World Trip Update # 3

Nordhavn 62 Pendana – WORLD TRIP UPDATE # 3


I am pleased to report that many months on from the decision being made to circumnavigate, Pendana is now 100% ready to take on the world’s oceans and experience all they have to offer. 

Just on a side note, our run north (400nms, to the Gold Coast) was spent pretty much in some horrendous conditions 30-40kts well developed winds from the north which produced some pretty sizable head seas. In fact, as I was sitting in the rear cockpit enjoying the ride a huge wave crashed over the starboard side, scuttling one of our two deck chairs over and sending it in my direction. Before I knew it I was ankle deep in green water (seawater) with wet cigarette in hand watching our multiple scuppers do their jobs perfectly i.e. remove large quantities of sea water from rear cockpit! That was a first and that was a lot of seawater!

The work list to be carried out at Gold Coast City Marina was extensive and after our lumpy ride north Pendana was soon on hard stand and we went about to ensure that every nut, bolt, hydraulic ram and pump was working and in good order. From pulling the sea chest apart and replacing all valves to dismantling the davit (foredeck crane) to replace rams, luffing rods and seals, from servicing the Groco main engine sea water intake change-over mechanism (yep it was stuck) to repairing and repainting Pendana’s lower hull to make good previous owner’s repairs. We fitted new deck tie downs for the tender and a new cradle for the jet-ski. From cleaning all hydraulic heat exchangers to removing every porthole and replacing their seals, nothing was left undone and nothing left to chance. I guess with any adventure one can only prepare so much and prepare we have. Pendana is in the best shape of her life and ready to hit the high seas and rather than a blow by blow commentary on all the things done I thought a pictorial for this blog was the best way to go.


Pendana rub rail was repaired by a previous owner and the repair was not done properly. As such, we were experiencing cracking and paint wear which after three years became intolerable.


Cracking on rub rail.


Repair begins with epoxy resin and glass as the base.


Benny working his magic on Pendana’s hull after five days of prep!


Benny, the master at work.


Job almost complete!


Mark James decided it was high time to pull the sea chest apart and replace all valves.


Valves being set up at Mark’s workshop for install.


Sea chest coming back together nicely.


Groco exchange valve off to be serviced.


Every valve checked and tested.


All Portholes removed and resealed.


Porthole about to be prepped and refitted.


ADG Marine van, for all us Australians Note Andy’s mobile phone number, a better shipwright is not possible.

Just on a side note re portholes. There is much discussion on the best way to reseal portholes and as such I asked Andy from ADG Marine to run me through exactly what he did with Pendana’s portholes as it may be useful for others in a similar situation.

Step one – carefully remove port holes


Step two – remove all old sealant from both the boat and the porthole


Step three – lightly sand the stainless flanges on the port hole where sealant will be applied to key up the surface and give the new sealant maximum chance of long term adhesion.


Step four – I can’t stress this step enough….. thoroughly clean both the boat and the port hole with acetone, most sealant failure is cause by either poor preparation of the surface or contamination on the surface!


Step five – make sure everything is ready to reassemble, apply plenty of sealant to the boat and port hole. I have been using Fixtec 15 with good results, quickly install the port hole and tighten all fastenings (don’t over tighten)


Step six – There should be quite lot of sealant squeezed out around the port hole, I always use more rather than less sealant as it takes longer to clean up but you know you can be sure of a good seal, the best way to clean up the mess is to use a small timber wedge to scrap off the bulk of the sealant then use turps and a rag to do the rest being careful not to clean any sealant away from under the port hole.


You now should have long term leak free port holes, the same process applies to almost all fittings on your boat, it’s all about preparation a step too often over looked!


Andy Giese (Andy) sliding in yet another fix.


Pendana’s granite galley counter top was in need of some love where two pieces joined.


Job done! Can you spot the join?


While out of the water the keel cooler was given an once over.


Davit being removed for some long overdue love!


Damage to the davit luffing rod. This is typical damage found on seagoing rods that spend long periods in one position. Off to be re-chromed.


Davit, linear winch cylinder has been replaced with a new barrel due to wastage as pictured above.


Nick and Dave from Gateway Hydraulics putting the davit back on Pendana’s foredeck.


Nick from Gateway Hydraulics fitting Pendana’s new Hydrive rams.


Jet ski finally on new stand on foredeck.


New air bleed valve on stern tube being fitted.


New brass fittings installed to house water filtration system as I (believe it or not) discovered a small crack in plastic fittings.


Captain Rob from Hawkesbury to Harbour Yacht Management flew up to give Pendana’s superstructure some loving.. cut, anti-swirl, wax and Collinite – looking great now! Rob also made up one of the crew from the run south.


A chap next to us was grinding his steel hull all day with no protection. I just had to take a photo of him – who said us Aussies don’t take health and safety seriously?


Aerial shot of Pendana just for fun! (photo taken by Andy)


The crack team from Gold Coast City Marina preparing to put Pendana back into the water.


Pendana ready to head south!


As we head out to sea Rob captured this great shot! Well done Rob, perfect timing!


Pendana made record time on our 400nm run south thanks in part to a stiff northerly pushing us along.


For this 50ft Riviera the trip in the opposite direction was not as pleasant! Getting lost in the short period seas and swell – poor guy!


Cruising past the Port of Newcastle I have never seen so many container ships waiting to enter.

All in all a great run north and south and now Pendana is back home ready to take on the world! 

There is little doubt that we have all been through an emotional journey and arriving at the decision to slowly circumnavigate planet earth aboard a vessel called Pendana has brought with it just about every emotion known to man, and I few I am sure have yet to be classified.

From sheer terror at the idea of setting off from the comforts of home, community and friends to a life at sea in the confined quarters of Pendana to excited anticipation of what lies ahead and the adventures yet to be experienced. From the delight of accomplishing what has been a very long list and seeing our children’s faces light up at photos of the Inside Passage, tropical islands, Cuba, Bahamas and the Panama Canal. From the constant questions of “what if” …….to the realisation of, we’ll be fine – the Ellingford’s have experienced it all and then some, over the past few months!

There is no doubt that while the idea of a trip like this sounds incredible the reality requires sheer determination and an iron will to remain resolute in the decision made. The courage required to stand firm to one’s commitment, which flies in the face of just about every societal norm there is, was far greater than I or Claire could have ever imagined. As I write this blog the only certainty that I can be sure of is that there are no guarantees, there is no sure outcome and there is no way of reducing and mitigating all of the risks a journey like this entails. There is simply life and the choices we make. If our decision is right, wrong or indifferent, one thing is for sure, we won’t be left wondering.


Above is to be avoided at all cost.

If the truth be told this will either be one of the greatest decisions Claire and I have ever made, which delivers experiences which will enrich us all, help us grow and gain perspective and provides the sense of satisfaction and achievement that typical life can’t easily replace or, it will be a living nightmare from which the only escape will be to sell the boat and return home! Are we the right type of people for an adventure like this? Do we have the right personality make up? Are we going to be suited to this type of experience? Do we have the right skill sets? Can someone with as much mechanical and electrical knowledge as a garden snail really pull this off? The bottom line is that we simply do not know and we will not know until we set our lines free and head into open water. An expression I am known well for is, – Life is an adventure or nothing at all – has provided a beacon to all of us and something we have held onto when things down-under have got a little crazy!

For the readers of this blog the good news is that you will be able to travel along with us and experience the highs and lows (hopefully not too many of those) as we do. My intention is to focus the blog not so much on the destinations we visit (as there are travel guides for that), but rather the trial and tribulations we encounter and importantly the emotional journey we all take from such a trip.

Finally and most importantly a huge sense of gratitude and thanks has to go to the services of Kym Fleet, Vanessa, Hollie and Steve in the office at Gold Coast City Marina. As I have said many times before Gold Coast City Marina is a world class facility and Kym and his team do a truly superb job. Thank you to Peter, Bob, Nick and Dave from Gateway Hydraulics, Greg, Kelly and Brad from Watsons Engineering, Mark James from Oceania Marine, Andy Giese from ADG Marine Shipwright Services, Gary from Stella Marine and Benny from Benny’s Boats as without their help, support, care and genuine affection for Pendana none of this would have been possible. 

Pendana is now officially ready (other than a fixing a squeaky steering ram) to take on the world and other than topping off Pendana’s tanks and having divers clean her hull prior to departure, Pendana is now ready.


Safe travels


PS: I will be posting the FLIR camera review in the next few days so stay tuned, but as a teaser let me just say this – the camera has already paid for itself and what’s more saved the camera has saved the lives of a few very, very silly sailors – stay tuned.


13 thoughts on “World Trip Update # 3”

  1. SUBJECT: RE: World Trip Update # 3

    Hi James,

    I am so excited for you and I LOVE that you are sharing the doubts and emotions and all.  Especially since many concerns you voiced match up with our own doubts.  BTW, a couple of my favorite questions in your interviews are “What annoys you most…”  and “What mistakes have you made..”  Please share “warts and all” of your adventures, so that those of us who are also considering such an adventure can get beyond the fantasy world (and marketing brochures of said boats) and instead get a taste of REALITY, at least for one family.  Thank you for being REAL, no sugar coating please.  However, make sure you balance out the bad news with the wonderful, if it indeed exists!  Challenges often make more interesting stories, but if indeed it would be an exaggeration to put so much focus on the bad, then make sure you end the challenging stories with your overall realistic attitude toward your trip.  For example, ask yourself, given knowing this, is it still worth it?  In fact, maybe at the end of each blog you can ask yourself and each of your crew members the same question.  Is it still worth it and in a short sentence say why.  Unfiltered.  Or maybe a weekly journal that asks each of you that question?  Know that there is someone up in the Seattle area that is hoping that the wonderful outweighs the uncomfortable/terrifying/etc.  We are looking forward to your next blog and looking forward to meeting you when you come up this way.  J

    Jackie S.

    Near Seattle

    From: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM [mailto:blog-46517-comments@t…]
    Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2014 12:21 PM
    To: jackiesch@m…
    Subject: World Trip Update # 3

  2. REPLY>>>>> Jacki, thank you for your comment and dont worry I plan to do just that! No gilding the lilly, promise. James (Pendana)

  3. SUBJECT: RE: World Trip Update # 3


    Good to hear you had a good refit and trip South.

    I spoke with you at GCCM when I had Tidahapah on the hard. 50 ‘ Timber ketch rigged motor cruiser.

    I had a good trip south left the GCCM Tues 11th at 0900 and tied up at d Albora The Spit Thursday afternoon. 50 hrs at average of 8.5 knots.

    Got hammered on the Tues night with a SE change so headed back  NW very slowly for a couple of hours but when it eased got back in the ECC and maintained our speed.

    Hope to head out for Tassie at the end of this week.

    Hope the rest of you preparations go to plan and the world trip starts on schedule.


    Benn Hardie

    MV Tidahapah

    From: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM [mailto:blog-46517-comments@t…]
    Sent: Saturday, 22 November 2014 12:21 PM
    To: benn01@o…
    Subject: World Trip Update # 3

  4. SUBJECT: RE: World Trip Update # 3

    A  great start on your Blog, much enjoyed.

    Have a great journey.

    John Harris  (World Odd@S… from the NAR 2004)

    From: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM [mailto:blog-46517-comments@t…]
    Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2014 1:21 PM
    To: johnph@c…
    Subject: World Trip Update # 3

  5. Callum the Web Boss

    SUBJECT: RE: World Trip Update # 3

    Bloody great job mate. Absolutely diamond and a great read (and super pics).

    Please visit London some day and I’ll buy you a beer!


  6. SUBJECT: RE: World Trip Update # 3

    Congratulations, James –  I hope you enjoy your adventure as much as we have aboard Seabird (your sister ship!).  With all of your thoughtful preparations, you should do just fine.  We are a bit over done with our trip and I will look back on these past ten years with great fondness.  Not many people get to “live the dream” for many different reasons or excuses. We look forward to your blog reports!

    Steven Argosy

    MV Seabird

    Nordhavn 6204

    From: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM [mailto:blog-46517-comments@t…]
    Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2014 3:21 PM
    To: sargosy@o…
    Subject: World Trip Update # 3

  7. >>>>REPLY

    Thank you Steve, Cal and John for your comments, most appreciated. Benn,good luck on your run south to Tassie, I am sure you will have a ball!


  8. SUBJECT: SV: World Trip Update # 3

    Many thanks for your excellent report on trips,human beeings and repairs. Enjoy the World Cruise finn johnsson in Sweden
    Frn: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM [blog-46517-comments@t…]
    Skickat: den 22 november 2014 21:21
    Till: Finn Johnsson
    mne: World Trip Update # 3

  9. SUBJECT: Re: World Trip Update # 3

    Clearflow valves James ,Not very Australian.Putting a lot of faith in this guy to do the plumbing work, it looks like he is using his grandfathers tools.maybe i might be getting that call from Hawaii.good luckPeterps how did you go with the shower
    On 23/11/2014, at 7:21 AM, http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM wrote:

  10. Every project has its setbacks. I’m happy you’ve come through with flying colors. It looks like your world adventure is going to be a wonderful one!

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