking for its next meal. Perhaps those folks on the Kayaks would like to know!
Bull Shark fin cutting through the waters in Pittwater.
After thousands of hours on the water and underway this was our first ever sighting of shark while underway. We did of course see that monster in Lady Musgrave Island but we were anchored at that stage – so for us this was a first and while exciting, it did make us all consider the fact that these monsters were everywhere.
Pittwater looking north, with Scotland Island in shot.
Map of Pittwater – to the East is the Pacific Ocean.
Looking south down towards Sydney.
I have to thank Milt Baker, fellow Nordhavn owner and book reviewer for Passagemaker magazine for being kind enough to write a review on ‘From Family to Crew’ in the March 2014 issue which is out now. Milt and his wife Judy have travelled the world on water and those not familiar with his blog it is well worth reading and signing up for. Milt and Judy’s blog can be found at http://www.bluewaternav.com/.
Milt and Judy Baker’s Nordhavn 47 Bluewater.
Now for something completely ridiculous, but I love it!
TWO COWS (an oldie but a goodie!)
SOCIALISM You have 2 cows. You give one to your neighbour
COMMUNISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk
FASCISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk
NAZISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you
BUREAUCRATISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away
TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income
ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND (VENTURE) CAPITALISM You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States , leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public then buys your bull.
SURREALISM You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.
AN AMERICAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.
A GREEK CORPORATION You have two cows. You borrow lots of euros to build barns, milking sheds, hay stores, feed sheds, dairies, cold stores, abattoir, cheese unit and packing sheds. You still only have two cows.
A FRENCH CORPORATION You have two cows. You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.
A JAPANESE CORPORATION You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called a Cowkimona and market it worldwide.
AN ITALIAN CORPORATION You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You decide to have lunch.
A SWISS CORPORATION You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.
A CHINESE CORPORATION You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity. You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation. AN INDIAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You worship them.
A BRITISH CORPORATION You have two cows. Both are mad.
AN IRAQI CORPORATION Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you have none. No-one believes you, so they bomb the ** out of you and invade your country. You still have no cows, but at least you are now a Democracy.
AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION You have two cows. Business seems pretty good. You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.
A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive…
Now onto a more nautical theme and back to reality! I have been meaning for some time to replace the battery in the tender as well as the GPS unit and Dan from Fleet Marine (formally an employee from Sydney Marine Electrical) helped me with the battery and also replaced a terminal clamp that was on its last legs. I (believe it or not) installed the new GPS unit and transducer for the tender. Go figure, can’t change a battery but can install a GPS unit!
Photo above of Dan installing new battery.
Photo above of new tender GPS the Garmin Echo 50s
As most would already know, when Pendana was in the Gold Coast we had our carpets steamed cleaned which is an annual event. One thing that has always concerned me however was how quickly they marked after being cleaned but not knowing any better I simply accepted the fact that probably the carpet was on its last legs and that was the way of the world, until I received a phone call from a company wanting the use of a relatively high profile Australian boat to use as a marketing exercise for what they call a dry extraction method. Perplexed (and encouraged by the fact that our carpets would be cleaned for free) I agreed to meet them on Pendana to see what they could do.
Tom Pigott and his crew from Healthy Ways (healthyways.com.au) showed up to explain to me the difference between steam cleaning, dry extraction and what they were planning to do. The first step in the process was the dry extraction stage, which for us mere mortals means vacuuming the carpet with a very, very special machine. Before they commenced they showed me the blind filter which was totally clean. Unbeknown to them, I had in fact that morning vacuumed the saloon floor using our top of the range 2400w Mile vacuum cleaner.
The boys starting to use the Dry Extraction machine in the salon.
After about five minutes I was called over to see what they had lifted from the carpet, expecting nothing much, I was shocked, horrified and a little embarrassed by how much sand, grit and dirt was in actually in the carpet.
This dirt came out of the saloon carpets. Simply unbelievable!
I asked Tom to explain how this could be as the carpets were steam cleaned only two months earlier to which he replied and I quote, “James, steam cleaning puts about 40litres/10.5 gallons of water into your carpet at 100 degrees Celsius / 212F and then they suck this water back up, leaving about 15 litres/3.9 gallons of water in your carpet. Your carpets may look good for a week or two but the dirt is still there and the marks soon reappear as you have discovered.
The next part of the process was for them to use their Super Dry Steam Cleaner on the carpets which is like the more traditional steam cleaning I was used to, that being said, I was assured by Tom it was not even close the being the same.
For the Saloon on Pendana they used approximately 100ml of water (entire boat 500ml) and extracted 95% of this leaving about 5ml of water in the carpet. I promise, the carpets were, as far as I was concerned, totally dry by the time they were done not like the traditional method of steam cleaning were we leave the boat sit for a few days as the carpets dry out. No wonder the carpets took so long to dry, 15 litres of water is a whole heap to leave in a customer’s carpet.
Photo above of the Super Dry Stream Cleaner in action
As they moved through Pendana I was interested to find out if they could remove a stain on the carpet in the VIP cabin that has been there since we bought the boat. Traditional steam cleaners could never remove this stain completely and as such, we always place a nice rug over the top to cover the stain. Below are the before and after shots – Simply incredible.
Tom, went onto say that his company also did forensic cleans in hotels were, well, you know and that these machines they use are basically to forensic standards. To this day I still look at the dirt that came out of the carpets and simply can’t believe it! I guess there is clean and then there is Healthy Ways clean! Simply incredible! For those with boats and for that matter houses, hotels or anything else with carpet who need their carpets cleaned properly then Tom can be contacted on 0449 776 779, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via the web address given earlier in the email. Honestly if I hadn’t seen this with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it!
Russell, fellow marina resident with his Maritimo55 berthed opposite Pendana, decided to swing past in his newly restored Hammond Craft boat. Hammond boats were in their day the Rolls Royce of ski boats being made in Australia from the mid 60’s through to the late 70’. Russell had mentioned to me some time ago that he had bought one and was restoring it. This was the first time, I had seen, what was, a magnificent example of a legendary Australian built watercraft and a great restoration job done by fellow mariner, Russell.
Russell rolling up in his fully restored, Miss Behave.
Russell proudly shows off his engine, chrome n’all!
With a top speed of around 60mph and a sound reminiscent of a V8 Supercar this was some machine and Russell was very proud of her indeed. Rightfully so, I might add!
Planning for Tasmania circumnavigation continues but after a long discussion with a Royal Hobart Yacht Club member and multi circumnavigator it would appear that Dec/Jan is not the time of year to visit Tasmania (yes, CBW I know you told me that!) due to strong westerlies that blow throughout the period and when I say strong, we are talking 60-70kts. As such, I am re-thinking our plans at this stage maybe limiting the passage to the east coast of Tasmania, leaving the boat in Hobart for a few months then finishing off the circumnavigation in April. Time will tell as there is lots of planning yet to do.
For those interested in Captain Mark James, as I know some of you are, he is currently helping deliver a 46ft catamaran from Saint Martin to Panama via the British Virgin and San Blass Islands. Perhaps I can ask Mark to write a section on his trip for the next Blog!
The boat (LBO III) Mark will be in for the trip!
Photo below of Mark and the crew of LBO III having a few drinks. You can clearly tell Mark is really dreaming of Pendana! J
LBO III Facebook page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/LBOIII
I must say it is great to have Pendana back in Sydney and close to home as I do enjoy going down to the marina and pottering around. There are always minor things to do and as such, having her closer to home is a real joy. Finally, I have received lots of emails horrified at my decision to ditch Facebook, and as such, I am reconsidering my stance, stay tuned!