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Old 11-11-2015, 14:58   #1
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NZ to Tahiti in early May

We are planning to leave Nelson, NZ in early May. Bound for the Australs then Society Islands. Information or passage reports for this trip seem very few and far between. Please share any information and experience of this passage you may have. Ie: what time of year? general route taken? weather conditions encountered? boat type and size? length of passage? weather router used? etc. Cruising in the "wrong" direction can be a lonely affair.
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Old 13-11-2015, 16:04   #2
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Re: NZ to Tahiti in early May

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Originally Posted by multihullnz View Post
We are planning to leave Nelson, NZ in early May. Bound for the Australs then Society Islands. Information or passage reports for this trip seem very few and far between. Please share any information and experience of this passage you may have. Ie: what time of year? general route taken? weather conditions encountered? boat type and size? length of passage? weather router used? etc. Cruising in the "wrong" direction can be a lonely affair.
There are a handful of boats that do this trip every year. I have a friend that sails an older Lagoon 55 (back when they were sporty) that has done the trip 4 times. As I was sailing to Fiji last May from NZ, I was listening to two boats on SSB (believe they were both monohulls) doing the NZ-Tahiti route.
The jist is to head E between Lattitude 38-40S then turn N at desired Longitude. However, the route varies with yearly trends and weather forecasts/experienced on passage.
If you're in the SW Pacific you can pick up Gulf Harbor Radio on SSB (google for schedule). GHR also has lots of good weather info on their website. Also, Bob McDavitt the Kiwi weather guru has a weather blog (free), weekly email list (free), and private passage planning($).

Gulf Harbour Radio, ZMH286 | Yachts in Transit
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Old 13-11-2015, 16:24   #3
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Re: NZ to Tahiti in early May

As above.
Go as far South as you can to get into the Westerly's then swing up under your destination.
Dont leave it to late in the summer unless you like being cold
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Old 14-11-2015, 13:53   #4
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Re: NZ to Tahiti in early May

Can't go too early either, cyclone season for FP extends into April I believe
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Old 14-11-2015, 15:20   #5
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Re: NZ to Tahiti in early May

Check out Jimmy Cornell's latest Cruising Routes of the World. And noonsite.com can be a useful place to get info on many places and routes.Noonsite.com —

We looked at going that way from Whangarei instead of selling the boat or shipping her back to the US. But we sold instead. Definitely a challenging area and route but seems doable if not terribly comfortable. Definitely off the beaten path. Should be very interesting to visit the Australs. Most friendly people we met in French Polynesia were in the Tuamotos and I hear as good or better in the south.
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Old 14-11-2015, 21:15   #6
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Re: NZ to Tahiti in early May

Charisma did the passage this year. Their blog is Sail Charisma | The Adventure Continues!
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Old 16-11-2015, 18:17   #7
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Re: NZ to Tahiti in early May

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Charisma did the passage this year. Their blog is Sail Charisma | The Adventure Continues!
An interesting blog...one thing I noticed was that on their NZ-Tahiti passage and on their previous Fiji - NZ they had fuel issues. You can't have too much fuel... esp if you are wanting to jump across the variables.

I was 'glassed out' on passage from Wellington to the Chathams in March/April once.... motored maybe 75% of the way.

I think Charisma's original plan was good... just head east until you are under Tahiti and then hang a left.

You don't need to go down and find the westerlies.... the sweet spot is just under a high with 15/20 knot NWlies.

I would leave a bit earlier than May, not a lot, just a bit...
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