NYE Sydney Harbour Part 1 of 2.

Pendana had a great trip down from broken Bay and arrived safely in Sydney Harbour on the 27th December, as planned. We arrived nice and early in preparation for the NYE fireworks display on 31st which, by all reports, is one of the best fireworks displays in the world with only the Time Square display in New York coming close to rivalling it.

Below photo of Pendana’s view to the famous Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney harbour

It’s great to see a few other Nordhavns about namely, N57 Commander, N55 Skie and N43 Passe Partout anchored up in Athol Bay, Sydney Harbour. I have been told that we can expect one more to arrive so we shall see. 

Photos below of three above named vessels.

SKIE Nordhavn 55

Commander Nordhavn 55

passe parout

Our time here has not been without a few dramas – namely a nice southerly buster that arrived yesterday at 2pm and saw winds at a sustained 27kts,gusting above 30kts, for about six hours. Needless to say, this had the net effect of whipping up the harbour with the inevitable white caps ensuing. With the wind came a mass exodus from Athol Bay of about fifteen boats who decided they would rather be at home than endure the chop and whitecaps and the risk of them dragging their anchor. This left the die-hards and larger vessels who could manage the chop and wind and who knew how to set an anchor…or did they?

With winds gusting above 30kts and harbour swells building, it wasn’t long a large Catamaran (55ft) suddenly started to move backwards at an alarming speed. Murray (owner ‘Commander’ N57) must have seen this Catamaran screaming towards his vessel and decided all he could do was press his horn, which he did repeatedly. Within minutes the out of control vessel had passed Commander backwards and was headed for a small beach area about 300 metres away, owners oblivious. It was at this point that their anchor took hold once more and the vessel was jerked back into a stationary position. I might add at no stage were either owners of the ‘out of control’ vessel, on deck throughout the ordeal. As such, Murray decided he would untie his tender and board the cat to make sure she was secure, with alacrity, and no doubt to their surprise, the owners of said vessel materialised on deck and were perplexed as to why his was there. After explanations were hurridly exchanged (their English was fairly poor), Murray was on his way back to Commander and the owner of the cat (apparently asleep at the time) hurried to the foredeck to let out some more anchor chain. Could have been a whole lot worse!

Photos below of Murray tendering off to offer assistance and of him boarding the Catamaran,

Caribe tender ride

Murray Francis to the rescue

Another slightly less dramatic issue occurred when general all round nice guy and Martimo 55 owner Russell, of ‘TomKat’ (combination of his childrens’ names Thomas and Katherine), came across to Pendana for a beer. With that, he tied his Caribe DL12 to Pendana’s Caribe DL15 and boarded. After a few beers upstairs it was not long before I mentioned to Russell that I was pretty sure that baby Tomkat (the tender) was, in fac,t drifting off to the wild yonder and headed for the commercial shipping channel. To which Russell, replied…#*$^*, and with that I gave Russell a quick ride in t/t Pendana, so he could recover t/t Tomkat . Unfortunately, and to Russell’s great relief, there is no photographic evidence of his mishap, as such, he is denying the event ever took place! 

Photo below of the larger ‘TomKat’ (Martimo 55) in all her glory.


Finally, the last mishap occurred aboard Pendana. Yesterday, with our flopper stoppers deployed against the half to one metre swells in the harbour combined with 30kt winds, my starboard flopper stopper decided that the weld joint was no longer going to hold. After retrieving the flopper stopper and carrying it down to the rear cockpit it was evident that a repair/short term fix should be manageable.

Photo below of weld joint failure.

Flopper Stoppers

 Photo below of flopper stopper in cockpit ready for repair.

Flopper Stoppers

With gusto and enthusiasm I ran down to the engine room to retrieve my drill, drill bits and a packet of assorted marine grade stainless steel nuts/bolts and announced to Claire (my wife) “Baby, it will be nice to fix this on my own”. However, that was not to be! After drilling for what seemed an eternity the drill just would not penetrate the stainless steel flopper stopper and at this rate I would be drilling into the New Year and still not made my way through. As such, I rang my old mate Andrew who said he would pop down with his Hilti Drill (commercial grade) and some stainless steel bits. He announced that he would be at the local wharf in fifty minutes; as such, I packed away my gear and waited for Andrew to call to announce his arrival. Andrew called bang on time and I collected him from Mosman May Wharf and bought him and his wife (who had come along for the ride) back to Pendana. 

I must say from the outset that Andrew is a great friend of mine and has provided me with years of help – basically he is the sort of guy who can do anything and has a heart large enough to always offer me a hand when needed. No doubt this provides him with countless hours of amusement so I feel I have repaid him in kind! 

Photo below of Andrew and his wife, Elizabeth, arriving at Pendana.

Fun on tender

Once Andrew was on board and after glancing at the flopper stopper for three seconds, the first thing he said was, “We will have this done in twenty minutes”. The second thing he said was, “James, show me the drill bits you were using”. After I showed Andrew my drill bits he started to laugh, you know, that sort of all consuming, all-knowing laugh. As I have been here many times before I knew I had done something wrong! Andrew explained to me the difference between drill bits for wood, drill bits for steel and drill bits for stainless steel as apparently I was using the wrong drill bit! Who would have known! Here’s an idea: design a drill bit that goes through everything! How’s that?! Precisely nineteen minutes later our starboard flopper stopper was back in the water and working beautifully. Thank you Andrew! 

Photo below of Dr Andrew with his much loved Hilti drill!

Andrew Webb

I will close this blog off now as not much more to say other than we expect another 100 or so boats to arrive. My only hope is that my anchor doesn’t get snared by another boat’s anchor. Actually, I’d also really like it if I don’t have anyone anchor too close to us and finally, we don’t have a monster private yacht block our view for the big night! All will be reported post NYE and in the New Year.

Wishing you a safe and prosperous, Happy New Year!

Safe travels



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