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Pendana: Experiencing Waikiki / The Wake Of Gilligan (BLOG)


Pendana has finally arrived at Waikiki Yacht Club (“WYC”) in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii 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!

The view of our arrival.

The view of our arrival.

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.

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.

Brandon, the new owner of our fishing gear.

Brandon, the new owner of our fishing 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 (below) came across my desk recently. A large painted mural of Pendana in the Bahamas.


James Knight from Yacht-tech in Florida and Nordhavn guru decided to prove his love for Pendana, and her crew, and have her immortalized 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.

That building behind the boat is belongs to WYC.

That building behind the boat is belongs to WYC.

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!

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.

 Note the purple, those would be the cyclones.

Note the purple, those would be the cyclones.

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!

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!

 Neighbors from the homeland.

Neighbors from the homeland.

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 17-year-old girls who remain. I have no doubt that dinner tonight will be interesting to say the least.

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.

Sailing right out of the harbor!

Sailing right out of the harbor!

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!

For more Pendana and an extended look at their stay in Hawaii, visit their blog, here