Friday, December 09, 2016

7am Hookipa has clean up to head to head waves. A bit more consistent than yesterday, but not that much. Still 7.

12 9 16 morning call

Double session for me yesterday, both really good thanks to the lack of wind. What I enjoyed the most was the paddling back out after a wave: perfectly smooth, no chop, no wind, no spray in the eyes.

I don't have an action shot, so here's coworker Ariel showing another Jimmy Lewis board we just received. I'm no team rider or anything, I was just impressed by this longboard when I unpacked it.
It's a 9.1 Thai Stick, it's 22 wide and I measured the thickness in the middle at 2 3/8! An extremely thin and high performance shape that I could comfortable carry under my arm like it was a shortboard. I don't do much longboarding these days, but I sure wouldn't mind owning that one.
On the background, a small part of our vast fleet of rental windsurf boards.

5am significant buoy readings
South shore

Nothing at the buoys, check the webcam instead.

North shore
4.2ft @ 11s from 355° (N)
4ft @ 9s from 18° (NNE)

3ft @ 13s from 324° (NW)
2.9ft @ 10s from 28° (NNE)
2.9ft @ 13s from 315° (NW)
2.6ft @ 8s from 30° (NNE)
2.1ft @ 11s from 345° (NNW)

3.1ft @ 13s from 336° (NNW)
1.8ft @ 8s from 49° (NE)
Before I discuss today's readings, let me quickly inform you that yesterday the Bay was completely flat. That confirms that the NNW direction of those 4f 14s readings at the Pauwela buoy was wrong. That was instead a WNW swell, the first one that Pat Caldwell mentions here: "Mid Thursday on northwest to northern exposures has a mix of declining swell episodes from 300-320 degrees and 010-030 degrees, respectively". "The Thursday 12/8 WNW surf was generated west of the dateline last weekend. It should slowly fade out Friday".
Today we have a completely different situation. ALL the buoys are showing energy from a much more northerly direction. And here's again what uncle Pat has to say:"A nearby low pressure has formed about 600 nm NNW to N of Hawaii 12/8." (you can see it on yesterday's and today's wind maps)
11 am HST 12/8 ascat-b satellite showed a compact area of gales aimed at targets west of Hawaii. Given a similar pattern last week that manifested into higher than expected surf locally Sunday 12/4, this feature deserves attention. Models show the low remaining nearly in place with a trend for the strongest winds to aim more westward, that is, less at Hawaii.
The head of the fetch is about 500 nm away on 12/8, which should allow a rise locally mid to late Friday from 340-360 degrees from angular spreading. This makes for large error bars on the specific heights. Stay tuned to the latest forecast updates, which can be fine-tuned with the latest buoy data and surf observations.
The low pressure just north of Hawaii 12/8 is expected to be long-lived and slow in movement. It will likely keep NNW to N surf into Monday 12/12 at levels below the active season, September to may, average.
So, is the NNW energy at the buoys already the one coming from the close by low? I don't know, but for sure the direction of the readings seems much more reliable today. So without worrying too much where it's coming from, I think we can count on those 3f 13s. That should be a fun head high size at Hookipa, stay tuned for the beach report (running a bit late this morning).

Current wind map shows a decent NW fetch and a couple of small/not ideal ones related to that low north of us. I like also that one in the Tasman Sea, but we need to check tomorrow too to know if it's gonna do anything for us (probably not).

NAM3km map at noon shows a light Kona flow. Once again, the north shore waves love that.

Lastly, here's another entertainment opportunity. This movie will be on at the MACC Dec 17th. I've seen the previous ones and the photography has always been outstanding. Here's the trailer, additional info on their facebook page and you can get your tickets here.

Oh, some people care about the rain, so here's the 6.05am rain radar.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

8.30am Hookipa has California-like glassy head to head and a half waves. I confirm the overall 7, because of the low consistency (might improve a bit on a lower tide), but I saw (and fortunately caught one too!) some waves that were a solid 9. Not raining anymore and the lineup is filling up quickly.
Sorry, forgot to take another photo.

6.30am Hookipa has clean head to head and a half inconsistent sets out of the nw. Rainy. 7.

12 8 16 morning call

The morning surf at Hookipa was pretty outstanding yesterday until the wind picked up (fortunately only after I left). The afternoon offered a unexpected and fun windsurf session.
Blog author dealing with a tricky section in this photo by Luca Salvatore.

The windsurfing session was unexpected because I didn't check the MC2km maps once updated. I post the NAM3 local wind prediction because that's the best thing available at the time I do this call. If you want a more accurate local wind prediction, check out the link. n.17 later in the day and make sure that in the upper right corner it shows that the maps have been updated (current date).
The one below is from yesterday at 3pm and it shows wind in the 10 to 15 knots range which is exactly what was out there. But that map was not available at 6am.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore
No more southerly energy at the buoys, it's gonna be like that for a while. If you guys still interested in what's going on on the south shore, there's always the lahaina and kihei webcams linked in the "webcams" section on the right colum of this blog. Just scroll down and you'll find them.

North shore
4.3ft @ 9s from 73° (ENE)
4ft @ 13s from 296° (WNW)

4.7ft @ 14s from 306° (WNW)

4.1ft @ 14s from 336° (NNW)
3ft @ 8s from 43° (NE)
2.1ft @ 11s from 8° (N)
4f at sunset I said and 4f at sunset it was yesterday at the Pauwela buoy. The NW buoy went down a couple of feet (the graph is all broken down, that's why I don't show it), but Hanalei stayed pretty steady all yesterday. Below is Hanalei on the left and Pauwela on the right. Red dotted line is what I think the swell is going to do in Maui today. Actually I think it's going to hold a little better than that, but it's hard to draw a dotted line with a touchpad mouse.

The real topic of conversation (the unilateral kind, also called monologue) here should be the direction. 296 at NW, 306 at Hanalei and 336 at Pauwela don't make any sense. These are the cases in which I follow the common sense and blame the buoys (Pauwela in this case) for doing a measuring mistake.
The direction of the swell in Maui is obviously wrong, can't be 336 not even after the refraction upon the upstream islands. I can give you up to 315 for that, but 336 is just not correct. I think it's because there's more swells insisting on that buoy, so the correct direction detection fails.
Let's not forget about those other swells in fact: the windswell is going down to levels that soon won't be noticeable anymore, and the N swell still has a couple of feet to add to the mix.

Current wind map shows a few scattered fetches here and there (forgot to circle that low south of us, but the fetch is pretty weak). No big waves generated for us today either (been like that for 3 days), but this map looks a lot more like winter than a couple of days ago. That low north of us is sucking humid air from the south and as a result today is going to be a wet one.

That is confirmed by the 5.35am radar image. You can check the evolution of the rain throughout the day by clicking the link n.8 of the GP's meteo links list, which is all I use to do this call (plus a bit of local knowledge, ofcourse). I also like links n.6 and 7 for that, but today they don't seem to be working.
Anyway, I woke up with lightining and thunder, and those are quite rare in Maui.

NAM3km map at noon shows a light southerly flow. The north shore waves loves that.

I love Mishka's music and will try to go see his concert at this Saturday at Charley's. The doors open at 9 and there's a DJ set before him, but he's only going to start playing at 10.30pm, which seems like a bit of a contradiction in a surfing place. I'm usually asleep for a couple of hours already by then...

Lastly, a friend of mine found a kiteboard on the beach yesterday. Send me an email if you lost it, I'll get you in touch with her. Please describe what's on the bottom of it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

6.30am Hookipa has clean head to occasional head and a third waves. Bit smaller and less consistent than yesterday. All I saw is the n swell, but I didn't wait long.
7.5 (could be one point higher if it wasn't high tide).

12 7 16 morning call

Just one session for me yesterday. After the morning sickness healed, the waves turned real clean and the point was firing some beautiful  rights (8.5 was the highest score I have given so far). I saw Deneb screaming down the line all the way from Green Trees (also known as Point Deneb) to the channel at least a couple of times. My best wave was a left though, that I caught at Chip's spot. Which, unless you dawn patrol The Point, you might not have any idea of where it is, and that is ok.

Later in the morning and until about 5pm a light sideon breeze picked up and ruined the shape a bit. That thinned out the crowd, but at sunset it was packed.

This is Sean Ordonez on a short shape of his. Photo by Jimmie Hepp out of this gallery.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

1.7ft @ 12s from 216° (SW)
1.1ft @ 13s from 201° (SSW)
SSW swell down to 12-13 seconds, yesterday was the best day to surf in Lahaina. I heard reports of up to shoulder high at select spots.
North Shore
5.8ft @ 16s from 317° (NW)
3.8ft @ 11s from 6° (N)
3.7ft @ 16s from 312° (NW)

3.9ft @ 11s from 355° (N)           
3.7ft @ 9s from 28° (NNE)
2.1ft @ 16s from 333° (NNW)
New NW swell on the rise, while the northerly energy eases (but not much) on Maui's north shore today. Below on the left is the graph of the NW buoy. I marked the relatively slow rise from 3 to 6 feet. Applying GP's rule of thumb for the travelling times, we know that 15s take roughly 15h, so I marked the equivalent points on the Pauwela graph on the right. The size will be obviously smaller because of the energy decay due to the travel. We have 2 feet at 4am, we should see something like 4f at sunset. Not a good direction for the west side, but let's not forget the 4f 11s from the N that are still lingering in the water. Yesterday that was 5-6f and 12-13s and the Bay was chest high. Gonna guess waist high today, but don't go in the morning, might not break at all on the high tide.
Let's have a look at the fetch that generated the new NW swell. Below is the maps of Dec 2nd and you can see how distant it is.

 Didn't change much on Dec 3rd.

Current wind map shows the fetch in the NW corner that we also saw yesterday. It's going to move up and stop making waves for us soon and it looks a lot like the fetch that made the current NW swell that I just illustrated above. As a result, the resulting swell next week should be very similar in size, direction and consistency. Similar, but not exactly the same. They never are and that is a blessing because thanks to that, surfing is never repetitive. I have a hard time explaining that to my dad: "don't you get bored of doing always the same thing?"
Obviously, he never surfed.

NAM3km map at noon shows again the annoying tradish breeze which is not good for anything, really. But I'll take it better than 20 knots.

As I wrote many times, I absolutely loved the book Barbarian Days and I had no problem spending $28 (I'm notoriously extremely frugal) to go listen to a speech of the author William Finnegan a few days ago at the MACC. I also wanted to ask him a question that was haunting me since I read the Fiji chapter of the book:
Him and a buddy were exploring waves in Fiji and somehow managed to find out that someone else just discovered this amazing left hander right in front of a uninhabited small island called Tavarua. They hired some fishermen that reluctantly take them there and camped on it in absolute solitude for weeks.

My question was:"I understand that as long as Restaurants was working, you guys didn't have any interest of exploring anything else, but in the flat spells didn't you feel like checking out Cloudreak? I couldn't believe it doesn't even get mentioned in the book!"
The disappointing answer was:"we couldn't see it!"
And my reply (still hanging tight on the microphone that the usher wanted to take away from me):"what about Pools in Namotu, it's right in front!"
"We couldn't see it either".

Well, at least my curiosity was satisfied. The speech was short and the rest of the time was dedicated to a long Q&A session. I left early after I realized that he was more interested in answering political questions (he works for the New Yorker and has travelled the world as a journalist) than surfing questions.

Here's a 5 minutes video of Mr. Finnegan reading a pass from his book. It's a pass that describes his experience surfing Honolua Bay in the 70's. To understand it better, you need to know that prior to that pass, he had a board shaped by Les Potts as a gift from his girlfriend Karen. Potts seemed to do more what he thought was going to work, rather than listening to Finnegan's inputs. Finnegan was able to finally do some changes when the board got in the hands of the glasser (a guy called Mike).