October 22nd, 2013

All Points Rally info & Clearance Procedures NZ – 2014

“All Points Rally 2014”

 

WELCOME ABOARD, below is a copy of the information sent to the fleet, there will be another update shortly.

But first, many thanks for joining the All Points Rally 2014 to Opua

UPDATE 5 – Added 16th October 2014 – Weather, SSB Sked times and frequencies, Position Reporting.

Info Pack 5

In this info pack –
Weather
Radio
Entry to NZ requirements

 

There are a number of way you can report your position or get weather information while on passage to New Zealand

Radio/ SSB

If you wish to report your position by voice over the SSB the NZ Maritime Radio network will take your position.
Skeds should start on your departure with Taupo Maritime radio. You can sign on any time with Maritime Radio on any of their calling frequencies, see list below.

Taupo Maritime Radio voice frequencies (kHz)
Calling 2182 4125 6215 8291 12290 16420
Working 2207 4146 6224 8297 12356 16531

Participants are encouraged to submit position reports via email to to Maritime NZ using the email address below.

maritime@kordia.co.nz
The format for the SSB skeds with Maritime Radio is as follows –
POSITION REPORTS:
All that’s required is;
Latitude, Longitude, (remember East or West of the Date Line,) Boat speed, True or Mag,
Heading being steered, wind direction and strength & all OK.
Making it as brief as possible so that “Tail End Charlie” doesn’t have too long to wait.
When making your report please do so in single figures so as not to confuse.

Skip the decimal points so that;
Latitude consists of 4 figures
Longtitude consists of 5 figures
Once you’ve signed onto the skeds with Maritme Radio either by SSB or email you must continue to provide reports until you have completed your passage AND signed off otherwise you may find yourself the subject of a Search and Rescue!!

Skippers can also opt to report their position to Yacht in Transit – YIT.co.nz
How it all works!!

YIT is an interactive tool developed for cruisers by cruisers. It’s simple register your details at yit.co.nz to join the Yacht in Transit community.

Reporting is done via a simple email text stream and can be viewed by friends and relatives free, although there is provision to make a donation if you like the service.

Weather

The other service YIT provides is Gulf Harbour Radio. Run by ex cruisers Patricia and David from SV Chameleon. David is a Meteorologist and gives a roundup of weather for the SW Pacific and more specific weather for those that have posted a position via email to the YIT  server.

Gulf Harbour Radio are not there to take your position but will assist if you are in trouble.

For Weather as only David can give it – 8116kHz or 8752 kHz – Monday to Saturday NZST 7:15am

For full details or to register visit the Yacht in Transit site at www.yit.co.nz
Customs have asked us to issue the following, again.
All boats are reminded of the requirement to lodge with NZ Customs an “Advance Notice of
Arrival” form a minimum of 72 hours prior to arrival in New Zealand waters.
“When entering New Zealand waters you are required to clearly display the International
Pratique Q-flag (yellow).

Entry into Opua
Most likely you will have aimed for a point at 30S directly north of NZ (dependant on weather) so will be heading down the northland coast rather than coming straight in.
It’s best to stay seaward of all the islands on the way south from North Cape, the Cavalli Islands stand well out from the coast and are best given a wide berth. Also stay outside the Nine Pin at the entry to the Bay of Islands then head for a point approx 35°12.2’S 174°08.35E (this point is well inside the Bay of Islands so please don’t use it as a destination waypoint) from this point you should be able to pick up the sectional light at Waitangi if arriving at night or the Brampton Starboard hand mark during the day. Follow the lights and beacon in all the way to Opua. The Q berth is located on the outside of the Opua Marina and also act as the wave break, attenuator, for the marina. Boats should tie up on the secure area at the Northern end of the breakwater marked by yellow Q signs and separated from the moored boats by a security gate just south of the floating toilet servicing the boats on the Q dock.
Boats can tie up on either side of the dock but should be aware there can be significant tide running in line with the dock and if a NE wind is forecast the outside of the dock gets a significant fetch.

Call Russell radio or Maritime Radio on Ch16 on the way in and they will advise customs of your arrival. Boats will be cleared as quickly as possible from approx 0900 each morning. There are no charges entering New Zealand.

Once you’ve cleared.
The Marina Office can be contacted by VHF on ch 16 and ch12.
Be sure to tune in to ch 77 VHF at 0800 hrs each day for details and confirmation of times & venues!
There’s a Quiz each weekday during the event with some great prizes.
All Events are at the Marquee in the car park between Cater Marine and the Marina Office where you will need to come for registration.
The marquee will be erected on Friday 14th November and Registration at Opua starts on Saturday 15th .

Why do we need to register??
Registration at Opua is for both you and the rally organizers and is where you will be given all the goodies you will need for the week along with a full explanation of how everything works. It also allows us a chance to meet you and find out a bit about you.

Doyle sails  (The Island Cruising Association use and recommend Doyle for Sails Canvas and Upholstery.)

Andy Pilcher – Sail maker and Sail designer from Doyle sails will be in the Opua during the All points Rally.

For any work that needs to be done at the loft Andy will provide a free pick up and delivery service he will also be able to provide quotations for new sails

In addition for Participants registered in the Rally- Doyle sails NZ is running a special 15% discount for new sails ordered during the rally – these sails will be delivered in March 2015

If you wish to contact Andy now he is available on andyp@doylesails.co.nz

Weather
By now you should be looking at how the patterns are forming, how quickly the systems are coming through. Regardless of what’s planned in the islands you should be looking at taking the first weather window, a good passage is well worth missing out on a few events for.
Maritime radio information.
Taupo Maritime Radio/ZLM (MF/HF)
The MF/HF (SSB) Maritime Radio Service is provided by Taupo Maritime Radio, whose antennae are on a site in the central North Island.
A continuous watch is kept on all calling frequencies. The calling and working frequencies are shown below.
Taupo Maritime Radio voice frequencies (kHz)
Calling 2182 4125 6215 8291 12290 16420
Working 2207 4146 6224 8297 12356 16531
For vessels near New Zealand, the lower frequency bands (in MHz)generally provide the best radio communication with Taupo Maritime Radio.Taupo Maritime Radio Digital Selective Calling (DSC) frequencies (kHz) Distress 4207.5 6312.0 8414.5 12557.0 16804.5
MF/HF propagation can never be exactly predicted for all places, times and conditions. For guidance on the best requencies to use, mariners are advised to keep a close watch on the Ionospheric Prediction Service (IPS) warnings in Notices to Mariners.
MF/HF broadcasts
The following broadcasts are made on MF/HF frequencies from Taupo Maritime Radio. A preliminary call is made on the calling frequencies, with broadcasts then made on the working frequencies. All times are in New Zealand Local Time.
Broadcast type Times Frequencies (kHz)
Calling Working
Coastal warnings and bulletins (including Chatham Islands)
0133 1333 0533 1733
2182 4125 6215 2207 4146 6224
Coastal reports 0803 1203 2003 2182
4125 6215 2207 4146 6224
Oceanic warnings* 0303 0333 1503 1533
6215 8291 12290 16420
6224 8297 12356 16531
Oceanic weather bulletins and warnings
0903 1003 2103 2203
6215 8291 12290 16420
6224 8297 12356 16531
* For daylight saving time, add one hour.
Notes:
„ Bulletins contain the weather situation and forecast.
„ Reports contain the weather situation at selected coastal sites.
„ Warnings include navigational, ionospheric and meteorological warnings.
WWW.MARITIMENZ.GOVT.NZ Warnings
Meteorological warnings are issued by the New Zealand Meteorological Service, and navigational warnings are issued by MNZ (from RCCNZ) and the New Zealand Hydrographic Office. Warnings are broadcast on VHF by Maritime Radio and on SSB by Taupo Maritime Radio as soon as possible after they have been received. The warnings are repeated on SSB following the next silence period, and then at scheduled times until they are cancelled or replaced. All warning information is available from Maritime Radio stations or Taupo Maritime Radio on request.

News Letter no 1 “All Points Rally 2014”

Welcome to the first info pack for the 2014 “All Points Rally” to OPUA. This rally is sponsored

by Cater Marine, Seapower, Northland Spars and Rigging, Bay of Islands Marina (formally Opua Marina), Ashby’s Boatyard, the Opua Business Association and the Island Cruising Association and is organized by All Points Rally Ltd. We are hosted while in Opua by Cater Marine, Opua’s number one chandlery, in the very large marquee adjacent to the chandlery and opposite the Marina office.

Opua is a small but friendly port with big city amenities in the beautiful Bay of Islands, one of New Zealand’s most outstanding cruising destinations. There is, quite frankly, nothing to do with a cruising boat that can’t be dealt with quickly, efficiently and at the right price in Opua.

This is a fun rally and the prizes you will have seen on the posters and on the net are drawn, not won by the fastest

or most expensive boat so everyone has an equal chance of winning one of the major prizes on offer.

If any of your cruising friends are thinking of joining the rally, please encourage them to do so as soon as possible remember they will need to be registered to be in the prize draw.

Rally numbers are already looking good for this our SEVENTH All Points Rally and the festivities in Opua ARE SET TO BE A HOOT.

When to depart?

Departure dates are not set and are entirely subject to weather and the choice of the skipper, remember the disclaimer box you ticked on the entry form, the sponsors, organizers nor the ICA take no responsibility for anything that happens to vessels or crew participating in this rally it is entirely skippers responsibility. We will however be forwarding you shortly some resources to help your planning and give you a heads up on what to expect with the weather.

Skippers should plan to have their vessels in Opua by 12th November. Rally festivities start on the 15th. There is no harm in being early to Opua, there’s plenty to do and great food and a beer at the Opua Cruising Club.

Boats leaving from Nuku’alofa, Tonga should anchor  at Pangaimotu, see “Big Moma”, Ana and Earl will help get your clearance sorted at Vava’u see Greg at Café Tropicana for detail.

Boats leaving from the Nadi/ Lautoka side of Fiji  should depart from Vuda Point Marina who will arrange clearing customs and immigration please contact reception@vudamarina.com.fj . For those departing from Savusavu, see Dolly at the Copra Shed, Dolly is a whizz and will help get you organized. For boats departing from Vila see Lamara at Yachting World Vanuatu or call on ch 16 VHF.

For yachts departing from New Caledonia, info on clearance can be obtained from the Port Moselle Marina Office or by calling our Port Captain, Bernard Hamon on 812142

Radio Skeds will be advised closer to departure

There are no Clearance charges into New Zealand.

REMEMBER, ALL VESSELS DEPARTING FOR NZ MUST GIVE NZ CUSTOMS 72hours NOTICE OF ARRIVAL, this can be done either online, by fax or by email, see www.customs.govt.nz for details.

For any persons on passports that require a visa to enter New Zealand please ensure you procure these BEFORE your departure.

NZ inward clearance documents are available at the customs office at your port of departure and from the ICA Port Captains at each of the departure points. They are also printed in the Opua Gateway Magazine.

 

With these emails we will endeavor to send as much info to you as possible to the shore email you have provided. There will be times however that we may need to contact you on your boat email. We appreciate this type of email as we are ourselves dedicated cruisers but in order to make sure you do receive these emails could you white list the following emails john@islandcruising.co.nz and windflr@uuplus.net

Your next newsletter will cover the following,

Customs arrival info

Details of the programme of the festivities week

Details of competitions

Additional info on departure details from departure ports

Other info as it comes to hand.

Remember, we’re here to help, if in doubt, please ASK. We are only an email away. john@islandcruising.co.nz

 

Our main sponsors for the All Points Rally 2013 are:- (We use, and can highly recommend ALL our sponsors)

CATER MARINE (CHANDLERS) http://www.catermarine.co.nz/ Ph +64 9 402 8292 Fax +64 9 402 5420 If you need anything in the islands before you head south Caters a masters at getting it up there.

sales@catermarine.co.nz

 

 

Main Sponsors – We use and recommend all our sponsors.

ASHBYS BOATYARD OPUA http://www.ashbyboats.co.nz/ phone 09 402 7483

OPUA MARINA http://www.opuamarina.co.nz/ email enquiries@opuamarina.co.nz 09 402 7124

NORTHLAND SPARS AND RIGGING www.sparsandrigging.com email info@sparsandrigging.com (09)

4026280

SEAPOWER Ltd PH 09 402 8820 email sales@seapower.co.nz

INSURANCE (offshore/ coastal and third party) Baileys Insurance

CARS FOR CRUISERS phillipzisakis@yahoo.com ph 021 037 222

No2 Newsletter All Points to Opua Rally 2014

Entry into Opua

Entry into The Bay of Islands and Opua is well marked. The leads, sectional light, (green, white, red sectional

light) is visible from well out in the bay and there are channel markers all the way to Opua

wharf and Marina. The Q dock is situated on the floating breakwater to the marina and boats

can tie up on either side.

Customs have asked us to issue the following.

All boats are reminded of the requirement to lodge with NZ Customs an “Advance Notice of

Arrival” form a minimum of 72 hours prior to arrival in New Zealand waters.

“When entering New Zealand waters you are required to clearly display the International

Pratique Q-flag (yellow).

All vessels must proceed directly to the designated Quarantine area. Only under a declared

emergency and with Customs approval should vessels consider stopping before clearance.

Customs, Quarantine and Immigration clearance must be completed prior to going ashore.

No persons other than a Quarantine or Customs officer is allowed to board

your craft, nor can any person, animal or article leave the craft until you have been given

full clearance;

* Depending on your arrival time, Customs and Quarantine may require all persons to remain on board overnight before clearing you the following day;

* Don’t throw any waste or foodstuffs overboard while you’re in New Zealand waters or while you are moored. Use designated quarantine disposal points;

* Keep all food and animals secure until your vessel has been inspected by Quarantine officers;

To go ashore without prior clearance is an offence. Contact with other vessels in port prior

to clearance is also prohibited.”

The next newsletter will contain details of the radio schedules, etc. You will receive a list

of the boats registered in the rally just before departure date in late October.

Below is a list of Service providers that we use and recommend.

All Points Rally:- Yacht Services.

OPUA

ASHBYS BOATYARD OPUA http://www.ashbyboats.co.nz/ phone 09 402 7483
BERTHAGE
OPUA MARINA http://www.opuamarina.co.nz/ email enquiries@opuamarina.co.nz 09 402 7124
MOORINGS NORTHLAND Email mooringsnorthland@xtra.co.nz
BOATBUILDER                                                                                                                                                                            ASHBYS BOATYARD OPUA http://www.ashbyboats.co.nz/ phone 09 402 7483
BILL KIDMAN 09 402 6885 bill@kitchensandcabinets.co.nz
CHANDELRY
CATER MARINE (CHANDLERS) http://www.catermarine.co.nz/ Ph +64 9 402 8292 Fax +64 9 402 5420
sales@catermarine.co.nz
GARHAUER NZ LTD email sales@garhauer.co.nz Ph 09 402 6231
ELECTRICS                                                                                                                                                                                        ENERTEC MARINE Sales: Unit G, 5 Miro Place Albany Auckland New Zealand  Ph. +64 9 414 4730                Fx. +64 9 414 4731                                                                                                                                                          SEAPOWER Ltd PH 09 402 8820 email sales@seapower.co.nz
MARINE ELECTRICS 09 402 7177 info@marineelectricsopua.co.nz
ENGINEERING
OPUA ENGINEERING email opuaeng@xtra.co.nz ph 09 402 7131
INSURANCE
BAILEY’S INSURANCE Phone: 09 444 8860 or 0800 898585 Fax:     09 443 4479 Email:  neil@baileysinsurance.co.nz
MECHANICAL
SEAPOWER Ltd PH 09 402 8820 email sales@seapower.co.nz
OUTBOARD SERVICING
BAY of ISLANDS MARINE SERVICES info@marinecentre.co.nz Ph 09 402 7876                            SEAPOWER Ltd PH 09 402 8820 email sales@seapower.co.nz
PAINTING
OPUA MARINE PAINTERS 1 Baffin St, Opua 0200, New Zealand +64 9-402 7274
RIGGING
BAY OF ISLANDS SPARS AND RIGGING www.sparsandrigging.com email info@sparsandrigging.com (09) 4026280
ENGINEERING
SEAPOWER Ltd PH 09 402 8820 email sales@seapower.co.nz
OPUA ENGINEERING email opuaeng@xtra.co.nz ph 09 402 7131
STAINLESS WORK
NEW ZEALAND STAINLESS 0272 905 381
PRIOR MARINE 09 402 6191 primar1990@gmail.com
WATERMAKERS
OPEN OCEAN WATERMAKERS http://openoceanwatermakers.co.nz/ Phone:+64 9 402 7131 Mob: +64 21
253 3035 Email: oceanwatermakers@yahoo.com.au
OTHERS.
CANVAS
OPUA CANVAS 09 402 8588 opuacanvas@gmail.com
DOYLE SAILS Andy Pilcher email andyp@doylesails.co.nz Ph 0212220559
MARINE ENGINEERING MECHANICAL etc.
SEAPOWER Ltd PH 09 402 8820 email sales@seapower.co.nz

JB MARINE Ph 09 402 8375 mob 027 498 4842 email service@lowesmarine.co.nz Baffin St opp the Opua Cruising Club
MEDICAL (Kits etc)
YACHT LIFE LINE email Vanessa@yachtlifeline.com Ph 09 302 5222
INFLATABLES
SOUTHERN PACIFIC BOATS email info@southernpacific.co.nz Ph09 309 9111
SAFETY GEAR (Life Raft servicing etc)
SAFETY AT SEA email sales@safetyatsea.co.nz Ph 3099111
SAILS
DOYLE SAILS Andy Pilcher email andyp@doylesails.co.nz

 

 

Departure date is drawing near, Boats leaving Vava’u, please contact Greg at Café Tropicana on ch 16, from Pangaimotu please contact Big Mama for info on clearance.

Boats leaving from the Nadi/ Lautoka side of Fiji  should depart from Vuda Point Marina who will arrange clearing customs and immigration please contact reception@vudamarina.com.fj

Vanuatu departures please contact Sam and Jess at Kaleva Yacht Services.

All boats leaving from New Cal, . Clearance for New Cal will be late October in Noumea, vessels wishing to join leg 5 of the Pacific Circuit Rally and depart from the Isle of Pines are welcome to do so, costs apply.

Boats leaving from New Cal should be in Noumea Wednesday, for briefing at CNC yacht Club and Diner at 6:00pm

Customs in NZ have asked that I again remind ALL SKIPPERS of the requirement to give 72 hours

advance notice of ARRIVAL on the NZCS340 form prior to departing their last port before leaving for NZ.

Any boats intending to call at Norfolk Island on the way south from Vanuatu or New Cal also

need to provide advance notice to Norfolk Customs on customs@admin.gov.nf

 

Now for the lighter side.

FUN AND GAMES

Spot prizes will be given for

“FINE DINING” photo evidence needed, best culinary extravaganza while at sea, photo shop

doctoring of entries will be fined (a rum for the organizers)

“BEST BRAG” best tall story

“BIGGEST FISH” photo evidence with date stamp reqd.

“BEST PROTEST” protest must be in writing and can be against any other yacht in the fleet,

prize will go to the most creative entry.

All written entries must be submitted by email to us prior to the 12th of November 2013 any

pics, please send them to ica@iconz.co.nz (or give us a copy in Opua) not the boat email as

they will be bounced by the filter.

Remember get out there and tell all your friends to register to be in the draw for the major

prizes. We may just have a prize for the person who introduces the most new registrations.

 

Departure Dates from the Islands – Participants are encouraged to leave on the best weather window even if this means leaving early!! Skippers should be looking at weather from the middle to late October to gauge the frequency of the weather migration.

 

            Tonga-                        25th Oct.  to 5th November 2014  Nuku Alofa

25th Oct.  to 3rd November 2014 Vava’u

Fiji-                              25th Oct.  to 4th November 2014 Vuda Point Marrina

Vanuatui-                   25th Oct.  to 3rd November 2014 Port Vila

New Caledonia-         25th Oct.  to 5th November 2014 Noumea

 

Program – Opua

 

            Wednesday 12th November-                 Arrival of yachts.

Thursday 13th November-                     Arrival of yachts.

Friday 14th November-                          Arrival of yachts

Saturday 15th November                        Registration

Sunday 16th November                          Registration

Early bird BBQ Pot luck

Monday 17th November                         Registration for late comers

Official Welcome & Cocktail Evening,

Tuesday 18th November                        Wine Tasting – Omata Estate

BBQ Pot Luck

Amateur Comedy night

Wednesday 19th November                  Culture Night at Waitangi

Thursday 20st  November                     Bus Trip to Kerikeri & Waipapa culminating at Fat Pig Winery

BBQ

Amateur Night.

Presentation by participants of stories, songs, best fish.

Friday 21st   November                          BBQ hosted by Ashby’s Boatyard –  Prize Giving

Saturday 22nd   November                     Caters Trade Day – Passport Prize Presentation

.

 

There will be a cover charge for some events, the bus trip and Waitangi Show are subject to

numbers so if you would like to book please let us know.

ISLAND CRUISING ASSOCIATION Membership is only $45NZ per annum per address (boat). Upon

joining you get a VIP card that gives you discounts at many of the marine trade suppliers in

Opua and NZ plus a host of other benefits. Check it out at www.islandcruising.co.nz

HAVE A GREAT PASSAGE, remember, departure is entirely up to the skipper, take the first

weather window even if that gets you to Opua early.

 

Passage Planning- SW Pacific to NZ
Now that you’ve made the choice to head to NZ for the summer let’s make that decision an easy one to fulfill.
There are a lot of myths surrounding the passage to New Zealand from the pacific islands. Most are the result of inexperience and lack of knowledge. I’ve done the trip personally now 37 times and only had one really bad experience, the very first trip. The effort though is well worth it, NZ has some of the best cruising outside of the tropics anywhere in the world and if you need work done on the boat Opua is a great place to have it done.
I decided after that first trip there had to be a better way so I started gathering some information. The first thing I learned is don’t just pick a date and go. As it turned out boats that left just 3 days after we did had a great trip.
Weather is the governing factor when making this passage and your strategy will vary depending on your departure point. What doesn’t change is the nature of weather in this region. In the South West Pacific the weather systems migrate from west to east, low follows high follows low in a never ending succession. Coming across the Pacific from French Polynesia the trade winds blow south east and east with the occasional hiccup to the north and north west as a front or trough passes through. These troughs (unless you are being affected by the SPCZ) are usually associated with a low pressure passing to the south. The strength of the trades at the STR (sub tropical ridge) is dictated by the center pressure of the high pressures passing below and the latitude of its center. These are the generalities and I will give you some events to look out for that have an adverse influence on weather for a passage at the end of this article.
The effect a high pressure system has on the trades depends on two factors, the center pressure and the latitude of the center. A 1020 center pressure high will give 15 to 20 knot trades at the STR (where the high meets the inter tropical low), as the center pressure increases so do the winds along its top edge. This area of wind the STR is the squash zone between the high pressure cell and the inter tropical low which is the general area of low pressure either side of the equator. The latitude of this squash zone is dictated by the latitude of the center. For example a high of 1030 with a center at 30 south will give significant winds (30 to 35 knots) from 15s to 25s with the wind decreasing the further south you travel. This same high centered over the middle of New Zealand will have lower winds on its top edge (20 to 25knots) but spread over a larger belt. This high is also likely to have a larger area of little to no wind in its center. The high pressure centers tend to trend south as summer starts in NZ.
As the high pressures migrate east the direction of the winds change. In the trade wind belt this variation is less pronounced but as you travel further south and move away from the influence of the STR the winds will tend to follow the rotation of the systems, both highs and lows. Highs rotating in an anticlockwise direction and lows, clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
As you travel further south the effect and intensity of the frontal bands associated with each low are magnified. The majority of low pressure cells during October and November migrate along under Australia and tend to pop north east in the Tasman, cross NZ and migrate to the east. All low pressure cells will have a frontal band originating well north of the system and rotating around the eastern side of the low, to its center. The closer to the low and the deeper the low’s center pressure will dictate how much punch it has. As the front moves through the wind direction will change, (as much as 90 deg) usually to the west and southwest with a disturbed flow. Rain is usually associated with a front with clearing showers behind. The strength of the wind in this area is determined by the pressure gradient. There will also be large variations in wind strength around rain cells.
So to summarize, the more intense the high the more wind you will get on its edge and the punch from a frontal band is greater the closer you get to the low. We also know the wind direction around a high is going to change as the high moves through and this is more pronounced the further south we are. We know further that as the high migrates through it will be followed by a low and its associated frontal band.
In the weeks leading up to your passage we need to be looking at the speed that the systems are coming through. This will be between 5 and 8 days typically. An 8 day cycle is easier to plan for but short is OK too, you just take a different approach. Now however is where we need to consider where we are departing from.
Departing from Tonga.
Tonga, the most eastern departure point has some advantages and some disadvantages. From here we are looking to leave in the top of a high pressure as the wind swings from south east towards the east. But being so far east means that once the wind is in the east the high pressure below is also well east, you will only have its influence for a short time. The advantage is that you can use Minerva reefs as a stop off point if required and sit for the next window. From Minerva you are only 800 miles to NZ at an average of 5.5 knots or 130 miles per day this will take 5 to 6 days. Again it’s likely you won’t be able to do this in one weather system so you need to plan to have a frontal system somewhere along the way. This is going to have less punch if you are still north of 30 deg south and with the wind direction changing to west and southwest behind the front the plan is to have put in enough westing so that you have cracked sheet for the last leg into NZ. We usually plan to aim for a spot directly north of North Cape, New Zealand’s most northerly point, at 30 south. This means quite a dog leg from Tonga but is well worth the effort. If things change as you head south then the strategy can be changed. If you do decide that the high is moving slowly enough that you change your mind and head straight for NZ, make sure you can get there before the front comes through because those lovely NW winds you are enjoying will be right on the nose after the front passes. You are also likely to get an uncomfortable 18 hours as the front passes. It’s this decision to take the shortcut that causes most of the horror stories you will hear about.
So in a nut shell, leaving Tonga. If you plan to stop at either North or South Minerva (North is a more secure anchorage) then wait until a high pressure ( of around 1020 to 1025 centre pressure) is giving an easterly flow. You should be 2 to 3 days to Minerva with the wind tending northerly when you get there. Because you will be looking to put some westing in, on the next leg, you can leave from there on the front of the next high when the wind is still in the southeast. Depending on your progress and how fast the high is moving will dictate your strategy as you progress south. Remember it’s better to take a front at 30 south even if you have to hove too for a day and wait for it, better still use the time to get further west. Remember the old expression, west is best.
Departing From Fiji
Fiji on the other hand doesn’t have the advantage of a stop on the way and is the longest of the passages at 1260 miles, so you will need to leave a little earlier as the high starts to fill in; you are still looking for a high of around 1020 to 1025 centre pressure. This will undoubtedly mean leaving Fiji in a little more wind than most would like but again you will want to get westing in from here too, so ease those sheets and go for it. There is quite likely to be a squash zone along the coast of Viti Levu if you are leaving from the Lautoka area, this usually starts to drop 12 to 18 hours out. By leaving on the front of the system you are also more likely to run through the middle of the high as you progress south where winds will be light. Your strategy forward from here will be dictated by your use of the motor. If you have plenty of diesel and don’t mind the donkey clattering away put peddle to the metal and start heading for the same point as described above, 30 south directly north of North cape. If the high is slow and you will make it in before the next front then great, go for it. You should get strengthening northerlies and northwesterly winds on the back of the high. Remember when it swings to NW the front is imminent. Regardless of how you think you are doing, don’t vary your approach too much. If you want to cut the corner and you feel you have the time, change your waypoint from the one above but make North Cape your next waypoint. The fronts have a tendency to jump up from down south very quickly, if you are hugging the Northland coast by then you will be in relatively protected waters.
Departing from Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
Vanuatu and New Caledonia departures can be regarded as having the same strategy. Leaving from Vila, unless you wait for easterlies (when the high is directly below) you will be hard pressed to get past the Isle of Pines on port tack. From there you are looking to head for Norfolk Island. There is no need to be hard on here as the high will go through and give NE, North and then NW before the next system/ front comes through. We have waited at Norfolk for the systems to pass and reached into NZ on west and SW winds, on the beam.
Tips and Tricks
Things to look out for. If you are leaving later than early November keep a good lookout for anything with a closed isobar in the tropic region to your west, if you see one DON’T leave until it passes or disappears. As you get later the likelihood of low pressure cells forming in the coral sea and particularly just south of New Cal increases. If there is any chance of one of these lows forming on your passage don’t leave.
General strategies, look for a high of between 1020 and 1025, get west, take fronts north of 30 south, motor if your speed drops and don’t cut the corner unless you are sure of getting in before the next front. The only other advise I can give you is to pick just one weather source. If you allow yourself to get into groups that are discussing weather and they are using different sources you’re in trouble, we call this analysis paralysis, you may never leave.
Get the right Info.
There will be a weekly weather commentary available to rally participants from New Zealand’s weather guru, Bob McDavitt — you can get it at http://weathergram.blogspot.com or via email: send an email, no subject needed to query@saildocs.com, with message
SEND http://weathergram.blogspot.com
For those that are looking for a more personal service please email
bob@metbob.com

We also use and recommend PredictWind for weather information, there is a 20% discount link on the ICA home page for this service.

 

 

Still to come.

additional info on departure as it comes to hand

Cheers

John & Lyn Martin

Island Cruising Assoc.

john@islandcruising.co.nz

 

Clearance Procedures NZ

New Zealand now has a two year term for the Temporary Import Exemption (TIE) for overseas yachts.

Clearance into Opua

Entry into Opua

Entry into The Bay of Islands and Opua is well marked. The leads, sectional light, (green, white, red sectional light) is visible from well out in the bay and there are channel markers all the way to Opua wharf and Marina. The Q dock is situated on the floating breakwater to the marina and boats can tie up on either side.

All boats are reminded of the requirement to lodge with NZ Customs an “Advance Notice of Arrival” form a minimum of 72 hours prior to arrival in New Zealand waters.

http://www.customs.govt.nz/news/resources/forms/Documents/NZCS%20340.doc

“When entering New Zealand waters you are required to clearly display the International Pratique Q-flag (yellow).

All vessels must proceed directly to the designated Quarantine area. Only under a declared emergency and with Customs approval should vessels consider stopping before clearance. Customs, Quarantine and Immigration clearance must be completed prior to going ashore.

No persons other than a Quarantine or Customs officer is allowed to board your craft, nor can any person, animal or article leave the craft until you have been given full clearance;

* Depending on your arrival time, Customs and Quarantine may require all persons to remain on board overnight before clearing you the following day;

* Don’t throw any waste or foodstuffs overboard while you’re in New Zealand waters or while you are moored. Use designated quarantine disposal points;

* Keep all food and animals secure until your vessel has been inspected by Quarantine officers; To go ashore without prior clearance is an offence. Contact with other vessels in port prior to clearance is also prohibited.”

For a full list of Customs ports see the list at the link below.

http://www.customs.govt.nz/about/contactus/ports/Pages/default.aspx

For Clearance forms click the link below.

http://www.customs.govt.nz/inprivate/arrivalbyprivatecraft/yachtsandsmallcraft/Pages/default.aspx

 

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