The journey begins – or does it?


The journey begins – or does it?

Two steps forward one step back…

This morning, Pendana left her home Marina for the very last time. With a spring in her step she headed out with Claire at her controls, backing her from her berth for the last time, Abi and Bianca in the Pilothouse, cameras were clicking and an air of excitement filled the boat as Pendana made this first very important step forward.

Pendana backing out

Pendana backing out!

However, before I continue I must confess that a recent purchase of a new mattress I had made – without any input from Claire, I might add, was, a total disaster. I know, I know, who would buy a mattress without their wife’s input, right?! Anyway, Claire and I would wake from our bed feeling like we had slept on a cold concrete floor! It was just so hard to get out of bed without almost cracking stiff muscles that we realized this just couldn’t continue. Basically the mattress that was purchased by someone looking rather similar to me, was a total and utter disaster. Yes, I WAS WRONG. To Claire’s credit, that wasn’t necessary to say but chin up where necessary I say. Anyway we decided that a new mattress was required sooner rather than later, which we happily took delivery of three days ago. May I just say the new mattress is loved by both of us more than is probably healthy. Anyway, suffice to say, we love it! Note to self, ask wife’s input before buying a mattress!

…..Back to the story, as we headed away from the marina, smiles a plenty, I took the controls and pressed the AUTO button on our autopilot. The auto feature basically holds a dialled in course and compensates for wind and current making life on the helm a little easier. As we approached our first turn I dialled in a ten degree course change to port and Pendana responded perfectly, slowly but surely turning her bow to port as she cut through the water like a hot knife through butter. Our peace, joy and smiles were about to end. As Pendana took up her new course instead of holding the dialled in course she simply kept going adding an extra degree as each second passed. It was crystal clear that there was an issue with our autopilot but what could it be?

After handing back the controls to Claire I started the process of going through all the things that had changed since we were last on the boat. Checking this and that, moving that and this but still the autopilot wouldn’t hold course. Once at anchor in Pittwater, after hand steering Pendana most of the way I went about reading the manual hoping against hope to resolve the issue.


I did offer a swap and apparently they are considering it!

I called Guy (The Professor) and Levi (The Surgeon) from Olectric, here in Sydney and to their credit they came out and met us at anchor within a few hours of the call despite their busy schedules while I continued to trouble shoot. Once Guy and Levi arrived they took a quick look at the autopilot then started to drill both Claire and I as to what’s changed i.e. what had we packed onto the boat. After a short while both Claire and I said in unison, well we bought a new mattress! Guy, Levi and myself then headed straight to the master cabin and removed the mattress (below which lies the autopilot compass in the actual base of the bed) and wouldn’t be you know it, problem fixed! Guy then gave us a choice of buying yet another mattress or finding a suitable position to move the compass so that the mattress ceases to cause problems (which wouldn’t be easy considering a number of fuel tanks sit below the master cabin). Easy choice though! Naturally we chose the harder option of moving the compass! There was nothing coming between us and that mattress – not even the autopilot! Guy and Levi went about performing the necessary surgery to move the compass far enough away so that it worked as beautifully as it had done before the new mattress was installed.

Olectric Sydney

Levi (on bed) and Guy (on floor) working away!

Olectric hands on compass

Many hands make light work!

So what actually was going on with this mattress? It was bizarre. This is our third mattress on this boat – four if you count the original it arrived with, so this was completely out of the blue. I decided to speak to the makers of the bed toady as I wanted to find out what the springs were made from to cause the issue and they told me that there are around 800 steel pocketed springs nested into the mattress. If you were to look inside an A.H. Beard (Domino, Extravagance) bed you would find a bed filled to the brim with individual springs and the springs are made from steel which wouldn’t help the poor old magnetic compass one bit. Bascially the mattress is a foam box surround for boarder/edge support which has five zones of tempered steel pocket springs for unparalleled comfort and support (I can attest to that as this is wihtout doubt the most amazing mattress I have ever slept on). So in short great mattress, but not so good for the compass!

After we raised the anchor and re-swung the compass Pendana was once again in perfect working order. Needless to say for us to have access to both Guy and Levi is truly a privilege and both Claire, the girls and I are very grateful for their fast and expert response.

Guy Olectric

The plan from here is to arrive in Sydney Harbour on Thursday with the view of clearing customs/quarantine and exiting Australia mid next week. Will send one more blog, once cleared.

Bianca Ellingford

Bianca and Caesar fast asleep after a busy day.

Safe travels




7 thoughts on “The journey begins – or does it?”

  1. O'Brien, Justin

    SUBJECT: RE: The journey begins – or does it?

    Congratulations .. look forward to hearing of your travels J

    From: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM [mailto:blog-46517-comments@t…]
    Sent: Wednesday, 15 April 2015 9:59 AM
    To: O’Brien, Justin (IWM)
    Subject: The journey begins – or does it?

  2. James, James…aren’t you aware that on a boat you always go with the titanium spring upgrade when picking a mattress? Claire would have known that.

  3. SUBJECT: RE: The journey begins – or does it?

    Thank you for the very interesting blog about compass and matress. I thought I should write you about an early sentence in your story

    – The autopilot (when operating with the flux gate compass as its heading reference) does NOT make adjustment for wind or current.  It simply holds the compass heading as accurately as it is able, but has no way to compensate for side drift produced by wind and current effects.

    When using the GPS as its reference it does try to compensate for wind and current by analyzing the coarse “off-set” data that the GPS produces to try and stay as close to the reference coarse line as possible.

    Enjoy your journey.  John Harris

    From: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM [mailto:blog-46517-comments@t…]
    Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 5:59 PM
    To: johnph@c…
    Subject: The journey begins – or does it?

  4. Congratulations team Pendana! We wish you calm seas, clear skies, and flawless mechanicals! We will look forward to crossing wakes with you along the way.

  5. Anthony Dodd (T2 International

    SUBJECT: RE: The journey begins – or does it?

    Bon Voyage Sir.
    Keep us posted and I look forward to seeing you in a few years time.

    Anthony Dodd
    Group Operations Director
    Office +441753496710
    Mobile +447793834092
    Saxon House, 2-4 Victoria St. Windsor, SL4 1EN UK

    From: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM [mailto:blog-46517-comments@t…]
    Sent: 15 April 2015 00:58
    To: Anthony Dodd (T2 International)
    Subject: The journey begins – or does it?

  6. SUBJECT: The Journey.
    Good morning crew.
    Kind regards to you all and safe travels.
    Kind regards the Jordans. (Tokeresa’s Mum and Dad)

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