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Old 21-04-2007, 11:33   #16
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In regards to the engine being on, people turn their engines on for lots of reasons. My neighbor uses his for hot water, and lots of people use them to charge the batteries, or when running stuff that is taxing on the power system.

Also, a lot of people put the engine on in foul weather just as a standbye in case they need the purpolsion.

The fenders got knocked loose by whatever tore up the genoa I'd guess.
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Old 21-04-2007, 13:45   #17
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That first post was quite emotional. I was dreaming about it last night after reading it. Plus my wife had seen the Ghost Cat off of OZ in the US news and had mentioned that before going to sleep. And that played a part in the dream as well.

So now I wonder? If they had a sea anchor on board??

What kind of hull is a MT-42, allowing it to get blown-down?? (sounds like it was broaching)

And, how would a cat have handled that storm????

It seems to me that once you're in a storm like that, that one doesn't worry about the destination but to deal with the conditions, adjust and ride it out. They must have not have been very far off shore?
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Old 21-04-2007, 15:37   #18
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Previous Charts...

I have found the Australian and Southern Pacific charts for 24 hours earlier.
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Name:	Weather NZ 11 April 2007 jpg.jpg
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Name:	weather soutern pacific 20070411 jpg.jpg
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ID:	1075  

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Old 21-04-2007, 17:54   #19
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A bit confusing Cam with two Chrises. I think the charts Chris 31415 has posted are the actual conditions at the time stated ie -2 hrs NZ.
His first chart for actual at midnight thursday is the same as the chart forecasting the conditions as at midnight thursday which appeared in the thursday am papers and which must have been released by late on wednesday evening.
Forecasts related to this would have been broadcast repeatedly throughout the next day. In my area it is continual but I don't know if it is so there. Even on VHF it would be given hourly.
Unfortunately I can't access archived actual forecasts, other than by the papers I have. However unless there was a series of very bad forecasters, it looks rather more like those involved relied on the previous days forecast, and did not listen to others on the day of departure.
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Old 21-04-2007, 17:57   #20
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I think there could be a case of no or little local knowledge.
It can take a surprisingly short amount of time for, say, that nasty wind shown in the post above just below Tasmania to hit the West Coast of the Sth Island. The weather down here/there can move very very fast.
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Old 21-04-2007, 19:11   #21
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I live in Nelson for half the week and the other half in Auckland - I tell you the weather was not good that day for leaving - you cannot trust the charts down here at all when it comes to a front coming through - they are an estimation at best The deceiving thing about the whole thing is that Nelson is protected from a lot of the weather that comes through due to the unique nature of the Southern Alps 'splitting' the weather patterns. That's why the weather is so good here in Nelson as we are protected. If you looked out the window before leaving Nelson you would have sworn it was a great day.
We were at the marina the day they left and certainly the warning signs were aplenty.
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Old 21-04-2007, 19:46   #22
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Thanks for the clarification guys...I now understand what you are saying and it certainly looks like they paid attention to an earlier forecast and were not diligent about getting the latest update. Those mb's are not 15-30 knt winds!
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Old 28-04-2007, 10:15   #23
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There are so many lessons to be learned here:

How many of us go to sea without securing our gear because the weather looks fine?

Why weren't the vents and hatches secured before the weather got really nasty?

I always have two clips on my harness .... one 2m line and one 1m line. I have no excuse not to be clipped on. I also run the jacklines across the coachroof rather than along the side-deck ..... so I'm not going to get swept over the side. With two lines on the harness, I can also cope with the jack lines being in three sections. Some die-hards would not even clip on ... or would say that the multi-section jack lines make moving around the deck too slow ----- personally I'm never in a hurry.

We can all get surprised by bad conditions, especially close to a coast. What matters is how we prepare for it, and how we manage the situation.

We can all be wise after the event .... and I do prefer getting my experience third hand.

I do hope that the crew of Aquarell continue to enjoy their sailing and many, many thanks for the posting.
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Old 28-04-2007, 22:44   #24
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Those isobars are not storm isobars. Gale warning at best. Our conditions down here are regulary wrongly forecasted by met service. The conditions can change very quickly and their 3 day or even 1 day forecast can be miles out by the time it comes.
Met Service is my home page and I study these charts every day. I sailed back from the South Island last Sunday to the North Island of NZ and even then you could tell there was some wind going to be coming mid week. Not the sort of wind in the post above though. I wonder if the wind and wave height was exaggerated slightly. We have only had 3 to 4 metre swells max in the Cook Strait all week and the wind has not gone above 35 knots.
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Old 28-04-2007, 22:49   #25
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The closer the isobars, the stronger the winds.
This varies with latitude ... on a weather map with isobars 4 hectoPascals apart, a spacing of about two degrees latitude (with straight isobars) means fresh winds about Auckland but a gale over Fiji. This incident happened 300 to 400 NM South of Auckland at 41deg south. The wind in these isobars would not be as bad as most of you in the middle of the world would think. They would still be gale force but do not indicate a storm.
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Old 29-04-2007, 06:54   #26
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As seafox indicates ...
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File Type: pdf 04-29-2007-ISOBARS.pdf (266.5 KB, 64 views)
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Old 29-04-2007, 09:16   #27
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Seafox/Gord...thanks for that...I had no idea there was such significant wind speed/isobar/latitude interaction.
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Old 29-04-2007, 11:07   #28
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I am not sure what conditions in Cook Strait two weeks later have to do with it.
They reported reasonable conditions in Cook Strait but deteriorated conditions outside that. Presumably beyond the shelter of the alps.
The weather maps shown do not show the low moving rapidly down the East Coast and deepening which would have augmented the southern depression.
In any event we do not know the Thursday forecast, nor the actual conditions but can surmise that it changed from the 15-30 given on Wednesday.
It may well have just been gale force but that is 34-47 knots over a long fetch and in relatively shallow water. By Friday they report much worse conditions. F12 not F9.
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Old 29-04-2007, 15:02   #29
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Who said Cook Strait conditions two weeks later? I was referring to the same time period.
If you cannot handle these conditions you should not leave coastal waters and especially not try to cross the Tasman.
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Old 30-04-2007, 01:23   #30
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The land formation of NZ has a huge bearing on weather conditions as well. It squeezes, bends, lifts, drops, and alters direction of any weather front that approaches the country. Highs and lows in other area's around us can join in a create large are'as of air mass movement in directions that aren't easy to predict. We do have 7 day forecasts, but 7 days out are totaly inaccurate. They only give you advance warning of what the depression or high maybe forming and then we watch the week to see how it all forms. 5 day forcasts tell us a likely postion. 3 day forecast will give us a pretty good idea of if we are getting clear skies or a front or what ever. But a 24hr forecast is the only accurate part we can ever rely on here. Of course, time of the year has a big say on that as well. On average, we have a front come through from the deep south at about a 46 to 72 hr frequency. How the front crosses the Tasman and hits NZ depends on the high pressure zones coming across the higher lattitudes of Oz. Once you sail into and around NZ coastlines, current flows then make major, abrubt and deadly changes to sea conditions..... As I learn't in the weekend. Sailing out of Nelson is not so easy in itself. The long spit creates a shallow basin that sea states can be down right short and steep and nasty. Once out from there, you have the huge Tasman current and swells swepping into the basin that bottle necks to Cookstraight and the devision of NZ's North and South islands. Lage mountain ranges on both Islands make the wind severly compressed on both sides of the country. If the pressure is being forced through the Straight and out into meeting the otherside of the front in the Tasman side around cape Egmont, (S/V aquarelle was in this area) the sea can become nasty very quickly. The air pressure also has an affect on sea state. Low pressure causes the sea to rise and the wind to compress on the surface and the waves can get big. All in all, we have a very unfriendly weather scene here, one to take great repect of.
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