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Old 08-11-2012, 21:36   #31
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Re: Tonga Storm

I was erring on the pride side! But as I said I have just changed my philosophy. The LA Firm could be good getting me past the mexican Hurricane belt next July. Cheers again.
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Old 08-11-2012, 21:53   #32
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Re: Tonga Storm

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I was erring on the pride side! But as I said I have just changed my philosophy. The LA Firm could be good getting me past the mexican Hurricane belt next July. Cheers again.

I have my own private weather guru, my mentor for 35,000nm, which I rely on for second opinion each and every time I deliver a boat. The only pride I feel is getting her to port safely..what ever that takes.
Nice thing about the various weather routers, they will update you en route should conditions change. They just need a way to contact you..
They give you lat/lon waypoints and take into consideration how much fuel you carry and your boat's polars.

Many long distance offshore racers routinely use routers for weather as well as fastest routing specific to boat's polars.
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Old 08-11-2012, 22:21   #33
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Re: Tonga Storm

SOunds good advice, so since I am pride less :-) "boat's polars" are?
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Old 08-11-2012, 22:33   #34
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Re: Tonga Storm

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SOunds good advice, so since I am pride less :-) "boat's polars" are?
The polars are the theoretical speed performances of a boat, on all points of sail, given it's design, sail inventory, at various true wind speeds and true wind directions. The routers note all of your boats 'specifics', your sail inventory, range in motoring and then recommends a course given all those factors. Sailing home to LA from Hawaii, knowing the amount of fuel on board will advise the routers how much of the Pacific High to avoid or to fish and motor through it. They are NOT always correct.. weather models lie... You can get your boat's polars from your sailmaker. Also the boats polars can be loaded in to various software, ie Expedition Pro, and you can do the same thing as a router...well, almost..

Boats & Polars | BLUR
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:48   #35
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Re: Tonga Storm

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I am not sure I remember right but what is the stretch? 1k Nm or so?

How far forward is a wx window valid? 48 hours or so?

A friend of ours sailed NZ to the islands and back 5 times without accidents! Another lost his lovely and (?) seaworthy double-ender there.

Every year (OK, maybe nearly every year) there are boats busted and lost on this passage.

Avoid, unless one is in a very strong, very seaworthy boat.

b.
Yes, it was around 1000 nm (took a week).
Accuracy of weather forecasting seems to have improved dramatically and a reasonable forecast can currently be obtained a week ahead. Not foolproof, anything can crop up in that time, but odds are improved dramatically if a good week is selected in the right season. One huge key for safe crossings is not to be driven by any time constraints.

And I personally think all week long ocean passages should be avoided in anything other than a seaworthy boat, but I am just conservative that way.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:59   #36
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Re: Tonga Storm

One thing they did against their better judgement was press on, when they had planned to stop at Minerva. From what the female crew said, the reason was that another boat they were cruising in company with had not stopped.

She said the conditions most of the time were 40 knots but with steep seas on top of big swells. At the time they were rolled it had piped up into the 50-60 knot range.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:28   #37
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Re: Tonga Storm

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One thing they did against their better judgement was press on, when they had planned to stop at Minerva. From what the female crew said, the reason was that another boat they were cruising in company with had not stopped.

She said the conditions most of the time were 40 knots but with steep seas on top of big swells. At the time they were rolled it had piped up into the 50-60 knot range.
Minerva Reef??????? Not that far south of Tonga and OK in reasonable conditions, but no way you would want to be anchored in there at high tide with any decent wind. The reef totally covers over!
I feel so very sorry for the loss of their boat and their injuries. I know they must just have been terrified, a horrific experience. But the decision to cross during this time was a bad call .
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:12   #38
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Re: Tonga Storm

I interpreted her to be implying that firstly that would have kept them north of the system which rolled them, and secondly if Minerva did become untenable they could have scooted back to Tongatapu for better shelter.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:41   #39
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Re: Tonga Storm

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I interpreted her to be implying that firstly that would have kept them north of the system which rolled them, and secondly if Minerva did become untenable they could have scooted back to Tongatapu for better shelter.
Yes, I suppose it may have kept them north if the system was a lot further south. "Following another boat" is generally not a good reason for proceeding though. I won't say any more, its always easy to be wise in hindsight and sadly I am sure they have their regrets now .
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:08   #40
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Re: Tonga Storm

I agree. It seems to me the supposed benefits of cruising in company generally boil down to one: moral support, which is intangible at best and can be a snare and a delusion at worst.

It seems to me the best sort of moral support comes from having good people on your boat, and the second best comes from people you can turn to who are far away and removed from the petty anxieties.

Boats in company offer neither the presence on board to share the physical workload, nor the detachment and dispassion which can be invaluable and hard to come by.

And they add a sort of "schedule pressure" which this woman seemed to be implying warped their judgement about the inadvisabity of pressing on.

A boat in company could be handy for towing you if you threw a rod and were becalmed, I suppose... can't say that's something I worry about, I'd rather carry plenty of durable food.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:17   #41
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Re: Tonga Storm

This news story may be of interest.

BBC News - Sailors Stephen Jones and Tanya Davies rescued in Pacific off Tonga
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:30   #42
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Re: Tonga Storm

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I agree. It seems to me the supposed benefits of cruising in company generally boil down to one: moral support, which is intangible at best and can be a snare and a delusion at worst.

It seems to me the best sort of moral support comes from having good people on your boat, and the second best comes from people you can turn to who are far away and removed from the petty anxieties.

.
Spot on! 'Buddy' boating can be a real mess...imho, actually causes more stress worrying and focusing about the other boat.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:02   #43
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Re: Tonga Storm

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most people leave tonga in october
Depends on the weather in any particular year. In October 2008 weather was not good in October -- either no wind or storms. More than 30 boats left Tonga the first week of November. We arrived 11 Nov 2008 in Opua and many boats arrived after us.

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Old 10-11-2012, 07:31   #44
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Re: Tonga Storm

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
I agree. It seems to me the supposed benefits of cruising in company generally boil down to one: moral support, which is intangible at best and can be a snare and a delusion at worst.

It seems to me the best sort of moral support comes from having good people on your boat, and the second best comes from people you can turn to who are far away and removed from the petty anxieties.

Boats in company offer neither the presence on board to share the physical workload, nor the detachment and dispassion which can be invaluable and hard to come by.

And they add a sort of "schedule pressure" which this woman seemed to be implying warped their judgement about the inadvisabity of pressing on.

A boat in company could be handy for towing you if you threw a rod and were becalmed, I suppose... can't say that's something I worry about, I'd rather carry plenty of durable food.
+1 having a good strong crew that can hand steer and keep the boat moving,when the auto pilot is overpowered,or having to lie a hull due to fatigue will go a long way in preventing knock downs.

failing that if short handed a droge or parachute so you can lay bow to the waves is a usefull bit of kit ,though running off,hand steering with a line on the stern quarter would be my first choice in storm conditions,with breaking waves.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:39   #45
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Re: Tonga Storm

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Depends on the weather in any particular year. In October 2008 weather was not good in October -- either no wind or storms. More than 30 boats left Tonga the first week of November. We arrived 11 Nov 2008 in Opua and many boats arrived after us.

Judy
yes it is a bit of a catch 22,the later you leave the better the chance of good weather as you arrive in nz,but also the greater the chance of tropical lows forming in the north with very little warning,as happened with this couple.
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