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Old 04-14-2007, 09:26 AM   #1
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Almost time to leave New Zealand for the South Pacific.

Plans are to leave Auckland on the 24th of April and take 5 days to reach Opua, NZ. It's only a distance of about 100 miles but I'll sail to several islands and anchorages along the way. This is the shake down cruise.

Leave NZ around 1 May, depending on weather. First stop Savusavu, Fiji.

Sail Fiji working west.

Vanuatu.

Solomons.

Also on the list but probably won't get there,

New Cal, Louisades, Nauru, Tuvalu.

Hope to spend cyclone season across the equator in Kiritibati and Marshalls. I'll plan this later in the year. I haven't even looked at the weather situation for this area in Novemeber.

I've been fortunate to have the same crew as last year. An Aussie woman who brings a sense of humour, a limitless knowledge of the South Pacific cultures, fantastic eyesight, healthy cooking and friendship. She's very special and I'm very lucky!

Plans are to post here, when possible, and update the travel picture.
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Old 04-14-2007, 09:44 AM   #2
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Have a great, safe voyage and PLEASE keep us updated on your progress.

Fair winds and following seas.
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:12 AM   #3
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Here is some WX info experienced on a passage from Vanuatu thru Kiribati, Majuro, Kwajalein, Phonpei to Saipan.

I departed Sola/Patterson Bay in the Banks Islands of Vanuatu (there is a Customs/Immigration office in Sola village) in mid October 2004 and enjoyed a great sail to Tarawa and Butaritari. I listened to Taupo Radio out of New Zealand which gave good coverage up to the equator. There is a person based in Fiji (Rag of the Air) who gives good weather Grib files etc..over the SSB nets.

Generally the winds were 10 to 15 knot SE Trades to the Equator.

Close to the Equator there are some very nasty dark clouded squalls with intense westerly winds that form late in the day and carry on through the night. Sometimes they pack 45 to 50 knots of wind but they move quickly so the seas do not build up much.

The South/ North Trans Equatorial Currents are narrow and don't seem to be a big issue for a sailing boat.

Westerlies were to be watched while at anchor in Tarawa, Butaritari and Majuro just haul anchor and move to a protected spot.

Kiribati to Majuro was medium to variable winds from ESE to ENE winds with some calms and thunder storms. The lighting and cloud formations were awesome!

After Thanksgiving on Kwajalein the weather I experienced strong NE trades almost everyday.

2004 and 2005 was a positive phase of the ENSO (El Nino event)

On December 10, 2004 a tropical storm Talas formed just south of Kwajalein and hit the anchorage with 55 to 65 knots max winds. Wind direction was ENE going to SSW but the island gave good protection.

Google Tropical Storm Talas and Typhoon Roke and you will get heaps of info on ENSO and what happens in that area during El Nino and La Nina events etc..

January 22, 2005 the trip to Phonpei was typical NE Trade wind sailing 20 to 25 knots with some rain squalls.

On March 9, 2005 I sailed for Saipan in strong NE Trade winds and on March 13 to 19 Typhoon Roke form over the Chuuk Islands.

Guam Coast Guard Radio gave hourly updates on the typhoon and it soon moved off to the NW and nailed Yap with 80 knts.

I was 400 NM south of the center and experienced maximum 30 knots but lots of rain feeder bands flowing into the eye.

Micronesia is not as relaxing a place to sail as is the South Pacific but you usually have the anchorages to yourself. The people on the atolls and islands are amazing and friendly. Fishing is the best ever! The diving can't be beat!

There were about 10 boats sitting out various cyclone/typhoon seasons in the Marshalls and generally had good things to say about time spent on Majuro.

Regards.
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Old 04-19-2007, 04:51 AM   #4
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Thanks for the information Smith. It's a good synopsis of the weather pattern. I'm hoping to stay farther away from typhoons then that!
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