Pendana: Completing The Pacific Crossing To Alaska - PassageMaker

Pendana: Completing The Pacific Crossing To Alaska

After some 2,230 nautical miles we have finally made it to Kodiak, Alaska, and in doing so, have officially crossed the entire Pacific Ocean ... all 7,700 nautical miles of it (our total route distance).
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June 6, 2016:

After some 2,230 nautical miles we have finally made it to Kodiak, Alaska, and in doing so, have officially crossed the entire Pacific Ocean ... all 7,700 nautical miles of it (our total route distance).

We have had great days at sea and some pretty dreadful days overall during our Pacific crossing, but one thing is for sure that the sense of pride, satisfaction and accomplishing a goal by ALL on Pendana is on par with nothing any of us have experienced before. Just to think, one family, a very small motor boat, the world’s largest ocean and we have crossed it! Are their smiles from ear-to-ear? There sure as hell are!

Pendana departing from Hawaii.

Pendana departing from Hawaii.

I have always said, satisfaction in life comes from achieving goals set, however ridiculous those goals may be. Doing nothing seven days a week, 365 days a year is a sure fire way of allowing negative feelings to enter one’s life and corrupt ones views. As human beings we all need, we all must have goals to accomplish if we are to feel a sense of satisfaction, pride and achievement – it’s that simple.

When we first raised the idea of crossing oceans, even I thought it was ridiculous but as time progressed and planning took hold we soon realized that it was possible so long as we wanted it enough and were prepared to do the hard yards to achieve the goal. We all have doubts but those doubts can now be laid to rest as here we are on our tiny little boat tied up in Kodiak, Alaska!

I must say that I am incredibly proud of Bianca and Abi for sticking with it and achieving what for some must seem a rather odd thing to do. I truly feel that they to now realize and appreciate what it is that they have done and are basking in the satisfaction of a job well done. Maybe now they both truly appreciate that everything in life is possible. This will in itself, provide them both with a compass for their lives yet to be lived and provide the necessary drive to get things done.

 Our route across the Great Ocean.

Our route across the Great Ocean.

I am also incredibly proud of my wife Claire (Commander Claire) whom, god-bless her has always looked at life being a glass being half full. Out of all of us on board Claire is probably the one who hates the idea of long passages than most (Yes, even more than Abi!) and yet, she is the one who complains the least. Claire is, as you can imagine, thrilled to bits that the Pacific and its crossing is now officially behind us.

To my beautiful girls and lovely wife, WELL DONE, WE DID IT!

By  day 10, the view can begin to wear on you.

By day 10, the view can begin to wear on you.

So, the crossing for Hawaii to Kodiak took a total of eleven days, six hours and was without doubt the best crossing we have ever had. From the eleven days we only had one day of head seas which proved a little uncomfortable with the remaining days being either following, beam or just forward of the beam seas. Average wind speed for the trip was 14.1 knots with the majority coming from between 270-340 degrees. Average seas would have been 3ft (basically calm for us) with the biggest seas at around 12 feet. We also enjoyed two days of complete and total calm with mirror finish seas and no wind at all. Pendana consumed an estimated 1,750 gallons of fuel (to be confirmed) and didn’t roll more than 16 degrees to port and 11 degrees to starboard (not including our twenty degree roll when the engine shut down). Overall, we had a dream run, a blessed run, a run that people only read about and a run none of us will soon forget.

For those not following along on Facebook will not know that we did have one incident while at sea which was an unauthorized engine shut down.

Unauthorised Engine Shut Down

At 6:00pm local time on Monday the 6th (KDAK), I had just risen from an hours nap, Joey was doing his end of watch engine room check, Claire was on watch in the pilothouse with Chase and Abi and Bianca was downstairs playing with the cats. This was when the event occurred.

Our first sightings on an American Bald Eagle.

Our first sightings on an American Bald Eagle.

As I exited the master cabin, I noticed Joey in the engine room so stopped to say hello when all of a sudden the familiar hum of the Cummins N14 stopped. Very quickly we identified the issue was with the battery switch on the stairs leading into and out of the engine room. I then scrambled back to the pilothouse to the view of Claire, Chase and Abi looking a wee bit nervous to say the least. Within seconds the engine was running again and the TRAC stabilizers were doing their job once more but not until we experienced one or two rolls to port and starboard while we lay dead in the ocean.

Joey and I then then went back downstairs to the engine room to check and double check everything and in doing so noticed that even the slightest touch on the 24V engine start battery switch would cause a shutdown, which is precisely what happened when we tried to remove the safety toggle from the switch. Oh no, not again.

Back upstairs I went with the speed of a gazelle back into the pilothouse to the stunned faces to the audience waiting. Seconds later we were up and running and both Joey and I reassured the now nervous crew that we knew exactly what the problem was and that it won’t happen again. I am not sure they understand why we shut it down on purpose the second time but we needed to know what caused the shutdown in the first place.

So in short, as I was talking to Joey on the stairs leading to and from the engine room he must have knocked the start switch with his elbow causing the initial shutdown. The shutdown occurred because it would appear the fuel solenoid is held open when it sees power and shuts off when it loses power which seems a ridiculous way to wire this up to me and I will investigation further once in Kodiak. Never a dull moment when at sea!

The majesty and beauty of this place if hard to summarize.

The majesty and beauty of this place if hard to summarize.

It’s time to now relax, soak in the moment and enjoy all Kodiak has to offer as we won’t be here long with Seward and Prince William Sound yet to be explored but not before I share a few pictures of Kodiak, Alaska.

I must say the beauty of Kodiak has to be seen to be believed. We arrived on one of the best days they had this year to a mirror finish harbour with snow-capped mountains in the background. Concentrating on the job at hand was made harder by this stunning scenery and the escort of Puffin Birds who had decided to follow Pendana in.

A pivotal moment: Bianca shutting doen the engines after our crossing.

A pivotal moment: Bianca shutting doen the engines after our crossing.

Kodiak Harbor is a fishing harbor and very much a place of work. Boats moving about here and there the only issue being is it is not a big harbor and our marina that lay just ahead was also not without it space restrictions.

There is one symbol that is the USA and that is the American Bald Eagle. High on our list of must see birds these magnificent animals graced us with its presence on the very first day.

Anyway it’s now time to sit back, relax and explore Kodiak and all it has to offer.

Thank you for following along on the trip and thank you for all the lovely comments and emails we have received. A special thanks to FB friend Tim whom provided daily updates on our position in relation to certain cities both port and starboard. Tim, we all loved them!

Take care now let’s see if we survive our bear encounter!

Pendana tied to in St. Paul's Harbor.

Pendana tied to in St. Paul's Harbor.

Follow more of Jame's adventures, and see more images of the trip, on his website, here

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