We are Sailing - We are Sailing

Southern Princess
John & Irene Hunt
Mon 26 May 2008 22:07
13:36S 160:18W
Such excitement, after motoring for the past 72 hours, we have turned the noise OFF! The wind has shifted around just a touch and we are sailing wing on wing towards Suwarrow. Storyteller is alongside flying their Parasail, a large spinnaker with a parasail slot in the centre of it. We are both doing the same speed at around 7.5 knots; And heading for our destination. We should be in by noon tomorrow.
That's it for today except for the weather forecast for the next leg which is favourable. We will probably depart Suwarrow Saturday for Niue. As you can see with such expert weather forecasting, it does make passage planning easier.
With the passage of a trough to your south the trade winds should remain
relatively only moderate for the next 12 hours or so. The direction should
swing between the east and east southeast with speeds mostly in the 8 to 12
knot range. You will probably find the trades will build gradually so that
for the last 12 hours or so into Suwarrow the wind speeds are likely to be
more in the 12 to 16 knot range - hopefully just enough to give you enough
boat speed to give the motors a rest. With the ridge axis being so close the
thunderstorm activity should stay away through to Suwarrow.

For the next leg I would recommend heading towards Niue starting on Friday
morning your time. The winds look like being relatively weak through
Wednesday and Thursday both westwards to the Vava'u Group and also towards
Niue with winds generally under 10 knots and the direction, for the most
part, more ENE - so motoring conditions, which you wish to avoid. However,
the trade winds should really build and set in on the route towards Niue
during Friday. If you were to get away on Friday morning you should find the
trades, which should have swung around to the SSE and still be only in the
5/10 knot range at departure time, will swing to the southeast and be up to
around 12 to 16 knots within 12 hours. The trades should continue to build
during the next 24 hours and you are likely to have ESE winds in the 18/23
knot range, with a few surges to 25 knots, through Saturday, Sunday and
Monday. Apart from the persistently breezy conditions and passing trade wind
showers, there is nothing severe on the horizon, assuming you do not mind 25
knot ESE winds that have a long fetch - meaning the trade wind swell will be
well developed after the first 24 hours of the winds picking up. So you
should use next to no fuel on the next leg for a Friday departure (apart
from the first few hours). The winds remain much softer if you choose to
head to the northern Vava'u group - mostly in the 12 to 16 knot range.

I hope this helps with the planning