Relaxing Time Away.
Hopefully to add a little spice to Pendanablog.com I have decided to run ‘Guest Interviews’ of some well-known boating personalities and some perhaps less well known. Guests will answer a series of questions and their “un-edited” responses will be posted under the ‘Guest Interview’ tab on the main page.
At this stage the plan is to add a new ‘Guest Interview’ at least once per month. The inaugural interview was posted to the site on the 5th of June and featured none other than Mr and Mrs Nice Guy/Girl, Ken and Roberta Williams and their dogs Toundra and Keeley.
Toundra and Keeley off to dinner and a night out on the town.
Ken was kind enough to share some incredible photos and also talk about the biggest mistake he had made on the water, which, as one can read and see, almost cost him his shiny new Nordhavn 68, San Souci. If you have yet to see the interview here is the link for those who may be interested. http://www.pendanablog.com/Guest-Interviews/2014/06/05/Ken-and-Roberta-Williams.
It was interesting to read that Ken and Roberta wouldn’t leave shore without popcorn and wine while for me its Diet Coke and lollies/candy, oh and of course cigarettes while for Claire it would be crackers, cheese and wine. For Abi it would be her iPhone and charger and for little Bianca her iPad and Cello!
Lollies draw in the Pilothouse! So, that’s where the chocolate is!!
The next interview is being worked on currently and scheduled to go up later this week will feature James, Jennifer and Spitfire Hamilton of MV Dirona fame, so stay tuned! There will be many more to come including the guys who actually build these superb vessels – PAE so if you have any questions or ideas then please drop me a line to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As some will remember back in December 2013 I decided to sit the Yachtmaster RYA/MCA course to improve my knowledge and to gain my Captain’s ticket.
No, not that Yachtmaster….
…close enough, anyway…..
I am pleased to report that against all odds I have now passed the exams and now have my Yachtmaster certification. I must confess that I found the course, which was predominately focused on Meteorology, Colregs (basically the law which comes from The Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972) and Navigation somewhat taxing and a lot more intense than I had expected and while meteorology and Colregs were simply a matter of study, study, study, navigation was far more complex than I had previously experienced. That being said, with about ten times the number of study hours suggested, (I ain’t that bright!) I ended up with a high pass. The pass rate for Navigation is 80% and the other two 75% so, all in all, I guess all the study paid off.
The folks at Ocean Training Marine and, in particular, Mr Ted Miley (chief navigation guru) were simply superb and I can’t recommend them highly enough. Ocean Training is an RYA/MCA (RYA= The Royal Yachting Association, MCA=Maritime and Coastguard Agency (both British)) accredited facility and trains would-be Captains to go all the way, weather on container ships or super-yachts! Ocean Training‘s website can be found at http://www.oceantraining.com/. I would just say that if you have ever thought about putting your own knowledge to the test then I found the entire process incredibly rewarding, worthwhile and well worth the effort.
Your time starts now!
Armed with my new found knowledge of all things marine and now having a far greater appreciation for tidal curves and bridge heights I decided it was high time I measured Pendana’s air draft (height from waterline to highest point on boat). I was somewhat surprised to see the measurement come in one metre/3.28 feet higher than I thought it was. Pendana’s air draft came in at 10metres or 32.80 feet. So approx. 3.5 storeys high as I was told long ago that a good rule of thumb when measuring heights is that a storey is about twelve feet, usually closer to ten so a three storey building would be thirty feet high, not including the roof making the top of Pendana three stories high!
Shocked at measurement!
At least now, I know with some certainty that Pendana can, in fact, go under Sydney Harbour Bridge thanks to my new found love of tidal curves (who would have thought) and new found knowledge!
Tidal curve chart, a thing of real beauty!
Here we go! See, we can fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
With a new lease of life in all things navigation and in all seriousness, the ability and knowledge to now clear bridges with military style precision I certainly feel a lot more confident and capable than I had previously. Just goes to show, the more we learn the more clear it is that we really didn’t know all that darn much in the first place!
As most boat owners would know, owning, what are actually complex vessels, requires a real commitment to maintain and fund required work to keep them in tip top condition. As such, there is always a ‘Jobs List’ floating around with a list of jobs that require completion and Pendana, like all boats, has had such a list since day one. I am pleased to report that at this point in time there is nothing, nada, zip, zilch on Pendana’s job list requiring attention which is a truly fantastic feeling! The last item on the list was to replace a dodgy lock on one of our overhead cupboards in the galley which I attended to whilst we spent five relaxing days on Pendana.
The last item on the list – Hoooooooray!
Claire and I also re-wrote our spare parts list and during the process I came across the original PAE Nordhavn 62 brochure which made for interesting reading indeed. Still a great boat and probably a better sea boat than even PAE realised at the time.
Original Nordhavn 62 brochure.
I promise I will scan (the brochure above) and add to the website over the coming weeks as it’s a good read. For those who can’t wait there is another brochure already on the Pendanablog website which can be found here: http://www.pendanablog.com/uploads/106464/Nordhavn%2062%20Brochure.pdf
While relaxing on Pendana and with ‘Jobs List’ complete, we all thought it would be a good idea to try on our sea Survival suits (not sure why!). With a friend’s words ringing in my ears, (an ex-navy man), “James you need be able to do it in three minutes flat” I thought, “Not a problem how hard can it be?” So with survival suit at the ready, the timer was started.
I think I was at the three minute mark at this point.
Getting up, took at least another three minutes.
Four hours and thirty two minutes later, no not really… but the saying ‘Telly Tubby’ brings with it a whole new meaning!
All in all, I was in the survival suit in about 13 mins taking about 400% longer than it should have taken. Ah well, practice makes perfect and practice some more we shall. Abi came in at the best time of 7 mins, followed by Claire at 9mins and Bianca, well Bianca would have frozen to death as she decided that the suit was not to her liking and as such refused to put it on saying instead that Pendana would never let her down so there is no point! I must say I like the logic although not sure even the mighty Pendana would survive 80 foot seas so this will be revisited! In Bianca’s defence she had come down with an awful head cold so we let it go, on this occasion.
Then came some helpful suggestions from folks on Facebook who suggested adding lubricant to the zipper, donning the suit in the dark and then jumping into the water to see how it feels, WHAT, jumping into the water? Are they mad? There are SHARKS in those waters!
So with lubricant applied to zipper and with my second attempt complete I was able to shave a respectable 4 mins from my time and now have at least some hope of survival if that time ever came. No doubt more practice required!
Our five days on Pendana was, as always, superb. We read books, watched movies, played Monopoly, electronic battleships (there is an app for that!) and made short work of the chocolate stores. We made the children’s favourite breakfast which is, annoyingly always referred to as, Joey’s Breakfast. Joey Boothby, as some may remember from one of the first blogs, was our American training Captain in Florida for me and Claire in Australia and among his many talents cooking was definitely a great one. Anyway, Joey became the children’s best friend when he would cook and make everyone on board his eggs and bacon for breakfast. The Joey breakfast, which has been modified slightly continues to this day as a tradition handed down by him when here in Australia and, try as I might, to encourage the children to drop the Joey tag, they both simply refuse!
Prosciutto doing what Prosciutto does!
Perfect! Ok not quite as the egg isn’t runny enough. Perhaps I should get Joey back for another lesson!
Claire relaxing and reading as she likes to do, and maybe even contemplating, if, in fact, she too will sit for her Yachtmaster certification.
Below, another beautiful day on the water.
Morning Bay, in Pittwater where we anchored on this trip, is what we call here in Australia a boat only access region. That simply means that for the properties that dot the shore line the only way to get to them is by boat. Each of the homes in Morning Bay has its own jetty and most have their own boat house. Now, on the scale of boat houses we are not talking Robert Conconi size boat house but rather a more subtle version and to me just as beautiful.
Morning Bay, Pittwater Boat House.
Robert Conconi’s boat house.
Ok, ok Rob, you win – I prefer yours!
So, with our time on the water coming to end and with the usual storm approaching we raised our anchor and headed for home.
Even with the wind and rain, one wouldn’t want to be dead for quids!
Just a quick update, as a few have asked, on our planned Tasmanian circumnavigation. At this stage and after speaking with the Royal Tasmanian Yacht Club and also Peter Sheppard (fellow N55 owner) the advice received re our plans went something like this – “James it is madness to come to Tasmania in Dec/Jan as the large southern ocean lows at this time bang straight into the island, much better coming Feb/March”. Great. As we still have children in school Feb/March doesn’t work which is somewhat annoying to say the least. As such, we are rethinking our voyaging plans for the Dec/Jan holidays and will advise as they progress a little further.
Our immediate plans from here are to head north in about two weeks for ten days and visit the Port of Newcastle and then head further north to Port Stephens. Both very manageable runs and something we are all looking forward to.
That’s all for now other than to say……