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Bob McDavitt's ideas for sailing weather around the South pacific

28 April 2019

Bob Blog 28 April 2019

WEATHERGRAM

YOTREPS

Compiled Sun 28 April 2019

Bob McDavitt’s ideas for sailing around the South Pacific.

Disclaimer: Weather is a mix of pattern and chaos; these ideas are from the patterned world.

 

Another Amateur Radio or HAM network for sailors around the Tasman Sea is TONY’S MARITIME NET

Daily at 2100UTC (9am NZST) on 14315USB.

The net was started about 40 years ago by Tony, ZLIATE (now a silent key) and in those early days boats could be heard from the other side of the world. With the sunspot cycle being at its low, that is no longer possible but we seem to manage.  This is a very friendly amateur radio net that provides a means of communication between maritime mobiles and land-based stations. There are net controllers on both sides of the Tasman and all stations relay reports when conditions are poor.

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Jonathan Robinson the Fleet director  of SEA MERCY has asked me to add their 20 page web  link to my weathergram this week: imags.com.au/sea_mercy/

Basically, SEA MERCY continues to help around the South Pacific with health care from a floating clinic  and help from sailing vessels volunteering to deliver medical aid to villages affected by cyclones.   There are other Sea Mercy programs offering disaster relief, Education and Economic aid.

It is a registered USA charity based in Oregon, and has developed key international partnerships.   Sea Mercy Fiji operates from Port Denarau, and Sea Mercy Australia was established in Dec 2017.   It is looking for more volunteer yachts, so if you feel the urge the check out this web site.

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Another example of chaos: both from weather and a whale in short succession:

From Graham ad Gina on SV SUPERMOLLI

We were off 50 miles East Cape (NZ), Tues 16 April, around 1100hrs when we encountered 2 closely following event You will see the results of a rogue wave and a Whale in the attached photos, all this occurred in about a five-minute period. Bit spooky you see but we are here to share the event by Pic's taken after.

No one hurt, Gina was down below and flew horizontally across the cabin but managed to grab the bridging grab rope we have installed across U Dining area wings. See the Knife and onion peel in the ceiling, not good housekeeping

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More chaos- SV Flying Fish was hit by a rogue wave on Wed 24 April between NZ and Fiji

Read the blog at flyingfishsail.wordpress.com/

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And here’s a call for a watch for a drifting yacht:

Yves Jaegar was sailing his 44ft Oceanis Beneteau SV FETIA UO UO” when it was hit by a storm on September 3, 2018 between Fakarava and Tahiti. He was rescued by the JRCC of Papeete and had to abandon his sailboat.

Since then, so far, there has been no news of his boat – it probably drifted across the Cooks Islands and Samoa/Tonga, and may now be further west.   If you have heard something please contact <yves.jaeger.at.mail.pf>

(replace the .at. with @, I wrote it this way to stop Yves getting spam)

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THE TROPICS

After a few quiet weeks the MJO active phase popped up in the Indian Ocean and has triggered Three Tropical cyclones.  KENNETH has now weakened by has brought wide spread damage to Mozambique--- one month after the damage from TC IDAI.  Warmer than normal seas.

FANI seems to be heading to East coast of India or maybe Bangladesh. BEWARE. 

 LORNA should travel south over open sea.

TC in the tropics at present, with latest cyclone activity may be seen at tropic.ssec.wisc.edu and TCFP tropical Cyclone Formation Potential at www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/TCFP/index.html

MJO’s active phase in the Indian Ocean last week may cross northern Australia this coming week and  reach the Western Pacific in a few weeks (and weaken) see www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/mjo.shtml

WEATHER ZONES

 

SPCZ has moderate intensity from PNG/Solomon Islands to Northern Vanuatu and north of Fiji, and may occasionally visit Samoa.

A trough with squalls between Fiji and NZ tonight is expected to travel southeast over next few days. The trough is likely to reach French Polynesia (Tahiti and Tuamotu Group) on local Tuesday to Thursday this week along with enhanced E to NE winds.  Avoid.

 

Subtropical ridge (STR) /  Australia

HIGH over 1030hPa to east of 160W should travel only slowly east along 35 to 40S this week with enhanced E to NE winds on its northern side.

HIGH is expected to travel east across central Tasman sea from Monday to Friday, maintaining enhanced SE winds between New Cal and Australia until Thursday.  On Thursday/ Friday a trough is expected to travel east across NSW and Southern Queensland, followed by a period of lighter southerly winds which may provide a good enough weather pattern for departing from Australia to Noumea—depends on your boat speed.

South of this passing High there should be an opportunity for a voyage for Hobart to NZ.

 

Tasman Sea/ New Zealand

Trough is expected to cross the North island on Monday followed by a southerly to SE flow. 

 So, from Wednesday to Friday there should be an OK start for a voyage for NZ to the tropics

Trough is expected to travel east across NSW on Fri/ Sat  4/5May and then travel east across South Tasman Sea and Southern NZ from Sun 5  May to Tuesday 7 May.

 

Panama to Marquesas

Gulf of Panama is expected to have some northerly winds this week, so it’s ok to go.  ITCZ between 5N and 3N seems to be having a quiet time this week, after a few squally weeks.  Some calm zones. The variable zones of SW winds on the way to Galapagos are becoming more dominant.    S to SE trade winds from 5S 100W to Marquesas.

 

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If you would like more detail for your voyage, then check metbob.com to see what I offer.

Or Facebook at /www.facebook.com/metbobnz/

Weathergram with graphics is at metbob.wordpress.com (subscribe/unsubscribe at bottom).

Weathergram archive (with translator) is at weathergram.blogspot.co.nz.

Contact is bob@metbob.com or txt 6427 7762212

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

21 April 2019

Bob Blog 21 April

WEATHERGRAM

YOTREPS

 

Compiled  Easter Sun 21 April 2019

Happy Easter .

 

Bob McDavitt’s ideas for sailing around the South Pacific.

Disclaimer: Weather is a mix of pattern and chaos; these ideas are from the patterned world.

 

Here is an addendum to last weeks tips for cruising yachts:

1. If you are subscribed to or following weathergram@cruisersat.net or weathergram_short@cruisersat.net, then, if you wish to only receive the weathergram (and not messages from other users) you can mute other calls by sending MUTE ON to the net address. To unmute, send MUTE OFF.

2. Note that Gulf Harbour Radio ZMH286 runs independently from YiT. It is NOT necessary for boats to be on YiT before they can talk to Gulf Harbour Radio. If you are registered with YiT then you can send your reports to send@yit.co.nz and they can be seen by Gulf Harbour Radio. Also Gulf Harbour Radio has a net on cruisersnet, see cruisersat.net/nets.

3. The Windy.com app (free of charge) has a planned route plot option.

To make one: "right click" anywhere on the map, this will open a small context window;

- choose "Distance & Planning"; - place your points on the map;

- in the "table of points" you just made, click the button label "share" in the bottom right corner;

- copy the short url link provided or the long URL in the top of your browser and "voilĂ "!

You can also make one by building the URL manually if you are familiar with this.

Each time you plug this "short" or "long url" in your browser, Windy will show the map and your planned route.

4. YiT, Yachts in Transit, at www.yit.nz has a smart phone app, and offers a subscription service to plot your reports and blogs on the web and to request weather information via coded emails. They also provide info on how to use iridium Go!, YB Tracking or Garmin inReach for communications.

5. Saildocs also offers High sea forecast via email:

Send an email, no subject necessary, to query@saildocs.com with message

SEND nadi.sopac or SEND nz.subtrop

6 Fiji Fleet code. Can get a manual weather analysis map via EMAIL.

To download the latest Nadi Fleet code send an email to query@saildocs.com, no subject needed, saying SEND nadi-fleetcode.

Or SEND https://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/data/raw/as/asps20.nffn..txt

This can be viewed with the Fleet Code plug in OpenCPN.

Open the email and (on a PC) <Right> click on the data, <copy> or CTRL-C. Then, in OpenCPN’s Fleet code plugin, there are 4 options: Files, Text, Raw and Downloads. Select Raw and <paste> or CTRL-V. Voila!, the map appears.

I still have a copy of the old, no longer supported, Fleet code viewing program called PhysPlot. If you want to try it, let me know.

7. AIS: the AIS system allows tracking via relay and via Satellite, but the display online of that oceanic data is restricted by subscription to sites such as marinetraffic.com.

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THE TROPICS

It id quiet in the tropics at present, with latest cyclone activity seen at tropic.ssec.wisc.edu and TCFP tropical Cyclone Formation Potential at www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/TCFP/index.html

The monsoon that was active over northern Australia last week has dissipated, and the transition to the dry season is underway. There is a weak pulse of MJO over the Indian Ocean.

Rain in the past week continued strong over Vanuatu, and built in the Indian Ocean. The “mirror CZ” continues just south of the equator in the eastern Pacific, affecting those sailing between Galapagos and Marquesas.

For rain in the past two weeks see trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/trmm_rain/Events/big_global_accumlation.gif

 

WEATHER ZONES

SPCZ=South Pacific Convergence zone.

The SPCZ has been active between Vanuatu and Fiji, but this section is expected to waken this week. The SPCZ is expected to build in activity along about 17S from Fiji to Tahiti. 

A trough in the northern Tasman Sea is expected to travel east across New Caledonia tonight and during Monday and then fade on Tuesday.

 

Subtropical ridge (STR)

HIGH to east of NZ is expected to travel east along about 35S.

HIGH in mid-Tasman Sea on Monday is expected to stay pit until it is reinforced by another High on Wednesday and then fade as it shifts north to 30S by Friday, allowing westerly winds to also shift north.

 

Australia/Tasman Sea / New Zealand

A slack low is expected to bring heavy shower activity to northern NZ on Monday and Tuesday and travel off to the east on Wednesday then southeast on Thursday.

Deep Southern Ocean Low is expected to travel east along about 55S to south of Tasmania and Tasman Sea from Thu to Sat with vigorous west to SW winds as far north as 35S and large swell going to 30S. Avoid.

North of 30S winds are expected to be mainly from east or SE, Ok for going from Noumea to Australia.

 

Panama to Marquesas

Gulf of Panama is expected to have northerly winds this week, so it’s ok to go. ITCZ has been active between 6N and 3N. This week it is looking OK to go to NW of Galapagos and then SW to around 5S 110W.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

If you would like more detail for your voyage, then check metbob.com to see what I offer.

Or Facebook at /www.facebook.com/metbobnz/

Weathergram with graphics is at metbob.wordpress.com (subscribe/unsubscribe at bottom).

Weathergram archive (with translator) is at weathergram.blogspot.co.nz.

Contact is bob@metbob.com or txt 6427 7762212

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

14 April 2019

Bob Blog 14 April 2019

WEATHERGRAM

YOTREPS

Compiled Sun 14 April 2019

 

Bob McDavitt’s ideas for sailing around the South Pacific.

Disclaimer: Weather is a mix of pattern and chaos; these ideas are from the patterned world.

 

Now that cruising sailors are on their final preparations for departing New Zealand/ Australia for the warmth of the tropical Islands, ‘tis is a good time to review the ways to obtain weather forecasts and/or provide position reports when at sea.

 

Let me know if any of this has changed and I’ll add an addendum to my next blog….

1. For those depending on Shortwave radio, ZLM/ Taupo Maritime Radio offer a continuous 7/24 Trip reporting service see www.maritimenz.govt.nz/about/what-we-do/safety-and-response/maritime-radio.asp

The HIGH SEAS forecast for the area SUBTROPIC from MetService is read out in English via ZLM at 0903hr, and 2103hr NZST/NZDT on 6224 and 12356KHz and repeated an hour later on 8297 and 16531 KHz.  A copy of the Radiofax sked is at

www.metservice.com/_/files/marine-surf/radio/radiofax_schedule.pdf

 

2. Northland Radio ZMH292 is owned and operated by Peter Mott and provides a free of charge (donations welcome) check in service on multiple maritime frequencies. Northland Radio tracks vessels and has a formal policy for dealing with a missed check in. To use Northland Radio, operator requires Maritime Restricted Radio Operators Certificate (MRROC). In the maritime radio service, the callsign is assigned to the vessel, and in New Zealand it starts with ZM. See northlandradio.nz/faq/

 

3. Another SSB service is offered by Yachts in Transit. Patricia and David from Gulf Harbour Radio use the web site www.yit.co.nz to keep track of boats that listen to their rollcall/weather service. FIRST You need to register on this web site with your boat and crew details and then you simply email or radio in your position and conditions in preferably each day (send@yit.co.nz or via SSB). These reports are plotted on a webpage for you and your friends.

FROM 1 MAY to 25 NOV, Patricia/Dave is on air, Mon-Fri 07:15NZST on ZMH286 on 8752Khz or 8779KHz or 8297KHz in that order depending on interference. Other frequencies have been allocated for far away yachts. After the reports are taken, at around 07:30 NZST Dave does a round-up of the weather in each island group, including passage weather from east to west. The www.ghradio.co.nz website offer live streaming and has several good background weather and radio/comms articles.

 

4. AMATEUR RADIO / Ham net: PACSEANET is a ham (amateur radio) network providing a free of charge check in service on amateur frequency 14300KHz USB in the 20 metre band (at 0300UTC). To participate, operator needs to hold an Amateur Radio Operators Certificate (General class or above). In the amateur radio service, the callsign is assigned to the licensed operator, so this is a different callsign from using a maritime callsign. In New Zealand amateur callsigns start with ZL. See pacseanet.com. Position reports are received and reported in the well-know YOTREPS format (but missed calls may not be followed up). People onshore can listen in to a transcription of the roll call from the Pacseanet.com website. The net features 17 listening station dotted between Australia and Alabama.

 

5. EMAIL: Those who have access to EMAIL have several options.

Saildocs may be used to relay the text details of a webpage even if you only have email and no access to the Internet.

They are able to order the latest edition of MetService warnings by sending an email, no subject necessary, to query@saildocs.com with message

SEND http://m.metservice.com/warnings/marine

For subtropics use SEND http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/data/raw/fq/fqps43.nzkl..txt

This system also works for coastal sailors using a mobile phone with email.

The formula to get a copy of the latest coastal area BRETT via email is to send an email to query@saildocs.nz with message SEND http://m.metservice.com/marine/coastal/brett

A new provider is cruisersat.net--- using sophisticated filters to reduce the text of a weather forecasts and warnings to a pithy TEXTABLE alternative, free of charge to the average user. They also have a forecasting option based on NOAA weather models.

 

6. Smart phone apps: Some satellite phones now provide wifi that allow nearby smart phones to use apps. www.predictwind.com makes good use of this and as an app that supplies forecast model data, observations and, at the Professional Account level, tools for routing and comparing departure dates. It also has a position tracking tool. There is also a Windy.com app (free of charge) and, I think, it has a position tracking option.

 

7. MetBob. See my website to study more of my services at www.metbob.com

WEATHERGRAM (This blog) is available in different ways :

Internet illustrated edition is at metbob.wordpress.com

To get a one-off (text-only) weathergram via email:

 

Via SAILDOCS:

For a one-off: Send an email to query@saildocs.com, no subject needed with message

SEND nz.wgrm

To subscribe: use SUB nz.wgrm (or SUBSCRIBE nz.wgrm)

To cancel: use CANCEL nz.wgrm or UNSUB nz.wgrm or UNSUBSCRIBE nz.wgrm

 

Via www.cruisersat.net

For full text (Ok for Sat Phone or HF SSB with sailmail/winlink)

To subscribe, send email to weathergram@cruisersat.net, no subject needed with message subscribe boatname (replace boatname with name of your vessel, up to 20 characters).

For the whole weathergram reduced to 4 SMS text messages, for Satellite messengers such as Garmin inReach:

To subscribe, send email to weathergram_short@cruisersat.net, no subject needed with message subscribe boatname (replace boatname with name of your vessel, up to 20 characters).

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THE TROPICS

Latest cyclone activity as at tropic.ssec.wisc.edu and TCFP tropical Cyclone Formation Potential as seen at www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/TCFP/index.html

There is a complex gathering of tropical lows to NW of Fiji tonight, and one of these is expected to go off to the southeast, and the others are likely to fade in a few days.

 

Rain in the past week was strong over NW Australia from TC WALLACE, and also across Vanuatu, associated with a a zone of low pressure forming

For rain in the past two weeks see trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/trmm_rain/Events/big_global_accumlation.gif

The “mirror CZ” continues just south of the equator in the eastern Pacific, affecting those those sailing between Galapagos and Marquesas.

 

WEATHER ZONES

SPCZ=South Pacific Convergence zone.

The SPCZ is expected to be active until mid-week and linger from Vanuatu across Fiji and occasionally across southern parts of Tonga, and should weaken by end of the weak.

 

Subtropical ridge (STR)

HIGH in southern Tasman Sea on Monday is expected to build to 1035hpa over South Island by mid-week and then travel east across northern NZ on Tuesday and then weaken and travel eastwards along 40S. There is likely to be a squash zone of enhanced trade winds on north side of this High near 20S from southern Tonga to New Caledonia, easing after Thursday.

Next HIGH is expected to travel east across Tasmania on Thursday and then across the South Island on Saturday.

 

Australia/Tasman Sea / New Zealand

A week of easterlies to north of 35S, OK for getting to Australia.

Active trough is expected to cross Tasmania on Wed and then over South Island on Holy Thu/ Good Friday (Passover) and then may stall over North Island on Easter Sat/Sun. This trough is something to consider in Easter Sailing.

 

Panama to Marquesas

Gulf of Panama is expected to have northerly winds this week, so it’s ok to go.

This week it is looking OK to go to NW of Galapagos and the SW to around 5 or 6S 100W.

 

Port Vallarta to Marquesas

Best looking northerly winds for departure this week are from Tue to Thu, otherwise light winds.

ITCZ likely between 9N and 5N, and another convergence zone between 4S and 6S.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

If you would like more detail for your voyage, then check metbob.com to see what I offer.

Or Facebook at /www.facebook.com/metbobnz/

Weathergram with graphics is at metbob.wordpress.com (subscribe/unsubscribe at bottom).

Weathergram archive (with translator) is at weathergram.blogspot.co.nz.

Contact is bob@metbob.com or txt 6427 7762212

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

07 April 2019

Bob Blog 7 Apr 2019

WEATHERGRAM

YOTREPS

Compiled Sun 07 April 2019

 

Bob McDavitt’s ideas for sailing around the South Pacific.

Disclaimer: Weather is a mix of pattern and chaos; these ideas are from the patterned world.

 

For those of you who are now planning to depart Australia or NZ for the tropical Islands (after the cyclone season) and would like as assisted passage: here is some contacts.

 

Island Cruising New Zealand are organising a rally from Opua to Tonga. Sadly the registration for this is now full, but if you’d like to join the waiting list then see www.islandcruising.co.nz/ or visit their facebook site at www.facebook.com/islandcruising.nz/ for newsy tidbits

 

And the Down Under crowd are in full swing arranging the GO EAST Cruisers rally from the Gold Coast to New Caledonia/Vanuatu in May 2019 (6 Maty or soon after).

 

For more info see www.downunderrally.com/go-east-rally-2019

 

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So, when will this cyclone season finish?

 

Nominally, the cyclone season ends at the end of April. At present TC WALLACE is travelling southwest well offshore of NW Australia, and there is a tropical depression travelling westwards near Darwin, so this cyclone season is still with us.

 

One parameter we watch is the MJO or Madden Julian Oscillation. It takes 10 to 20 days for the active part of an MJO event to travel across the Pacific (a burst of extra convection that can trigger cyclones) and we get such a passage around once every 4 to 6 weeks. There have been active MJO events over the Australia/Pacific region during much of December/early Jan, then in late Jan/early Feb, and now in late March/early April. These can be seen as the blue (for bubbly) OLR or Outgoing Radiation zones in a time-longitude diagram from www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/forca.shtml

 

The stage is set for the non-active or settled phase of the MJO to travel across the Pacific over the next few weeks, but there may be another active MJO late in April, so even if the next few weeks are clear of cyclones we can’t say the season is “over” yet.

 

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A touch of weather chaos.

I often use the expression that weather is a mix of pattern and chaos, and I use it as a way of explaining away the weather features that the models just do not resolve. I noted an example from the real world near Wellington yesterday, as seen at windy.com

The smoothed-out pattern of the global model isobars did NOT capture a chaotic little whirl of winds that formed to southeast of Cook Strait. This little feature caused a gale of southerly winds through Cook Strait, as seen in the Wind observations. The computed wind forecasts were constantly underestimating the real world.

 

Another thing to note is that the barometer was reasonably steady throughout this gale. This is often the case near a “squash zone” and that is little comfort to a sailor looking for signs.

 

MetService was on the ball, watching weather radar and analysing the reported observations with isobars down to 1hPa apart, they could track this chunk of chaos and incorporate it into marine, aviation and general media forecasts and warnings. The MetService analysis was tweeted at twitter.com/MetService

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THE TROPICS

Latest cyclone activity as at tropic.ssec.wisc.edu and TCFP tropical Cyclone Formation Potential as seen at www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/TCFP/index.html

 

TC WALLACE is staying offshore (fingers crossed) off NW Australia. There is also a low travelling west across the Darwin area, but it is not expected to deepen much further.

 

There are some spots of possible activity this week around Solomon Islands and Micronesia, otherwise all looks quite quiet.

 

Rain in the past week from trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/trmm_rain/Events/big_global_accumlation.gif was strongest near WALLACE and around Micronesia and weaker than last week elsewhere around the Pacific.

 

The “mirror CZ” continues just south of the equator in the eastern Pacific, affecting those sailing between Galapagos and Marquesas.

 

WEATHER ZONES

SPCZ=South Pacific Convergence zone.

The SPCZ is expected to be most active this week across the north Coral Sea to northern Vanuatu to south of Fiji. There is also expected to be a convergence zone over Nauru and Tuvalu.

 

Subtropical ridge (STR)

HIGH in the central Tasman Sea on Monday is expected to travel east across northern NZ on Tuesday and then further east along 30 to 35S.

Next HIGH is expected to travel east across Tasmania on Thursday and then across the South Island on Saturday.

 

Australia/Tasman Sea / New Zealand

Lots to avoid. Low to east of NZ is travelling slowly south-southeast from Monday to Wednesday, giving a southerly flow over North Island mainly on Monday. Next trough is expected to cross central Tasman Sea on Tuesday, the South Island on Wednesday, and then deepen over North Island on Thursday, with a Low near Cook Strait, and then a southerly flow over the North island on Friday and Saturday.

 

Panama to Marquesas

Gulf of Panama now has SW swells. There are reasonable northerly winds for departure until local Tuesday, and again from next local Saturday, otherwise variable light-ish winds. Now looks better to go around south end of Galapagos rather than the north end, to avoid adverse winds/currents.

 

Port Vallarta to Marquesas

OK winds for departure until local Tuesday, then light winds.

Weak ITCZ likely between 7N and 3N, and another convergence zone near 3 to 4S

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

If you would like more detail for your voyage, then check metbob.com to see what I offer.

Or Facebook at /www.facebook.com/metbobnz/

Weathergram with graphics is at metbob.wordpress.com (subscribe/unsubscribe at bottom).

Weathergram archive (with translator) is at weathergram.blogspot.co.nz.

Contact is bob@metbob.com or txt 6427 7762212

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

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