convergence zone guessing games

We’ve been having somewhat unusual weather for about a month now. During an El Nino neutral phase (as it’s supposed to be now) the SPCZ (South Pacific Convergence Zone) should be further southwest, but instead it’s hanging out across French Polynesia, just shifting up and down over the Tuamotus, but never disappearing. Whenever we’re on the southern side of it we get southerly winds, when it’s right across us we get no wind, but rain and thunderstorms and when we’re north of it, we get light northerlies. It’s hard to find a protected anchorage in an atoll with such changing conditions, especially as the weather forecasts are constantly wrong (just a few miles make a big difference in such conditions).

We’re slowly getting tired of this weather and are considering sailing out of it. The Austral Islands are enjoying unusally nice and sunny weather… We’re not really superstitious, but sailors say that starting a passage on a Friday means bad luck and today’s not just Friday, but Friday 13 ;-) We are getting Pitufa into passage-mode for now and will decide tomorrow.

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