Pendana arrives at the famous Hamilton Island Marina and all any of us can say is amazingly beautiful!
Hamilton Island is a truly remarkable place and our arrival today, at 6:25am saw us make the one and a half hour run from our overnight anchorage in Cid Harbour so that we would arrive at the entrance markers at Hamilton Island Marina just on low tide. I am a big believer in reducing as many variables as possible when entering a new marina for the first time and how much current Pendana will face is one variable I can control.
Before I continue, yesterday we saw a number of Loggerhead Sea Turtles emerge from the depths below while at anchor in Cid Harbour. The first time one of these magnificent creatures surfaced I was sure we had a baby whale breaching alongside as they make a fair bit of noise as they release carbon monoxide and inhale oxygen – one little fellow got a wee bit scared when he surfaced too close to Pendana and saw us suddenly peering at him from a short distance and really quickly diverted back to the depths with what must have been only half a breath and a massive noisy kick down. Please raise your glasses to the fastest turtle in town!
Photo above of Loggerhead Sea Turtle.
While on the subject of things that lurk in the shadowy depths, Claire, Bianca and I were sitting on the back deck when Bianca yelled suddenly, “SHARK!” followed quickly by Claire with, “Camera!” Grabbing the camera as instructed I returned to see Claire’s eyes fixed like a laser on the approaching fin splitting the water as it boldly approached Pendana from some twenty feet or so away. I was thinking aha… come here little sharkie with camera in hand ready to take the money shot but…….. alas, as this monster from the deep approached it was clear it was not, in fact, a shark but ….. a swordfish!!!! Strangely, as it swam closer, it’s fin seemed not to enlarge but to stay smallish and rather dainty. Well then. Swordfish are equally magnificent but a lot less scary, let me tell you. As it swam past and I admired its beauty, I thought if only these fish could scream when they’re caught, I am sure there would be a lot more of them.
Photo above of Swordfish.
Photo above of Pendana at Cid Harbour.
Photo above of Pendana at Cid Harbour looking south.
A few days ago Pendana and her crew decided to take a run to Shute Harbour to grab some fuel and I must say that without doubt the folks at Shute Harbour Control, Jack and Brian are about the friendliest, professional and most helpful guys around. Jack was there to help with the lines and provide whatever assistance was required while we slowly, very slowly filled Pendana’s tanks. I must say that it is my firm belief that Nordhavn should have done a much better job in designing the fill points on the Nordhavn 62 and, might I say, more importantly, the actual size of the fill points. Reason: if you try and fill too quickly i.e. even a modest 4000 litres/1056 US gallons an hour, the overflow vents fill and send diesel spurting down the side steps. Thankfully, I am aware of this error in design (in my mind) and, as such, spent two hours loading on 3000litres/792 US gallons of fuel. Thankfully Jack didn’t mind at all and told us to take take all the time we liked. Thank you Jack. Thank you Brian!
Photo of Pendana at Shute Harbour.
Now, let me be frank. The reason Pendana went to Shute Harbour was that the fuel price provided by Brian and Jack was competitive plus we also had the added bonus of seeing a new part of the Whitsunday region. For us, however, it would have been far simpler to have taken on fuel at Abell Point Marina but as they were not going to budge on their price my hand was forced. I must say I do not like feeling ripped off or taken advantage of and while I appreciate everyone needs to make a dollar I also appreciate that fuel is fuel is fuel in this part of the world and as such price and service comes into play. So what was the price difference?
Abell Point Marina
1 Litre = $1.88/US$1.97
1 Gallon = $7.11/US$7.48
1 Litre = $1.64/US$1.72
1 Gallon = $6.20/US$6.52
As you can see from the numbers above we are talking almost US$1.00 per gallon difference. If it were a few cents then maybe I wouldn’t mind but US$1.00 difference is a stretch too far. I did have a few conversations with the folks about the price at Abell Point Marina but their view didn’t change and, in fact, the quote was, “It’s not a race to the bottom!”, which is a quote that irritates me no end. As we were free to choose, choose we did but I do find it annoying that common sense didn’t prevail and that Abell Point held their position. The reality is that Abell Point is a truly world class facility but I now understand why nearly everyone fills up at Shute Harbour! If you are in the area give Jack or Brian a call on 4946 9996 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org as I guarantee they will bend over backwards to make sure everything runs to plan and I congratulate them on a job well done.
With an early start the following day for our run to Hamilton Island it was time for bed and time to let go of the angst I felt over the fuel pricing and position Abell Point had taken. Different folks, different strokes, I guess!
With the alarm set for 4:00am Claire and I awoke to our usual chit chat out on the back deck while we drank as much coffee as we could in the allotted time available as I wanted us to be underway at 4:45 so that I could time our run south to arrive at Hamilton Island on slack tide. Admittedly there wasn’t quite as much chat as usual, but our eyes eventually opened!
Once underway Claire and I were treated to the most sensational morning we have ever experienced. The sea was as flat as glass, the wind was a perfect 4kts and the moon was out making for a remarkable trip south. We did, in fact, slow Pendana to 6kts SOG (Speed over Ground) so that we could enjoy the most of our trip south. Claire and I both love mornings like this with the girls tucked up in bed below, while we navigate Pendana around coral outcrops and enjoy the early morning light. The word we’ve come up with is … serene! So peaceful and so incredibly beautiful. As our girls say of late…. magic happens! This was a truly special moment and one I won’t ever forget.
Photo above of Pendana heading south towards Hamilton Island.
Photo above of Pendana heading south towards Hamilton Island.
As time ticked on we entered Dent Passage and turned to Port to line up with the entrance markers and with what seemed like seconds we were through the entrance and tied up on the end of “D” arm and…. how many eggs would you like with that madame and sir? Orange juice and fresh coffee on the brew and Helloooo Hamilton Island!!!
Link above is a 360 degree of Pendana at Hamilton Island Marina.
Photo above of Hamilton Island Marina – can you spot Pendana?
I must say we seem to encounter a fair bit of wildlife and it was no different when we took a quick walk to the shops to top up our fresh milk supplies. As we walked along the sidewalk two Cockatoos swooped in and landed on a just vacated table to finish off the pancakes that were left behind. They showed absolutely no fear of the people walking past mere inches away and Claire easily managed to snap a picture of the action – see below.
Photo above of Cockatoos finishing off someone’s breakfast.
After relaxing a little it was time to collect our electric buggy we had leased for the remaining two days we were here. Basically, all of Hamilton Island is car free and other than the odd bus ferrying tourists around and/or council vehicles, the only other mode of transport is by foot or golf buggy and while I thought of these two alternatives seriously I decided the buggy would be best!!
Photo above of the main street at rush hour!
Photo above of the view from One Tree Hill on Hamilton Island.
The rest of the day was spent swimming, driving, eating, relaxing as well as getting this blog done as I realise I have been a bit slack and for that I apologise but as nothing had really happened it would have been a little light on content.
The plan from here is to depart Hamilton Island Marina on Thursday morning and head south for Shaw Island, until then,……