As of 0115 GMT yesterday, Cochise and crew were well into their latest passage…
We thought the following email correspondence between Steve and weather forecaster Bob McDavitt (48 hours ago) may be of interest to SetSailors:
Bar 1008.8, TWS 16knts, TWD 090T, seas 1.5/2.0 m
8/8 cloud cover, cumulus/stratus, occasional line squalls.
COG 095T, SOG 9 knots
We decided to proceed as we wanted to test the boat, now fully loaded for the first time, in the normal SE tradewinds sea state. We have been running for three hour periods at various RPM levels, getting some good data for future reference.
Our present course takes us just north of Neiafu, Tonga, 355 nm from here, we could duck in if required.
Given the weakened forecast for the low and the extra miles chasing the fair winds, coupled with the small risk of the low spinning up, we thought this the most prudent course of action.
So the question is how the does convergence looks to you now? When does it form, and roughly what are its coordinates? Will there be a band of weakened or reversed trades?
Note that if we had sufficiently favorable weather we might just go on to the Marquesas.
At this stage what we would like from you is a synopsis of what is happening, and what you see over the next ten days or so, and the risk, however small, of having to deal with a TD/TS.
Hi there Steve,
OK may as well continue past north end of Vava’u and onto Papeete direct. Take care going thru Oneata passage (reefs/extra swell).
Satellite imagery shows that the convergence zone is now congealing and being formed by an upper tough into a Low, the Low will descend from aloft and finally reach sea level…Seems to be happening net 12 hours and to west then south of your path. Strong NW winds aloft take this surface low quickly SE.
As for the convective rain, well, most of it is to be from middle cloud (not very squally) and the rain clouds are expected to mainly pass over you tonight.
From tomorrow/Tuesday onwards you are likely to have less cloud and mainly dry conditions.
As for the winds: You should already be noticing the swing to NE, and as the rain clouds pass, by Tuesday morning a swing to NW.
Then there is a period of “anti-trade” W/SW winds as you go east and the Low, to south of you, also may go east. These last as far as 160W, and from then on the tradewinds return—to help you test the boat in tradewind conditions.
SO here is updated table in Fiji time. Add two hours and take off a day to get Papeete time.
Boat speed at start a little less than actual at the start.
LT – HH:MM| Lat:/ Long: | hPa|lull~avg~gust|Brg-Kt |TWA|DRIFT|mm|Sig~ocnl
N of Vava’u
N of Moorea
Route distance 1764.95nm| route time 8d 07h 37m|||