Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday 12 14 17 morning calls

Double SUP foiling sessions for me yesterday, both very fun. Here's a few images from the harbor.

Soon to be father north shore shaper Keith Taboul is having fun with foiling. Notice how he's focused on the water right in front of him. That's not to spot eventual bumps (which the foil doesn't really feel), but to assess how high he is above the water. He's flying pretty high in this moment, so he's shifting most of his weight on the front foot to keep the nose of the board from going even higher and result in a overfoiling crash.

At the start of this carve, he's much lower and that's how you need to be to start a turn, as the foil will accelerate at the end of it.

My friend Marco took this photo at Honolua. You can see the northerly wind affecting the lip line a bit, but I also saw some amazing barrels in some other photos, one which from Dusty Paine, who evidently chose to fly back home for this day that was way too big and stomry for Pipeline. Good call and good luck to him in round 2 against Medina.

This photo by Jason Hall shows how not to strap your boards on the car. I hope the car rental company charged him something for the wax removal from the rooftop.

3-4am significant buoy readings
South shore

No southerly energy at the buoys, the Surfline forecast calls for 0.6f 14s, probably resulting in mostly flat conditions.

North shore
10.7ft @ 15s from 322° (NW)
6.1ft @ 10s from 318° (NW)

9.2ft @ 13s from 316° (NW)           
8.3ft @ 16s from 311° (NW)
4.3ft @ 6s from 344° (NNW)

11.3ft @ 15s from 318° (NW)           
4.7ft @ 13s from 321° (NW)
3.4ft @ 9s from 331° (NNW)
3.1ft @ 10s from 327° (NW)
The swell arrived, but it wasn't as big as predicted (at least in Maui). The NW buoys went up to 20f 17s at one point yesterday (which is massive), but the Pauwela buoy (graph on the left below) "only" reached 15f 15s, which is a good 3 feet below the Surfline forecast (graph on the right). Also the outline of the graph is not particularly precise. The swell should be trending down throughout the day, but when the starting point is 11f 15s, it means that the whole north shore will still too big and searching for a sheltered spot is again the call. The wind will be much worse than yesterday too (28mph from NNE in Kahului at 6am), so not a great day for surfing I'm afraid.

Wind map at noon shows moderate NE winds. The red circle shows the area where you want to assess the offshore wind direction. In this case, it's well more north than the regular ENE trades, so it won't get amplified by the Haleakala much on the north shore. It will in Kihei and the same thing will happen on the west side because of the West Maui Mountains.

North Pacific shows a wide area with weak WNW fetches and a small NE windswell one.

South Pacific shows a small southerly fetch. Only 0.8f 14s predicted by Surfline out of that in a week.

Morning sky. Thanks to our 21 degrees lovely latitude, we've been completely spared by the rain of that massive front.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

10am the harbor has shoulder to head high waves and light onshore. Fun.

Wednesday 12 13 17 morning call

Two shortboard sessions for me yesterday in a day that saw gorgeous conditions for most of the day thanks to the Kona wind which blew until exactly 4pm (as predicted by the model I use) before turning onshore. Enjoy the heavenly photos below, because today instead it'll hell out in the open ocean.

This lovely lady brings a little female beauty into this otherwise dudes dominated post.
Later in the day the kona got strong enough for some windsurfers to hit Lanes. Jimmie Hepp posted some pictures in this gallery, but the one I find most intriguing is this one showing a plane approaching the runaway with the waves ripped by kona wind and the Iao valley in the background. Must me a sign that I like wings these days.

It doesn't happen often that Paia Bay looks better than Pipeline (thanks to the Konas), so I'm not gonna miss the opportunity to document that. That's yesterday afternoon.
5am significant buoy readings
South shore
No indication of energy at the buoys, the Surfline forecast calls for declining 0.8 12f, probably flat, unless some of the NW energy find its way to squeeze down the west side and reach Lahaina, which I highly doubt, seen the NW direction.
North shore
16.8ft @ 16s from 321° (NW)
14.2ft @ 15s from 325° (NW)
9.5ft @ 14s from 327° (NW)           
2.4ft @ 8s from 336° (NNW)
1.8ft @ 9s from 330° (NW)
1.3ft @ 4s from 328° (NW)
Biggest numbers of the season so far at the buoys, below is the collage of the graph of the three reported buoys plus yesterday's Surfline forecast. Another steep one foot per hour rise, but this time happened during the night. Comparing the Pauwela graph to the forecast, we can see the the first one recorded 8f at midnight while the prediction was for 12f. So in this case either the WW3 model overestimated it, or it's just a bit late. Doesn't really matter, the waves will be too big (and still rising) to do anything non jet assisted on the north shore, unless you find a very sheltered spot. Upper west side will have more manageable waves, but the wind (already blowing 20 mph from the north at 6am in Kahului) will be a factor over there too. Good luck.
Wind map at noon shows light northerlies on the north shore, stronger in Kihei and the upper West side. Possible Kihei coast downwind run conditions.
North Pacific shows a much weakened close NNW fetch and a small and distant WNW one.
Small SE fetch in the South Pacific, the Big Island will probably block most of that energy.
Morning sky.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

6.45am Hookipa is head to occasionally head and a half with light to moderate konas.

Tuesday 12 12 17 morning call

Double SUP foiling session for me yesterday, in a day that offered many good options. A very good one was Hookipa at sunset, which I ranked as a 9. Below are some photos.

I guess you can call this a drone shot.

Here's a start of something beautiful at Lanes.

Same wave, well down the line. The guy disappeared completely and came out. Since Lanes is not Pipe (where yesterday the Masters started), that's pretty much an automatic 10.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

No indication of southerly energy at the buoys, the Surfline forecast calls for 1f 12s.

North shore
5.8ft @ 10s from 329° (NW)

3.9ft @ 12s from 332° (NNW)

5.3ft @ 11s from 332° (NNW)
No long period readings of the new upcoming big swell yet at any of the buoys, the first half of the day will only see the declining existing swell, which reads a lovely 5.3f 11s at Pauwela at 4am. Below is the graph of this last buoy, together with the Surfline forecast that shows the peak of the new swell tomorrow at 2pm at 18f 15s, but also a first indication of the energy of it today at 2pm with 5f 14s, so it should definitely be in the water in the afternoon. Notice also the inversion of the winds mid day today and the pretty ugly northerlies tomorrow and Thursday.

Here's how Pat Caldwell describes the characteristics of this new episode:
The next round of winter-caliber surf has the characteristic of recent large swell events with both remote and nearby sources combined. However, for the recent ones, the nearby source dominated. In the new case beginning late Tuesday, the remote source is expected to produce just as much or more than the nearby source. This should be the largest event so far this year.
Then he goes into a detailed description of what the remote and nearby fetches did, I wish one day will give him a more graphic tool to make his life easier. Check it out at link n.9 if you like meteo poetry.

Wind map at noon shows again a line around which the wind will turn because of the pass of a sub-front. According to this model, the wind will blow Kona until mid day and by 4pm it should turn northerly. Even though the two models at the bottom of the Windguru page only show the northerlies hitting after sunset, if you can choose, my suggestion is to surf in the morning rather than in the afternoon.

North Pacific shows again the very strong fetch that is still building tomorrow's swell and a new westerly fetch just east of Japan.

Nothing of relevance on offer in the South Pacific.

The morning sky gives me the opportunity to illustrate the sub-fronts. Within a front (of which in this case we're only being brushed by the tail), there can be several sub-front lines. I drew a red line on three of them. Around each single one, you'll have preceding southerly winds and following northerly winds.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday 12 11 17 morning call

SUP foiling and shortboard sessions for me yesterday and this time the fun factor was the other way around: 1 and 9. So it's not that one is more fun than the other. It all depends on the conditions and the crowd. Finding the right place at the right time (there was nothing good in the early morning) is my favorite game and that's why I have "surf guide" written on my business card.

In between sessions I took some photos at the harbor jetty where the HSA contest was being held. This keiki was catching the white water on the inside and gets a 10 for the cuteness.

The photos below show the show that Jackson Bunch put up in his heats. This is 10.40am and that's when the waves started pumping and were still a manageable size.

Looking and surfing like Kanoa Igarashi.

The back half of his board is completely out the back of the wave. He stuck the turn and continued with perfect flow.

The term "air drop" gets overused a lot (specially by the WSL commentators), but this is a real one.

As soon as he connected with the water at the bottom, he seamlessly engaged the rail and his eyes were already on the spot for the next maneuver. Impressive display of surfing from this young and very promising man.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

No energy at the buoys, the Surfline forecast calls for 1.2f 11s plus 0.6f 14s at 8am. Very small stuff, probably flat to knee high.

North shore
8.5ft @ 11s from 328° (NW)

8.3ft @ 14s from 334° (NNW)
4.2ft @ 9s from 342° (NNW)

8.2ft @ 14s from 332° (NNW)
4.8ft @ 9s from 350° (N)
Consistent sizes at all the reported buoys, but notice how the period went down to 11s already at the NW buoy. That's because it's well offshore and gets hit by the swell earlier. The same gradual decrease in period will happen throughout the day locally. Below is the graph of Pauwela next to Surfline forecast for yesterday and today. Notice how the two graphs are similar (the main difference is an earlier than predicted peak). I put two arrows to indicate how the offshore size went up from 6 to 12 f in 6 hours. A foot and hour is a steep rise and that was clearly visible in the water. By 2pm, it got too big for even the jetty inside the harbor, which was tripling up in a pretty horrible washed out way. Very hard for the young kids in the water to find a good wave.
Every time I get to this point when writing the call, I feel like I said enough, but for some readers maybe I didn't, so today I'll do an extra effort. To recap: 8.2 f 14s is the reading at Pauwela at 4am, that's our starting point. Then the combination of the reading at the NW buoys and the Surfline forecast (which can be accessed by anyone at link n.15), tells us what's gonna happen during the day. In this case, slowly declining size and period (hence size of the breaking waves). How big it's gonna be at all the different spots, it's a guess that each single reader should make an effort to do. It might take a little time, but after you observe buoy readings and the size at your spot(s) a few times, you'll know enough.

Wind map at noon shows an inversion line (circled in red), probably a sub-front line which will pass over the north shore around 10-11am. That's when the wind on the north shore will switch from light offshore to light onshore. Conditions on the north shore will be pretty clean in the early morning, don't wait too long.

North Pacific shows the strong fetch we saw yesterday still stirring waters towards us and getting closer. A fetch that follows the swell it's generating and keeps building the same waves is called captured and usually is associated with the biggest swells. 18f 16s from 324 is the Surfline prediction for Wednesday at 2pm. Note that this swell is the biggest of the last three, but it's also the more west. Good for the Pipe contest, but way too big on Wednesday and with questionable winds. The best day should be Friday, imo.

South Pacific shows a fetch SW of New Zealand, which will provide some blockage, but we should receive a little bit of energy next week. 1f 16s called by Surfline for Tuesday Dec 17.

Morning sky.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

11am The waves are starting to pump and the groms are ripping at the kahului harbor

6.45am Hookipa is head to head and a half and rising. Poor shape and ugly weather.