Thursday, October 27, 2016

6.30am south shore looked pretty flat, but lahaina town has occasional waist to chest high sets. Didn't look at Hookipa

10 27 16 morning call

Double surf session in Lahaina for me yesterday, the morning was absolutely pristine again.
I might have to start contemplating a move over there sooner or later.

As usual, the windsurfers hit the waves at Hookipa in the afternoon. This photo comes from this gallery by Jimmie Hepp.

4am buoy readings
South shore
1.4ft @ 13s from 198° (SSW)                      
1ft @ 16s from 220° (SW)

The swell that I've surfed the last three days is still hanging in there with 1.4f 13s, but now there's a new one with 1f 16s. I thought I was gonna stay on the north shore today, but that makes me question that decision. That's why it's pointless to do surfing plans in the evening. And that's why this is called the morning call. You need to check the latest available info and then decide.

North shore
5.1ft @ 10s from 7° (N)

4.9ft @ 13s from 314° (NW)
4.1ft @ 10s from 4° (N)
4ft @ 7s from 16° (NNE)

3.5ft @ 13s from 314° (NW)
3.4ft @ 9s from 3° (N)

4.1ft @ 10s from 6° (N)           
3.9ft @ 7s from 31° (NE)
3.1ft @ 13s from 327° (NW)
Terrible mix of periods and directions at the northerly facing buoys. The NW energy is supposed to slowly die, while the 10s period one from the north should stay pretty steady around 4f. If you don't remember the fetch where that comes from, you're a bit hopeless but lucky... just scroll down to a couple of days ago and you'll see it on the wind map in the gulf of Alaska.

Current wind map shows a wide, but far and not too strong fetch off Kamchatka, the windswell fetch and an interesting one down south creating an extremely rare SE swell. It's gonna be mostly south by the time the angular spreading will bend the waves our way. I like it because it sits around 30 degrees south and that is a lot closer than where the south swell fetches usually sit. We'll see what we get in 5-6 days.

MC2km maps still unreachable, this is the HRW model at noon today. Should be windy again. What a news! This has been one of the windiest October I can remember. Maybe not always strong and not always from the right direction, but the trades blew relentless. They blew out the waves relentless too.
Looking forward to the first glassy day on the north shore of the season, but it doesn't look like it's gonna happen anytime soon. In the meantime, I don't mind driving around the corner to get my share of glassiness.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

6am Hookipa is head high plus and average shape (a 4) while lahaina looks waist to shoulder high perfection on the webcam. I wish I didn't check the buoys again. Read the call below to understand.

10 26 16 morning call

Double surf session in Lahaina for me yesterday.
The first hour of the first one was a 9 and thanks to my Little Rascal I produced my best surfing ever and that is a damn good feeling.

Meanwhile the WNW swell was hitting the north shore and as predicted Hookipa got plenty size in the afternoon. This is Kauli Seadi in a photo from this gallery by Jimmie Hepp. He stopped by the shop later and declared:"Hookipa was amazing this afternoon!"

Jimmie also went to visit the shark attack victim at the hospital. He is doing great and he'll have another surgery Friday to reattach the tendons of the hand. Best luck to you hermano! I hope you'll be able to give left hand shaka signs very soon.

4am significant buoy readings
1.8ft @ 13s from 191° (SSW)

The Barbers buoy is all confused by the wrap of the WNW swell and gives no indication of the south swell. We don't need it, we got it at the Lanai one.
There will be really good waves to surf this morning on the north shore, but I can't wait to catch a few more of those perfect shape shoulder high peelers in Lahaina, so call me weird, but I'll probably do the drive in the dark again. Those waves improve my surfing much more than the north shore ones. And that is something that I also know from 15 years of teaching water sports: the easier the conditions, the faster the improvement, without a doubt. But overall, I just have more fun over there!

Below is the wind map of 7 days ago. It's called: in the cock roach antennas we trust.

5.5ft @ 14s from 310° (WNW)
6.3ft @ 15s from 307° (WNW)

3.9ft @ 15s from 305° (WNW)
The graphs of the NW, Waimea and Pauwela buoys below deserve some comments. Notice how the blue line indicating the direction at the first one didn't change. As explained on yesterday's post, the fetch didn't move much and staying confined in the Kamchatka corner before being pushed up north over the Aleutians disappearing from the Hawaii swell window. As a result, the direction of this swell is staying steady from around 300-310.
Also notice how much more size Oahu got (and Kauai must have been even bigger). I was watching the Pipeline webcam and I saw some sets breaking at the second reef... lots of water moving. No wonder with 7f 17s in the water!
In Maui we only got up to 4f and that's because some of the energy got blocked by the upstream islands of Oahu and Molokai.

Current wind map shows scattered fetches all over. Remember, the fetches configuration will be reflected in the water a few days later. In this particular case, only the windswell fetch might do something noticeable for us as Pat Caldwell also points out: "Surf from windswell should build above average by late Thursday and remain elevated near to just above average through the weekend from 60-90 degrees"
The fetch associated with hurricane Seymore (straight east of us) is really minor at the moment.

HWR model at noon shows trades from a decent direction. Is it really gonna be only 13 knots? Of course not. If the sky is clear, the heating of the Haleakala will add the usual boost and it should be another good day of windsurfing/kitesurfing on the north shore.

5.30am update

As I was about to leave, somehow my instinct told me to check the buoys on my phone one more time. Sure enough, the Lanai reading was different from what I remembered even though the time stamp was still 4am.
I still had the "old" screen open on my computer and below are the two different readings with the same time stamp.
The one I first saw (and copy/pasted above) is 1.8ft @ 13s from 191° (SSW). The "new" one is 1.4ft @ 13s from 193° (SSW). That's enough of a difference for me to make me choose to wait for the sun to come up and check the webcam before eventually going. I'll do that from Hookipa so expect a beach report from there.
That never happened before, I might have to send Surfline an email and ask for clarifications.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

8.30am lahaina is waist to shoulder with the occasional head high set. Clean.

6.30am lahaina is waist high and clean hopefully with bigger sets. Didn't see any on the way but I saw some on the webcam

10 25 16 morning call

Yesterday I had two surf sessions. In the first one I caught 6 waves in 30 minutes at Hookipa and didn't manage to do a single turn. For the second one I went to Lahaina and did multiple turns on each single wave I caught (waist to chest high).

Jimmie Hepp didn't post an album from yesterday, so I have no idea what happened on the north shore (and couldn't care less, to be honest with you). To grab a worthy photo I so went on the page of
photographer Ben Thouard, where of course I unwillingly learned who's the new WSL world champion. Bummer, it's so difficult to stay away from these kind of news. No problem, I'll enjoy watching the Portugal contest on demand no matter what, I still don't know who won that one. I just finished France yesterday...

Here's the Tahiti shot from Ben.

3am significant buoy readings
South shore
1.9ft @ 14s from 191° (SSW)                      
0.5ft @ 20s from 274° (W)
1.9ft @ 14s from 191° (SSW)                      
1.2ft @ 18s from 325° (NW)
1.9f 14s from 191, this must be the very first time in which I see two identical readings at the two local south facing buoys! The other readings are the wrap of the WNW swell I'll talk about below and will have no effect on the waves in Lahaina. Eventually Kihei might get something, you need to check the webcams if you're interested in that.
Anyway, yesterday it was more like 1.5f 15s, so today it should be similar if not a tad bigger. I'm expecting waist to shoulder. I'll drive there for the dawn session, expect a more precise beach report (if I'll be able to see the waves in the dark...).
North shore
7.2ft @ 16s from 303° (WNW)
1.9ft @ 18s from 305° (WNW)

3.9ft @ 8s from 69° (ENE)
1.6ft @ 6s from 51° (ENE)
1.4ft @ 13s from 322° (NW)
1.2ft @ 4s from 53° (ENE)

Below is the graph of the NW (right) and Pauwela (left) buoys. The red arrows indicate that the new WNW swell went from 1f to 6 at the NW one from noon to midnight yesterday. Considering the high period (18-20), a qualitatively similar increase should happen roughly 12 hours later at the Pauwela buoy, but seen the westerly original direction (303), the size will be quite different and hard to guess. My guess is around 4f at noon in Maui, we shall see.
Btw, how come there's no long period readings at Pauwela at 4am yet? There is, but the (stupid) automatic program only picks the highest 4 readings in size. So the 1.2ft @ 4s totally insignificant reading made the cut instead of the 0.5-0.7ft @ 20s from 315° we can see from the orange line on the Pauwela graph.

Here's a map that shows that the Molokai shadow line for Hookipa is around 305 degrees. That means that Hookipa is still going to probably get some size this afternoon and tomorrow. Not a good direction for Honolua instead (I had to disappoint some excited surf rental customers yesterday by revealing them that the shadow line for the Bay is 335), but it's possible that Wednesday the swell will be big enough to wrap around Molokai and squeeze in there. I have a temporary west side informer these days, hopefully he'll send me a report (thanks countryman!). If you want to learn more about the shadowing angles here's a post you might find interesting.
And if you're not familiar with the concept of refraction, here's the couple of posts that come out if you click on the label "refraction" in the labels section of this blog.

If you don't remember the position of the fetch that generated this powerful WNW swell, here's the map of October 21st, the day of the fetch's maximum strength. Because of the block of the strong high pressure to the right of it, that low never did what most lows up there do: it never travelled east and the swell is going to stay west the whole 2-3 days that it's going to last.

Below is what Surfline predicts: 5f 15s at 8am tomorrow from 310. And that is size and direction they think it's going to have AFTER the refraction upon the upstream islands. They're usually pretty good, the Pauwela buoy will tell us in the next couple of days if they were right.
The graph also shows a pretty conservative 2.2f 18s at 2pm today. I think it might rise a bit more than that.

Current wind map shows the strong flow off Kamchatka (day 3 of that) and more northerly energy from that stubborn low up in the Gulf of Alaska. I also like that Maui is not immersed in an area of strong trades like it has been all last week. That should bring the windswell down. Only temporarily though, since the trades are about to crank up again. The forecast for the Aloha Cloassic looks really good with plenty wind and waves. Someone told me that in La Torche they got no wind insrtead.

So which of the wind models I posted yesterday was right? Well, not knowing what happened on the north shore, I'm not quite sure, but the iWindsurf graph of Hookipa yesterday seems to indicate some pretty strong wind gusting up to the 30's, and that makes me think that the best prediction was done by the HRW one.

Which is the one that I propose to you again. This is at noon today and it sure doesn't look like a particularly windy day.

Monday, October 24, 2016