Pendana Arrives in Waikiki



Waikiki Yacht Club
Pendana has finally arrived at Waikiki Yacht Club (“WYC”) in downtown Honolulu and I must confess this is a pretty special place. It’s funny but everything just feels right. The staff at the WYC have been fantastic, the food in the restaurant is delicious with enough salad options to satisfy the girls and a burger for me, to die for! The weather is perfect and even the wind gently flows through Pendana at the right angle and the sun rises and sets perfectly as to not blind the occupants aboard. All in all, paradise found!


Waikiki Honolulu

View of Honolulu skyline from Pendana’s foredeck


Pendana in Waikiki

Just one more, sorry!

Our run from the Big Island to Oahu we enjoyed the most incredibly wonderful run we have had in a long time. Dead calm seas were on offer for the entire run as we made our way north. To say that the folks on Pendana appreciated this would be an understatement! I guess we were due some nice weather and it certainly delivered in spades.


Calm Oceans for Pendana’s run north

How calm…?

As some who follow Pendana’s Facebook page would know I spent countless hours on the phone with David Wright and James Knight to install a new fin sensor. I am pleased to report that after doing this job five times (will explain) that I am now a fin sensor expert and can do the job from start to finish in under twenty minutes. Refer earlier blog for full story CLICK HERE. Anyway after five attempts there was still something wrong as the fin sensor pin was dancing around like it was on steroids. Another call to David Wright the TRAC God, and it was soon agreed he would fly out with spares and sort my issue out. Hooray, as I really couldn’t face another session on the stabilizers.

There was a photo of a fellow blogger and Nordhavn owner that sums up precisely how I felt about going in for another session on my stabilizer – see below: More on Ken’s drama can be found HERE 


Ken Willams

Ken, this is a classic! Your face resembles the pain I faced.

David from TRAC arrived on the boat and within seconds was starting to pull the stabilizer assembly apart. What David did in five minutes would have taken me an hour so I was glad he was here. Anyway the long and short of it was the shaft nut was almost off the threads and as such the shaft was wobbling all over the place (this is the reason the fin sensor broke in the first place I might add). The tab lock washer which had two tabs bent up but not engaged were pushed out from the nut thus no longer engaged. To make matters worse there was no trace of RED Loctite on the shaft threads or the interior of the nut.


David Wright TRAC stabilers ABT TRAC

David working on the starboard stabilizer.

David mentioned that while he was here he may as well check the port side as well and before I could call for a smoko (Australian slang for taking a break i.e. cigarette) he was hard at it, squashed between the master bed and wardrobe.


David wright ABT TRAC

David squashed into place on the port side. Poor guy!

Basically the port side fin assembly, like the starboard side showed no signs of Loctite although the locking nut this time was just engaged no doubt saving me from the same disaster faced on the other side.



Once David had finished we tested the stabilizers and they worked like a dream. Perfectly centred and at least now they won’t come undone as they have been properly installed and to spec. I am in discussions with the company in Australia who completed the last shaft upgrade as I am less than happy with what was found. Just imagine if we had this problem and were in Kiribati, (Christmas Island)! See Kiribati blog HERE

To say that I, and the Ellingford clan are grateful to David for his assistance would be to misread this entirely. We can’t thank David enough for flying out from Seattle to spend his precious time aboard Pendana fixing a problem that should have never existed in the first place. Thank you David!

While still in Hilo, Julie and Andy from Infinity popped over and Julie, God bless her, brought with her a product she wanted me to try. Spotless Stainless she called it, the only way to get rid of rust on stainless. Now, it has to be said I was sceptical at first but Julie assured me I would be amazed. Julie, armed with her bottle of Spotless Stainless went in search of some rust to treat. Simply “brush on, wait twenty minutes then rinse off” she said with a rather all too confident smile on her face. We shall see, I thought!


Spoteless Stainless

Spotless Stainless above.

Sure enough, after application we came back twenty minutes later and rinsed it off with the hose. The rust that was there before was now gone. Completely gone! Hell, that’s incredible! Let’s do another bit! Again, gone, another, gone, another gone… WOW! This product really does work. Julie said she uses it on just about everything and that she swears by the product. After the demo, I instantly went upstairs and ordered four bottles.

On arrival in Waikiki Claire and I went about using spotless stainless with the same stunning result as Julie had achieved back in Hilo. Is it faster than traditional stainless cleaners? Well, I have to say no, due to the twenty minute wait however it is easier than the traditional method! Also, it has to be said, that it is far easier as you can brush it on to all those pesky little parts that are impossible to clean via the traditional method. All in all, we are incredibly impressed with Spotless Stainless and would highly recommend it. Again, I am not easily impressed, so when a product works as well as this does then I consider the world should hear about it!


Cleaning Stainless on a boat

These things are a nightmare to clean usually but with Spotless Stainless it wasn’t an issue.


all clean stainless

After above… perfect..


stainless cleaning



stainless hawes

After, it even removed the stain on fibreglass without destroying the shine! Amazing!


Stainless Steel Davit Pendana

No before shot of Davit but you can imagine after five months at sea… lots of salt stains etc.



Brushing it on…


spotless stainless clean

Rinsing it off.

I spoke with Alan, who owns Spotless Stainless, an all American company, and he said that Spotless Stainless removes rust and the surface that causes rust. Brush on, leave for approx. 30 mins were his instructions. The warmer the outside air temp the less time it takes to get results. Once time is up simply rinse off. Spotless Stainless kicks in an oxidation with chromium in the stainless to form chromium oxide (CrO). This is what protects stainless steel. The more you use Spotless Stainless the more time you should get between cleaning. This is due to removing the iron build up and building a rich CrO layer to protect the stainless.

He did go onto say that it is very important that when applying Spotless Stainless that the application needs to remain moist for ~30 mins. If it appears to be drying, re-brush to keep moist and do not apply to hot stainless steel as it will bake the application.

Disclaimer: Pendanablog or it owners have no affiliation with Spotless Stainless and have received no benefit for this review. We have talked about the product in glowing terms as it deserves it, nothing more.

Now for a few shots from Hilo before we left.


Hilo road block

Try as we might to get up to the Volcano every road was blocked.


andy julie infinity

Bianca, Julie and Andy climbed the only hill around!


view hilo

While, Abi, Claire and I remained down below!


harley the dog

Harley being taken back to Infinity aboard his own transport.



Pendana at rest; Photo C/o Andy & Julie.



Infinity departs for Ko-Olina Marina on Oahu a few days before us.


julie and nemier

Andy, Julie and Harley depart.


Caesar the manificent pendana

Caesar and Oscar dreaming of what they would like to do to Harley! J


hilo rainbow

Hilo putting on a show for us the day of departure.

One final job for me to do before departure was to do an oil change on both generators! Once again, I engaged the expert assistance of Abi to help me as she always provides words of encouragement and is a great help. This was accomplished in record time of three hours and forty-five minutes… Now hang on, there were two of them and two racor’s….and both had fuel filters that were incredible hard to remove. Why do these things get so tight? It was a living nightmare getting the fuel filters off that’s for sure and if not for that I think we would have done both gens in under an hour.


fuel filter

The fuel filter from hell!


pendana in hawaii

Pendana tied up at Waikiki Yacht Club.

So, In a word, Waikiki is superb! The marina we are at is fantastic and life is pretty good I must admit, but before I go on and wax lyrical about Waikiki, I must first mention the fishing gear and report that the fishing gear has now been formally handed over to Brandon here at the WYC.


fishing gear

Brandon picking up his new gear.

Brandon, a local fishing pro, came with words of encouragement, help, promises of teaching me how to catch fish but I held firm in my promise to resist the dark forces that surround fishing and respectfully declined. We both agreed that as a hunter and gatherer I had failed in dream of feeding my family from the ocean’s bounty and this dream died with the official handover. As Brandon left I did feel some sense of failure but you will all be pleased to know that lasted all of 1.257 seconds.

NEWS ALERT – From this day forth, let it be known to all, that the subject of fishing and the dark magic that surrounds it will no longer be discussed in any form and all and any fishing gear is forbidden aboard the good ship Pendana by order of common sense!

Talking about strange happenings this came across my desk recently. A large painted mural of Pendana in the Bahamas.


pendana painting

James Knight from Yacht-tech in Florida and Nordhavn guru decided to prove his love for Pendana, and her crew, and have her immortalised at vast expense for the inside wall of his new office in Florida! The crew of Pendana always knew James had a soft spot for Pendana and I guess this proves it. Great painting James!

Now onto something completely different, who remembers Gilligan’s Island? …Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale……anyway, the introduction to Gilligan’s Island as the SS Minnow departed was shot directly opposite from the Waikiki Yacht club.


Gilligans Island

Building in the background belongs to the Hawaii Yacht Club.



Photo of Ala Wai Marina which is opposite Waikiki Yacht Club


Crew Gilligans Island

Ahhhh the memories… mind you Gilligan rather irritated the heck out of me when I was young!

While on the topic of other things, it needs to be said that every Friday here in Waikiki an incredible thing happens. This ‘thing’ is called the Friday night yacht race where all in sundry depart the harbour for a social racing session then back to the bar for several Mount Gays. So, why is it so special? Well, virtually all yachts (up to 50+) depart around the same and what’s more, each and every one of them departs their slip (marina berth) and immediately hoists it’s sails. That’s right, they sail out of the marina, not motor – but sail!


Waikiki Yacht Race

A few yachts departing for a race!

To see 50+ sail boats all under full sail departing what is a fairly narrow channel is a sight to behold. This is close quarter sailing at its best and something that has to be seen to be believed. Obviously the Hawaiians know how to sail and all credit to each and every one of them as I have no doubt that what they make look relatively easy is anything but!

We were, as some would know, planning to depart Hawaii in January for San Francisco until I received an email from Ken Williams questioning the choice of month. This had me revisit my Jimmy Cornell book only to find out that January is about the worst time for year to make the transit. Not sure what happened here but it would appear that I made a mistake! As such, we have replanned and will depart direct Vancouver in April/May/June 2016 which makes for a nice long stay here in Hawaii. Needless to say we will visit some of the islands while here so lots to do. Arrival in April/May/June to Vancouver sets us up well for the pacific north west for the summer of 2016.



Above, a recent weather chart showing some cyclones forming. Very weird this cyclone business and something we have ZERO experience with other than knowing that we want to stay well away.

We are all seriously loving Waikiki Yacht Club (“WYC”) and its surrounds. The yacht club itself has a bar which also serves food, a restaurant, a private swimming pool and even a smoking area outside (I know, I know!). The staff here, have all been very friendly and Brandon the marina dock master is a top guy and only too happy to help, which makes a nice change. He is certainly an asset to the club, and in fact, he could even become a friend if not for his love of fishing which clearly has ruled him out!

Pendana approaching Waikiki Yacht Club

Pendana above, arriving at WYC for the very first time.

We have yet to explore Oahu but are planning a few day trips shortly. Abi is off to San Francisco with Claire for a few weeks while Abi attends summer school (Claire will fly back after a few days), Bianca has started her summer program already and both girls are looking to join the sail club and tennis club. Claire is doing lots of organising and arranging flights here there and everywhere. Caesar the magnificent is, well, truly magnificent and enjoying the gentle Hawaiian breeze which massages his fur during the day and the cats are all AOK doing what cats do, which is absolutely nothing.

I can officially say that Waikiki Yacht Club and the surrounds suit the crew of Pendana down to the ground and while we loved Hilo, we are certainly feeling more at home here in Waikiki. The shops, restaurants, services and general buzz is exactly what we like and prefer to being on a remote south pacific island thousands of miles from anywhere. Both have their place but we know which we prefer!

Funnily enough, berthed in front of us is another Australian boat named Chasse Spleen and we were lucky enough to meet the owner yesterday who came past for a few drinks. We are all going out to dinner tonight for a chit chat and to meet the rest of his family. Chasse Spleen have been cruising on and off for the last 25 years with four children, two whom have left the boat now and twin 17yr old girls who remain. I have no doubt that dinner tonight will be interesting to say the least.

Chasse Spleen Waikiki

Australian vessel Chasse Spleen berthed ahead.

We were fortunate to have a visit from Electronics GOD, Mickey Smith and his new fiancée the charming Snow. Mickey, for those who don’t already know was the original owner of Pendana (then named Discovery) and the man responsible for setting up what is a truly remarkable and capable boat. In fact, Nordhavn themselves were so impressed with Mickey as a customer and what he did with Pendana that they offered him a job. Some 250 hulls later, Mickey has decided to take things a little slower and now resides in Waikiki.


Mickey Smith on Pendana in Honolulu

(L-R) Bianca, me, Snow, Mickey, Claire.

Mickey walked around the boat and knew every dial, every detail and I guess, why wouldn’t he, as he designed most of it. It was a little surreal! One could certainly feel the love and affection he had for his baby from miles away. Mickey will be back on-board soon to check on the new inverter we had installed after one of our Trace inverters died a few years ago as he wanted to make sure all was 100%. Be my guest Mr Smith!


Waikiki Yacht Club Boat

Me escorting Brandon back to the WYC after his failed attempt to return revamped fishing gear for just one more go……

Stay Safe


PS: Off to do some more stainless… watch out Spotless Stainless becomes addictive.

4 thoughts on “Pendana Arrives in Waikiki”

  1. Murray France

    SUBJECT: Re: Pendana Arrives in Waikiki
    Hi James
    Enjoy as always your news.
    Was a bit concerned to note the UNSEIZED shackle between anchor and chain!!!!
    Simple task James and not to be overlooked BUT to be constantly eyeballed each and every time you retrieve your anchor. You will be surprised how unseized shackles can slowly unwind the pin when anchored for some time and boat swings with tide etc.
    Stay safe.
    Chin chin
    PS am due in Coomera at GCCM in Sept for usual refit. Who attended to your stabilisers??? I have used Stella in the past but Nu Sims no longer there I understand!!!
    From: http://WWW.PENDANABLOG.COM
    Sent: ?Friday?, ?24? ?July? ?2015 ?8?:?23? ?AM
    To: Murray France

    REPLY>>> aha, I knew it wouldnt be long until someone picked that up, good on you Murray! In fact I was in the process of changing it… promise the shackle is always secured with steel wire. Will email you re other question but there name does begin with an S.

  2. Anthony Dodd (T2 International

    SUBJECT: RE: Pendana Arrives in Waikiki


    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: 23 July 2015 23:23
    To: Anthony Dodd (T2 International)
    Subject: Pendana Arrives in Waikiki

  3. SUBJECT: Re: Pendana Arrives in Waikiki


    My name is Rusty Bliss and I have enjoyed reading your blog for the last several months (years??). I also own a Defever 53 POC which is berthed on the Tennessee River and since we are primarily inland waterway cruisers, I have truly enjoyed your adventures.

    I am also a pilot for Delta Air Lines flying a B747-400 and often layover at the Ala Moana hotel across from the WYC and in the past I have had the opportunity to visit with Don and Sherrie Stabbart while they were staying on Starr at the WYC.

    I am sure you have a plethora of recommendations regarding places to eat, but I took Don and Sherrie to a local establishment called the Side Street Inn located just west of the Ala Moana mall. All the food is served “family still”so come with a big appetite. Another recommendation would be the “Home Bar”. Both places look like a dive, but I assure you the food is excellent (bountiful) and the service is great (a little more so at the Home Bar). Each place is within walking distance of the marina.

    I apologize for the intrusion, but I wanted to share a little information about the area.

    Enjoy your stay in paradise!!


    Rusty Bliss

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *