Bob Blog 26 Sep

Bob McDavitt’s ideas for sailing around the South Pacific.

Disclaimer: Weather is a mix of pattern and chaos; these ideas are from the patterned world.

Compiled Sunday 26 Sept 2021

Equinox was as 7:20am NZ time on Thu 23 Sept. This marks the instant that the overhead sun is directly over the equator, shifting from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere.

In New Zealand the change to NZDT Daylight time occurred at 2am this morning (3am NZDT). The clocks sprung ahead an hour and so for us today is a 23hour day.

The change to daylight saving occurs on different dates for the nations around the South Pacific so I think it’s a good idea for you to have a summary for reference

Date Place Daylight saving time zone

Sun 26 Sep New Zealand UTC+13 (NZDT)

Sun 26 Sep Chatham Islands UTC+13h45mins (CHADT)

Sun 3 Oct New South Wales, Tasmania UTC+11 (AEDT)

Note that Queensland, Western Aus and Northern Territory do NOT observe Daylight saving.

Sun 3 Oct Lord Howe Is. UTC+11 (AEDT) (30 minute ahead)

Sun 3 Oct Norfolk Island UTC+12 (AEDT)

Sun 14 Nov Fiji UTC+13 (Fiji Summer Time FJST)

Note that Fiji reverts to standard time on Sun 16Jan 2022.

No changes in New Caledonia, Tonga or American Samoa or Vanuatu.

Samoa did have some daylight saving during the last few years but NONE PLANNED this summer.

October is the month that yachts plan to leave the tropics for the approaching South Pacific Cyclone Season, nominally on 1 November (starting at low risk). Planning for departure from Fiji or French Polynesia is complicated due to requirements for PCR Covid tests, etc. and so it is useful to have a summary of the various national holidays for next few months.

From East to west, LOCAL DATES

French Polynesia Mon 1 Nov All Saints Day, Thurs 11 Nov Armistice Day

Cook Islands: Tue26 Oct Gospel Day

Niue: Tue Oct 19 to Fri 22 Oct for Constitution Day celebrations, Fri 22Oct is Gospel Day.

American Samoa Mon 11 Oct Columbus Day

Samoa Mon 11 Oct White Sunday (mondayised)

Tonga Thurs Nov 4 Constitution Day, Mon 6 Dec King Tupou I Day

Fiji Mon 11 Oct Fiji Day, Mon 18 Oct Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday (starts in evening),

Thu 4 Nov Diwali.

Vanuatu Tue 5 Oct Constitution Day, Mon 29 Nov National Unity Day

New Caledonia Mon 1 Nov All Saints Day, Thurs 11 Nov Armistice Day.

New Zealand Mon 25 Oct Labour Day.

Australia: Mon 4 OCT Labour Day (ACT, NSW &SA), Queen’s Birthday (QLD)


The latest cyclone activity report is at and Tropical Cyclone Potential is from


Cyclone PETER faded near Bermuda and then TERESA rose from its remnants.

SAM seems have more strength than PETER/TERESA but should stay offshore.

MINDULLE may well sideswipe eastern Japan this week.

GULAB is expected to fade over Northeastern India.


Weather Zones Mid-week GFS model showing isobars, winds, waves(magenta), Rain (Blue),

STR (Subtropical Ridge), SPCZ (South Pacific Convergence Zone) and CAPE (in pink)


CAPE mid-week as seen by ECMWF and GFS from


SPCZ=South Pacific Convergence zone.

The SPCZ is expected to more active than last week, and slowly shift south onto Fiji mid-week then drift north again.

Low south of southern Cooks tonight is expected to peel off to the southeast by mid=week and associated trough may cross Tahiti around mid-week.

Trough associated with L3 is expected to travel eastwards across northern Tasman Sea late in the week and reach New Caledonia by the weekend.


clip_image009Rain Accumulation next five days from


LOW1 is a complex low south of Southern Cooks that should fade as it moves SE.

HIGH1 starts the week east of NZ and should intensify as it tracks to the southeast.

LOW2 is expected to form off the North Island East Coast on Monday and deepen to below 995 neat Chatham Island by Wed then weaken as it goes off to the southeast.

HIGH2 over 1025 tonight is expected to travel northeast across the Tasman Sea and the eastwards along 35S across northern NZ and can be used to sail west or east across the Tasman Sea.

LOW3 is expected to move off New South Wales from Thursday and deepen in central Tasman Sea this weekend and may then travel northeast onto Northland early next week. Avoid.


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