Half Way to Alaska

Gotta love modern technology and in particular Talkspots wonderful blogging platform that allows blogs such as this very one, to be posted via email, from just about anywhere in the world! With a click of the button this blog will get posted to pendanablog.com, get emailed to all subscribers and also get posted to Facebook and Twitter. For folks in remote places this is a huge plus as the bandwidth required is minimal and when on satellite communications saving data means saving money!

departing Hawaii with Diamond Head in view

As I write this, we are approx. 1,100nms / 2,037klms from Kodiak, Alaska and Honolulu or in other words, we are at the half way mark and no, WE ARE NOT THERE YET!.

The trip so far has been pretty darn good and has reminded us all why we love going to sea and certainly love it when it is calm. In other words, so far so good.

Joey on the foredeck putting away our dock lines and fenders after leaving Waikiki Yacht Club

The highlights so far have been being almost in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean and seeing the clouds reflected in the deep blue of its mirrored surface. It truly felt like we were on a lake rather than at sea in the middle of nowhere!

Joey, Chase, Abi and Bianca preparing to watch the sunset on our first night at sea while Claire dives the boat

The sunset…. Simply stunning and yes we have combined about 400 hundred photos of this!!

The low lights have been, well honestly there haven’t really been any but if I had to pick one, it would probably be day two when we spent most of the day banging into head seas and also the fact Pendana doesn’t do 20kts.

Our estimated arrival into Kodiak is 10th June around 1pm in the afternoon Kodiak Local time making our total trip time come in at twelve days seven hours.

Bianca happy to be counting down the hours

Prior to departure I asked the readers of this blog if there were any particular questions they wanted answered when this blog went out. There were a number of responses, many asking the same questions I might add, which will now be answered.

Who has thrown up?

Three folks on board have thrown up, those being Joey who says it was only a half effort, Chase who admits to going all the way and Abi who made a technical violation and as such making the list under the rules of a technical throw up. Joey and Chase suffered their mishaps on the morning of day two while Abi was on day three.

Are you bored?

Not yet, well not me anyway. Girls seem to be fine as well, as does the rest of the crew. Ask me on day ten then maybe the answer will be different. In fact, I am pretty sure it will be.

How hot is the engine room?

The engine room temperature is running at 45C / 113F

what is the current wind speed, wave height and outside air temp?

Current wind speed is 15.5kts from 331 degrees true, outside air tempreture is 8C/42F and wave are mixed 5-10ft on around a 8-12secpnd period from the NW coming onto our port forward beam. All pretty comfortable in other words!

Are you scared?

No, and nor is anyway on board Pendana. Nordhavns are built tough and built to go to sea so they are very solid.

What does Abi and Bianca do all day?

Basically they listen to music, play a few board games, watch movies and talk – Chase is teaching the girls to play Poker which they seem to be enjoying. I must say that they all do a lot of talking!

Have you run out of diet coke yet?

No we haven’t! It’s funny but when we are at sea I (the diet coke addict) would be lucky to drink one per week preferring water instead but when on land that all changes real fast!

How is Joey enjoying the run?

Joey is loving the run and is also cooking up a storm. He has cooked every night and made some stunning meals for us all to enjoy. I am really pleased he loves cooking as I am always happy to sample what’s on offer! Joey did say that he was missing his wife which was the only downside.

Joey, Chase and Bianca preparing the nights meal.  Oh yes that is an ice bath Bianca is prepping for the Asparagus!  Insane I know.

Have you had any system failures?

No, not so far. We did however need to clean out on of our main engine sea strainers as we had picked up a rather large population of Portuguese Man of War jellyfish and Joey and Chase kindly put a new seal on one of the foredeck hatches that was leaking just a little but other than that Pendana has been faultless.

Have you had any close calls at night?

No close calls to mention. Basically there is lots of nothing out here and I do mean nothing. I must say though that I am surprised at how much rubbish we see floating on by. From large plastic crates, fishing buoys to foam and plastic bottles there is a lot of stuff out here that’s for sure.

Coming from Australia surely you guys don’t like the cold?

Huh, damn fine question as it is a reality we all fast adjusting to. No, I do not like the cold, not one bit, nor does Bianca however, that being said, Claire and Abi think they are going to love it but either way it will be a change we will manage and enjoy to the best of our ability. Without doubt, I am not a cold loving person preferring the caressing warmth of the sun to the bone numbing chilling effect of the cold.

What are you each, looking forward to most when you get to Kodiak?

Claire – Land, Bears, Moose and exploring Kodiak.

Abi – Getting the internet back, exploring and seeing a Kodiak bear and eating normally and drinking Diet Coke again!

Bianca – Internet, seeing the snow, Bears and seeing land.

Joey – Internet and finally being able to check Alaska off my bucket list. Seeing some place I have never seen before will be great.

James – Standing on firm land and feeling the warmth of the Alaskan sun beat down on me. Huh, I am not good with cold but I am trying to convince myself it won’t be that bad.

Chase – Probably just spending sometime in Alaska and exploring.

Has anyone fallen asleep on watch?

Absolutely not! We run a very professional pilothouse and take matters very seriously. I guess that is a product of spending as much time as we did with Captain Mark James in the early days. As most would know, Captain Mark James is a professional superyacht Captain who spent years circumnavigating this planet on a Delta superyacht called ‘Happy Days’. To spend time with a pro like him both Claire and I learnt very quickly how things should be managed aboard a vessel that is going to sea. To this day we are very grateful to Mark for the time he spent with us and I am sure he would be proud to see that the Pilothouse continues to be managed very professionally!

Capt Mark James at the helm of the 164ft Happy Days arriving at the International Yacht Club of Antibes

Do you fish while underway?

Fishing was banned from Pendana back in July 2015. Even the word is now no longer allowed to be spoken aboard Pendana. As such, the ‘F’ word is considered a black art designed to frustrate folks no end. The topic of ‘F’ was covered in some detail in a blog last year with the link to the blog begin found HERE

Can I come along?

Sure! Where are you?

What does everyone think about besides getting there?

Claire – Hoping that the weather will be good and hoping that everyone is comfortable including the pets, Oscar (Oscar The Brave) and Fifi (Fifi The Stupid).

Abi – Thinking about my diet and what I can eat without feeling sick etc and nothing much else. I just want to get there!

Bianca – How boring it is and how much I wish I could fast forward time.

Joey – Honestly, how lucky I am to be here. I am loving this.

James – On the good days there is nothing better but on the bad days its hell on earth. I guess I am thinking about all the systems and checking on them while underway. Thinking about what can go wrong is always close to mind on a trip like this as we are a long way from just about anywhere.

Chase – Britany my girlfriend also, I am thinking about my bed.

Bianca copping a drenching when a wave hit and she failed to duck

What’s your monthly boat maintenance budget for a trip like this?

I don’t break budgets down to trips or monthly but rather look at the year as a whole. Typically we spend (everything) around 8-10% of Pendana’s value per year. The last four years actual spends are available HERE if you are interested which show over the last four years we have spent A$167,000.00 per year, each year, on average.

How do you “guess” wave size?

We have measured height off water of different parts of the boat so when we are in a wave trough we are able to estimate size of wave/swell. The height to the top of the bow for example is 10ft/3mtrs – see pic below which shows height which we use to estimate wave size.

I was wondering if the girl’s attitudes toward the actual passage have changed now that they’ve had a nice long stay in paradise. I recall your saying that they weren’t so fond of it previously so I was wondering if time had altered their perspectives.

The simple answer is, no, none of us really like long passages i.e. anything over about 3 days at sea. The girls are more than aware that to get where we need to go involves a passage, and as such, they now focus on the things they will see once we arrive rather than wasting energy looking for the cheapest flights (unlike Oscar who doesn’t even have a credit card!) to said destination. One thing they are truly pleased about is this is their last long ocean crossing as I have said that they can, if they wish, fly across the Atlantic if and when that occurs. In any case Abi is likely to be at university when that comes around so she won’t have to decide!

Pendana is purring like a kitten and the reassuring hum from her Cummins N14 is soothing and strangely enough very relaxing. All aboard are in good spirits and we all survive, what is a long journey, a day at a time.

Take a look at the photo above and look at Lat Long 34N/156W. The weather station plot was reported by PENDANA.

Daily Facebook updates will resume on day nine for all those who have been following along. Thank you to all, for your FB comments. We read them all but it is a bit hard to reply to them from sea so apologies.

That’s all for now

Stay safe


10 thoughts on “Half Way to Alaska”

  1. SUBJECT: RE: Half Way to Alaska

    Hello James!

    Looks like you’re having a great time so far!

    Thanks for the update


  2. SUBJECT: Re: Half Way to Alaska

    So happy to hear of your off on your continued adventure! My Facebook account was hacked so I had to discontinue it in the interest of protecting my “friends” but Ill continue to follow along here and via my husband’s FB account.

    We are following closely your Alaska adventure as when we begin our “Great Explore” we plan to begin by shipping Gratitude to Alaska (from FL) and cruising back to Maine through the Panama Canal to make the Atlantic crossing. Of course this won’t happen for several years, we are still in the collecting info and dreaming stages. We have readied Gratitude for her summer trip for the Bahamas and we are leaving on the 12th of June so we should be able to hear of your safe arrival before our departure and restrictive internet. Tell Bianca no pigs this year – we will be mostly in the Abacos 🙂

    Have the safest of journeys.
    The Thyrre Family

    > On Jun 4, 2016, at 3:52 AM, http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM wrote:

  3. John and Tracey

    We wish you safe travels and hope to see you all when you head south into Canadian waters.

    Several friends are going to be at the Nordy Rendevous up in Alaska as I suspect you will be too. From the looks of it, it should be a good turn out of Nordy owners.


    John and Tracey
    Mvpairadice.blogspot.com (http://Mvpairadice.blogspot.com)

  4. Response to a post by ken who said:

    SUBJECT: RE: Half Way to Alaska

    James – great blog as always!

    -Ken W

    thanks Ken

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