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Old 01-08-2007, 12:45   #1
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Best time from Cook islands to NZ

Hello everyone,

I am new on the forum and very pleased to further discuss with you. I am in the middle of my year off sailing on a 43 footer Beneteau. I presently have sailed from the Caribbeans to Panama. The trip will end in NZ in december 2007. Presently in Panama so, I would like to have advises from sailors that have made the leg from Polynesia to Auckland, NZ. For example, the best crossing period and why not a recommended route.

Cheers,
Le Brigde
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Old 01-08-2007, 13:11   #2
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I think there are some others here that can give real life experiance of this trip. So I shall not bore you with only hearsay. However, we are entering our Westerly season now and that carries on untill ruffly Dec. This can result in some rather "interesting" trips around the NZ waters and across the Tasman to Oz.
I do have a question however. What is the Panama transit like now. Is it safe or still dangerouse???
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Old 01-08-2007, 13:35   #3
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Hi Alan,

Thanks for your post. Concerning our crossing, everything went smooth. I did not have any perception of it being dangerous. Our pilot was competent so were the handliners. The only critical point is when entering the chambers. If there are still currents than can overwhelm the steering. Once the boat is tighed up, no more problems.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:20   #4
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Having done this trip three times now, I'd probably advise go as late as you can. Wait for settled trades and don't rush your leaving. We did last year and paid the price with 50 knots of SW - not a nice passage back to NZ. Boats that left in late November seemed to fair well last year. It may be in your best to employ the services of a local weather man called Bob McDavitt to do a weather routing service for you. He charges around $100 NZ and it is well worth it. I note you have a 43 ft Beneteau so your trip should be fairly fast meaning you can plan to miss a weather change. All the best. We are leaving Townsville in the next few days for New Cal and then back to NZ - might see you in the Bay of Islands NZ in December!
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:16   #5
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Bob Mac Davitt

Thanks Southernman,

I found Bob's email and also a couple sailing forums in New Zealand to get other opinions. Is there one you like best?
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Old 02-08-2007, 13:23   #6
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I think it is essential to discuss this with Bob. He is a Guru in regards to weather down here. The importance of talking to him is that NZ sits on the convergence Zone of Antarctic and Tropical air mass circulation. This means that changes in weather cycles have tremendouse influences in the weather patterns we see in this lattitude. We are goign through a change this year(can't remember which La Nina or El Nino) but it is a change from one to the other. I think we are experiancing a very different winter down here already and suggest or spring and summer maybe very different also. This will have a very big influence on the type of weather patterns and the direction they come across the Tasman Sea. Bob will be able to tell you what the expected trend is considered to be. You should find him very approachable, he's a hardcase kinda guy.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:18   #7
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Hey Wheels,is Bob the bloke that does "Long range "wheather forcasts?Also I think it's La Nina season.Mudnut.
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:37   #8
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Southernman, I understand the cyclone season "officially" starts Nov 1st. Would you advise leaving, say Tonga, later than that (given a good forecast). I'm in the process of planning this trip now - hope to leave UK next year and be in the Pacific maybe 09/10.
I've studied Cornell's World cruising routes, but it's good to get first hand experience. What would you reckon would be a good time to leave Panama west-bound?
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:04   #9
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According to long-time cruiser Jeanne Pockel (JeanneP, aboard “Watermellon”)
At: Hitchhiker's guide on sailing and cruising yachts across the oceans of the world.
Most yachts depart Panama for the S. Pacific between January and April

BUT

According to Ken Machtley and Cathy Siegismund (s/v “Felicity”)
At: http://www.svfelicity.com/articles/milkrun.pdf
... Cruisers following the seasons and heading to the Marquesas or Gambiers leave Mexico in mid-March to mid-May. Perhaps half of the PV crew left during the last couple weeks of March, most of the other half were more scattered throughout April and a few were in early-May. Leaving earlier is a good strategy for those headed for Fiji as it maximizes time in the tropics. Leaving later provides an opportunity to meet new friends from Europe that come from the Galapagos and often have tens of thousands of miles and years of experience...

See also:

Cruising the Coconut Milk Run ~ Ken Machtley and Cathy Siegismund (“Felicity”)
http://www.svfelicity.com/articles/milkrun.pdf

The Coconut Milk Run ~ Jan & Signe Twardowski (“Raven”)
The Coconut Milk Run
The Admiral’s Version of The Coconut Milk Run

Peter & Jeanne Pockel M/V Watermellon: MV WATERMELON
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