Tuesday, May 23, 2017

6.30am hookipa looked overhead and light wind. Lahaina is waist to chest with occasional bigger sets and light wind. Peaks was windy.

Tuesday 5 23 17 morning call

After a lovely surf session in Lahaina, yesterday I managed to miss the windsurfing on the north shore because I waited too long for the conditions to be the way I like them. Not sorry a single bit, for a change here's a photo of a kiter showing the waves (which occasionally were up to mast high or 4m faces). Photo by Jimmie Hepp from this gallery.

3am significant buoy readings
South shore

No signs of any energy from the south at the buoys, but that's only because the new NW energy is shadowing it. These are the kind of things you learn when you observe the buoys for as long as I have. What counts in this cases, is the knowledge of the original fetch (which I posted in a collage yesterday) and, if the sun is out, the webcams of course. My guess in the dark is that there's still waves.

Here we go, I decided to wait to have that confirmation and sure enough I immediately caught a chest high one. Might have been the set of the day, who knows. What I was afraid of, and seem to show watching the live feed, is a bit of wind texture caused by the fact that today the trades are going to be kinda strong and that usually brings some turbulence also on the other side. Might clean up though.

In the meantime, here's the graph of the Samoa buoy that shows the swell that is forecasted for the weekend picking up mid yesterday (red circle). As illustrated in the post Buoys to Maui travel times and Maui's shadow lines , the travel times from it to here are according to the following table.

20sec--30kts-- 74hrs (3days)

17sec--26kts-- 85hrs (3.5 days)

14sec--21kts--106 hrs (4.5 days)

11sec--17kts--130 hrs (5.5 days)

The first recorded reading seems to be 2f 16s around 8am Monday (there might be smaller ones with longer period before it). Those will take a little more than 3.5 days to get here and that means Thursday evening. In the meantime, they will also lose some size and gain some period. As a result, the Surfline forecast calls for 0.8f 18s at 8pm on Thursday. Considering how inconsistent a south swell is at the very beginning, we can safely say that the first day of the swell is going to be Friday.

North shore
10.3ft @ 8s from 62° (ENE)

4.5ft @ 12s from 306° (WNW)

5.3ft @ 11s from 329° (NW)

5.5ft @ 8s from 350° (N)
4.4ft @ 11s from 334° (NNW)
NW Swell still up at the buoys, plenty energy on offer also today. If you remember the fetches, you'll know that this is going to be a long lasting swell, with decreasing period and size hand in hand with the direction going progressively more easterly. If you don't remember the fetches you have two options:
1) scroll down to the past day's calls and check them
2) read the wordy explanation of Pat Caldwell:
A long-lived, broad area of low pressure moved slowly east from the dateline along 40°N 5/18-21 as peak winds slowly weakened. Strongest winds aimed NE of Hawaii. There was a short-lived spell of 13-15 second wave period energy late 5/21 locally as measured by the pacioos/cdip Waimea buoy. The energy is dominant in the 10-12 second band mid Monday 5/22. The primary fetch aimed at Hawaii was of strong to near gale winds over the 320-340 degree band, closest on 5/20 about 800 nm out. Fresh to strong breezes over the 330-360 degree band nosed even closer to within a few hundred miles while the tail of the fetch was beyond 1200 nm away. This should make for a long-lived episode as the dominant direction veers from NNW to N then to NNE.

Overhead also today is my size guess, but with the Hookipa sensor already reading 9(6-12) from the east at 5.20am, I might not even go have a look. I like clean waves.

2pm wind map shows easterly trades and another good day for wind related sports.

Current wind map apparently only shows a NNE windswell fetch.

But with my surprise, the Meteogram automated generated fetch map shows a fetch down south.
That map (right of the photo) is at 6Z which is 8pm Monday, and the Windy map (left of the photo) is current (5am this morning), so there's a bit of time difference between the two, but the reason the fetch I circled doesn't seem oriented towards us is that the closer you get to the poles, the more distortion gets introduced when you try to represent the Earth on a flat map. That's why the Great Circle Rays maps are an important tool.

Now the problem with that fetch is that is about one more extra day of travelling distance and considering it only has up to 30-34 knots wind in it, I believe that the related wave energy will have a hard time make it all the way up to Hawaii. We will see in 7-8 days.

Morning sky. Watch out for the trade's generated squalls on the eastern sides of the island.

Watch out also for some really shallow low tides coming up this week due to a spring new moon. Here's Kahului. Lahaina is roughly one hour later than that.

Monday, May 22, 2017

9.30am honolua has very occasional knee to waist high waves.

6.30am lahaina side knee to waist high and clean. Peaks was windy.

5.30am hookipa has shoulder to head high sets,  but the shape is ruined by the wind.

Monday 5 22 17 morning call

A surf and a wind foil session was my booty yesterday. Here's another kind of booty I luckily captured in 2008 at Oluwalu, that came up in those Facebook memories of the day things. My best duck dive shot ever, I love her dry hair and everything else.

3am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.4ft @ 13s from 170° (S)

2.5ft @ 13s from 176° (S)

Still nice southerly readings at the outer buoys, Thousand Peaks loves that size and period. Knee to waist high and peeling is my call.
Below are the wind maps of 15, 16 and 17 that show continuous fetches aimed at us, so there should be background swell for the next few days too. If the whole summer was like this, I would feel the need to go to Indo a little less. It's been fun down there, yesterday I gave my early morning SUP session a 9.

North shore
7.3ft @ 8s from 4° (N)
4.2ft @ 12s from 334° (NNW)
4.1ft @ 10s from 340° (NNW)

3.2ft @ 13s from 326° (NW)

3ft @ 14s from 326° (NW)
2.5ft @ 8s from 80° (E)                      
1.2ft @ 10s from 334° (NNW)
NW swell is here, below are the graphs of the three reported buoys that show that the swell is still on the rise in size, but with numbers that are below the forecast. The swell is also rapidly declining in period and that will limit the size on the reef. Wind sensor at Hookipa shows 6(4-8)mph from 93, so not too bad. Stay tuned for the beach report.
Wind map at 2 shows some easterly trades with a much better direction than reported by other models.
Current wind map shows:
- a north windswell fetch
- a couple of fetches down south, but the good stuff happened in the past three days. Forecast calls for 3.3f 15s from 197 on Saturday with longer periods picking up already Friday.
Automatically drawn fetches.
Morning sky shows some clouds moving in from the south.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

6.20am hookipa close to flat, Ukumehame knee to occasionally belly high and clean

Sunday 5 21 17 morning call

A lesson, a session and a work shift and another gorgeous day in paradise was filled with beauty. Took a while for my brain to register that presence.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.6ft @ 13s from 195° (SSW)

2.5ft @ 13s from 188° (S)

2.6ft @ 13s from 163° (SSE)

Still some lovely southerly readings at the outer buoys, check the webcam. Yesterday it was consistently knee to waist high with occasional chest high sets on the Lahaina side. Today should be similar with a diminishing trend in the period.

North shore
3.3ft @ 8s from 69° (ENE)

Don't miss the opportunity to go look at Hookipa in one of the flattest days of the year. In summer time in fact, the trades blow pretty consistently and, unless they're very easterly, there's always a bit of windswell (for the joy of the Pavillions' aficionados). Today 3.3f 8s will be barely noticeable, instead.

No signs of the new NW swell at the NW buoys either, it will pick up during the night. Surfline calls for 5.5f 13s at 8am tomorrow, so there should be waves already at dawn. Here's their forecast (offshore swell tab, of course!).

Yesterday I forgot to comment about the wind and about how the new model I'm using was pretty spot on to predict the afternoon trades two days ago, while all the other models were calling for no wind. This is today's map at 2pm and it looks like I might be wind foiling again!

Current wind map shows:
- northerly fetch leftover from the NW fetch responsible for Monday's swell
- still a solid southerly fetch
The high pressure west of the north fetch will move east and bring us a temporary episode of trades, before another out of season lovely period of calm. That'll happen in coincidence with the arrival of the big south swell and the two things together are quite a rare occurance. I don't have the statistics, but I'd say it happens 1-2 times a year.

Automated generated fetches map. I could call it "computer circles", as opposed to my circles. As you can see, once again I overlooked the ESE little fetch.

And since that fetch east of New Zealand looks so good, here's the weather map that shows the lovely long parallel isobars. Tomorrow no more, but it was a pretty intense 3 days of wave generation for us.

Here, you can see everything I just wrote about the wind forecast on the Windguru 10 days table.

Morning sky looks pretty clear, but I heard of heavy rains yesterday afternoon in Kihei, so you never know how it's gonna end.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

6.30am hookipa close to flat.

Saturday 5 20 17 morning call

Absolutely gorgeous day (off for me) yesterday that I celebrated with:
1) an early morning session at Hookipa
2) a mid morning nose riding session at Thousand Peaks (knee to waist high)
3) an early afternoon wind foiling session at Kanaha.

This barrel shot from Jason Hall shows what I wrote about yesterday's conditions: because of size and low consistency, I gave them an overall 3.5, but there were some eights out there. Jason is really good at finding them. He also asked me for a little surf report and the resulting video is here.

Windfoiling was a bit of a breakthrough. Not only I managed to foil for 15-20s, but for the very first time I actually managed to have some fun! Kanaha's steadier wind made some difference, but even more was the fact that I used my superlight Hot Sails Maui Firelight 4.3.

I love when my mini-porch looks like this.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.6ft @ 13s from 185° (S)

2.1ft @ 13s from 171° (S)

2.6ft @ 14s from 186° (S)

Steady background southerly energy at the outer buoys, check the webcams. Here's a solid chest high ones, but it took me a while to catch it.

And here's how Pat Caldwell describes the source: Extra-tropical rebirth of tropical cyclone donna E of New Zealand 5/12-14 resulted in a compact fetch of severe gales aimed at Hawaii.
The pacioos/cdip american samoa buoy rose late Monday to a maximum on Tuesday 5/16 with 6'@14°S from 185 degrees. This is a good indication surf will arrive in Hawaii. The moderate wave periods would result in more loss of swell size with travel distance as compared to longer wave periods.

Below are the fetches of the 13, 14 and 15 (left to right)

North shore
3.1ft @ 8s from 80° (E)                      
1.1ft @ 10s from 325° (NW)
Not much at all at Pauwela, today (and tomorrow) should be a near flat day at Hookipa. Next swell on Monday.
North Pacific wind maps shows a nice and close NW fetch and a weak windswell fetch. Good combo.

South Pacific wind map shows that complex pattern we saw yesterday unfolding. Still good wave generation for us, but I liked yesterday better.

Here's how the fetches look like on Meteogram. I confess I would have overlooked the weak SE one without these maps.

There we go, another stunner on its way.