Tonga around 8 a.m. and had sailed 71 miles when
we received an email from our weather router advising us to ABORT this passage,
so we immediately turned around and returned to . Bob McDavitt is our weather router for this
part of the world. He lives in Tonga and
knows the weather patterns here really well.
For a reasonable fee, McDavitt provided us with a route to NZ which
would have taken us 9 days. McDavitt's
route took advantage of winds at certain positions and gave us a total passage
of about 1140 miles...the straight line is about 1000 miles so this is fairly
efficient routing. A problem occurred when
one of the Low Pressure areas we planned to pass through about mid-way to NZ
intensified on the weather modeling computers.
These modeling computers now expect this Low Pressure to become a
Tropical Low with Gales. McDavitt sent
us an email which we luckily received with only 10 hours into our passage. We really do not want to spend 24 - 36 hours
at sea in a Gale with 50kt winds so we took his advice to ABORT and turned
around. New Zealand
We arrived back in Nuku'alofa around 5:00 this morning. Just a 21 hour day sail in not too pleasant conditions because of the SPCZ activity. We are back in Tongatapu and expect to try again Tuesday 28 October, weather permitting.
Re: the earthquake last weekend
Received an email from a friend in the States and learned that the earthquake we experienced last weekend was a 7.1 and the epicenter was 94 miles from where we were anchored. We felt 2 aftershocks on Wednesday afternoon. Still have heard no local comments about this earthquake. The local inhabitants seem to think nothing of it.