Before setting sail offshore, I used to think Sea Currents occurred in broad, long streams along the surface. And whereas the Gulfstream may be such case, most often offshore currents happen in the the form of relatively small, swirling eddies. And they can play a relevant role on a skipper’s routing, as they did during our recent passage between Fiji and New Zealand. Read on:
“Weather Window my %#%$# !!!”, I used to say jokingly for the first days pursuant to our arrival to New Zealand, after a very uncomfortable passage from Fiji.
Jokes apart, there was a lingering question in my mind: “Was it indeed a Weather Window, or Not?”
This is what I will explore on this post, in addition to sharing our leanings from this episode.
In late November 2017 we sailed from Fiji to New Zealand, roughly a 1,000-mile voyage. The rationale for doing it was covered here:
This is a technical passage, crossing an area prone for heavy weather and significant currents, and we prepared accordingly:
The passage was indeed safe, as planned, but far more uncomfortable than expected. We analyzed it thoroughly afterwards, as covered here:
- On the Meantime …
- What Happened ?!?
- Watch Those Currents !
- Using 500mb Charts for Forecasting and Passage Planning
- Variability of Long-Term Forecasts
[Sunday, 23:00 Fiji Time, Saturday 05:00 EST, Saturday 08:00 Sao Paulo]
The weather window is wide open to us and we will be leaving soon.
We clear out of Fiji tomorrow, Monday local (that will be Sunday in the Americas), probably stay overnight on a bay nearby, and then depart at first light on Tuesday local time (again, Monday in the Americas).
Wind and sea conditions are favoring a nearly straight-line route to New Zealand.
We plan to arrive at the Bay of Islands in NZ’s North Island.
It is going to be approximately 1,100 miles to get there, and it shall take us just under 9 days to cover the distance.
We will try to post updates on the blog and share on Facebook (this post is actually a test for it). But please, bear in mind technology may not cooperate at times.
We will also try to update our daily position at Gulf Harbour Radio’s Website. They have a cool interactive map with our position on it. Follows the link —> www.yit.nz/yacht/pesto
The forecast is stable, and we should have a good passage.
See you on the other side !