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Fiji to New Zealand

By Sue Richards last modified Jul 16, 2008 03:06 PM

Published: 2008-07-16 15:06:38
Topics: Pacific Ocean South
Countries: Fiji , New Zealand

Hello,

My grandson in single handing his 27' Albin Vega in the S. Pacific. He is now a few days out of Samoa.

He is an avid reader and owns the Jimmy Cornell books describing ocean passages of the world.

He knows the passage from Fiji to New Zealand can be dangerous. From your book he is convinced that late October to early November is the best and only time to make this passage.

I have talked to sailors who say any time before November is OK. Is the month of September ruled out?

Can you help us?

Love your site and my grandson treats your books like the Bible.

Thanks,
Marvin Thomas

Marvin,

You are right: the leg from Fiji to New Zealand can be difficult, especially in a 27 footer. So I would not recommend an early start (September - as I did myself) but late October or early November. The best thing is to start from Western Fiji and stay slightly west of the direct route, as any bad weather would most likely come from the SW, then turn W and usually NW.

Please convey my best wishes to your grandson!

Regards,

Jimmy Cornell

If he decided to leave his boat in Samoa or Fiji when would be the next window for a safe passage to New Zealand? March? April? May?

Marvin,

Pago Pago in American Samoa is a safe place to keep the boat during the cyclone season, but I do not know how safe an unattended boat would be.

The other option is Vuda Point marina in Fiji. It is safe, and there is an international airport (Nadi) close by.

It is not easy to suggest the best time to leave Fiji for NZ in 2009. Too early (March) and there is still a risk of a late cyclone. Later - April or May - the trade winds are not as yet established, so maybe June may be better, but by that time winter is on its way in NZ.... Also, going to NZ in the best sailing season in the tropics (May to October) is not a wise decision if he plans to continue west.

Regards,

Jimmy Cornell

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