Bob Blog 30 Oct 2016



Compiled 30 October2016

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.

The Tropics

A reminder that the NOMINAL South Pacific cyclone season starts on Tuesday. Nothing expected this week.

After a few busy weeks, the tropics seem to be taking a rest for now. There are a few small tropical lows around but nothing of much significance tonight.



Rain for the past fortnight from

Rain accumulation maps look similar between last week and the previous week, except for less rain last week in the ITCZ and the North Atlantic (than previous week).



Weather Zones (see text) as expected mid-week on Wednesday (GFS model) showing wind, isobars, current, swell black arrows / Sig wave height purple lines, swell and wind waves, SPCZ and STR.

SPCZ=South Pacific Convergence zone.

SPCZ this week is expected to go thru a venting process and send an bundle of wet tropical air across Fiji tonight and across Tonga on Monday then off to the southeast as a Low. There may be squally showers in this, so avoid departure from Tonga on Monday.

After that the zone should be reasonably quiet for the remainder of the week.


Tropical accumulated rainfall for next week from

Subtropical ridge (STR)

A HIGH is travelling east across central NZ on Monday—this is typical of a summer pattern, but wrong month, so may bring some frosts, unwelcome in vineyards at this stage.

Next high is likely to cross Tasman sea along 35S from Tuesday to Thursday and fade west of NZ/ From Thursday onwards there should be a weak ridge along 30 to 35S across the whole South Pacific. Not strong enough this week to produce any squash zones.

Travel from Tahiti to Tonga:

Avoid departing from Tahiti area on local 1to 2 Nov due light winds and a weak passing trough. Winds looks OK for getting to Tonga, but there may be a trough in the Tongan area early next week (7/8 Nov) so avoid that for arrival.

This is the time of year that yachts are staging themselves in Tonga (or Fiji or New Caledonia) and waiting for the right weather pattern for sailing to NZ or Australia.

The Island Cruising Association are supporting the All Points Rally, from all major parts of South Pacific to Opua ending in a one-week seminar 16 to 20 November in Opua. Boats joining the rally are assisted with weather info, resources and planning tools to help make the passage to NZ as easy as possible. On arrival participants are welcomed to Opua and entertained with a week of entertainment and seminars on a range of topics. This rally is FREE thanks to the assistance of Main Sponsors Bay of Islands Marina and Boatyard and the Opua business community.


Further west there is the GO WEST Rally. Again from any port (most are leaving from Noumea) this time to BUNDABERG, with welcome week starting 6 November 2016.


Travel between Tonga and NZ:

South Pacific convergence zone or maybe an upper trough expected to cross Tongan area on Monday= possible squally showers, southerly winds gusty and lightning. May as well stay put for that, Remainder of week looks OK for departure, the next rough is expected early next week.

The arrival times to avoid getting S of 30S to NZ are Mon to Wed 7 to 9 Nov

Travel between Fiji and NZ

Diwali Public holiday on Monday

South Pacific convergence zone or maybe an upper trough should clear off by Tuesday morning then OK to depart for remainder of the week. .

The arrival times to avoid getting S of 30S to NZ are Mon to Wed 7 to 9 Nov

Travel between New Caledonia and NZ

Public holidays on Monday and Tuesday (All Saints) so can’t check out until Wednesday,

Weather traffic along the way –there’s a mediocre trough on Tue/wed 1/2 Nov , then a weak low on Fri/sun 4/6 Nov, Avoid getting south of 30S Mon to Wed 7 to 9 Nov.

Travel for New Caledonia to Australia

Public holidays on Monday and Tuesday (All Saints) so can’t check out until Wednesday,

A trip to Bundaberg goes through a passing mediocre trough, no strong winds but a period of variable winds to challenge you.

Going to NSW, the weather traffic along the way is the challenge of active cold front on Sat 5 Nov followed by strong to gale southerly winds and rough seas, and a trough off Coffs on Fri 11 Nov.

For a tailored forecast contact me at bob AT


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