Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Clean head high peaks everywhere and not too crowded. Tide looks fat and it's still going up.

12 17 14 morning call

6am main swell buoy readings:

Maui north shore (indicative of what's in the water on Maui's north shore)
5.9ft @ 8s from 58° (ENE)
3.3ft @ 11s from 358° (N)
2.5ft @ 13s from 352° (N)
2ft @ 15s from 340° (NNW)

West lanai Maui north shore (indicative of what's in the water on Maui's south shore)
1.7ft @ 13s from 197° (SSW)
1.5ft @ 5s from 173° (S)
1.4ft @ 9s from 191° (SSW)

Late call this morning, my body decided it needed some rest and I slept in.
The big news is the lack of strong wind in the morning. The trades turned more easterly, as a result of that high moving to the east a bit more. As you can see, there's another high right behind it, so the trades are going to be back to a more usual direction and pretty strong again on Thursday.

But this morning should be fairly calm until the usual land warming will suck the wind line closer and closer to the coast.
Below is the 2km map for pm and as you can see, at one point it will be sailable/kiteable all the way down the coast.

With the mix of swells (and their relative sizes) indicated by the maui buoy, Hookipa will see the most surfing action today.
I surfed south yesterday. The Lanai buoy was reading 1.9f 13s (finally the south swell was picked up by it because the NW swell went down) and it was chest high in the sets, but the sets were really far apart (10-15 minutes).
Now it's reading 1.7f and it's 7.30am, so you can actually watch the webcams and decide for yourself if it's worth driving.

I'll post a photo from Hookipa in a bit.

Have fun in the sun everyone!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

So bad. I give it a 0.5

12 16 14 morning call

4am main swell buoy readings:

Maui north shore (indicative of what's in the water on Maui's north shore)
7.5ft @ 8s from 48° (NE)           
6.2ft @ 12s from 341° (NNW)
2.2ft @ 4s from 68° (ENE)

West lanai Maui north shore (indicative of what's in the water on Maui's south shore)
2.4ft @ 13s from 291° (WNW)
1.2ft @ 9s from 208° (SSW)
0.8ft @ 3s from 190° (S)
0.8ft @ 4s from 176° (S)

Yesterday's call was good.
Both the south facing shores and the west side offered very fun conditions.
Today both S and NNW swells are a tad smaller, but seen the blustery winds on the north shore, if you want to surf clean waves, that's your only option.

That's how good the waves at Honolua looked yesterday (this is the only shot I quickly took after my session).

The Maui buoy reads 6.2ft @ 12s from 341°, but with a 7.5ft @ 8s from 48° (NE)  windswell on top of it and the active trades as well, you can imagine that the waves won't be particularly clean at Hookipa.
Nonetheless, this morning I work at 9 and don't have time to go west and back, so I'll probably challenge it anyway. I'm going to go from perfect waves like the one above (yesterday I had my best right ever, btw) to a messy rough ocean. Doesn't matter. Gonna be uncrowded, gonna be challenging, gonna be a good workout anyway... surfing is always fun. So expect a Hookipa report soon.

I usually focus on the call for the day, but since this whole week is going to be horribly windy, I do take pleasure to publish the weather map forecasted for Dec. 23, because it shows a low that is modeled to develop just north of the islands.
That will possibly bring rain and some nasty weather, but I personally look forward to the change.
Have fun in the sun everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The bay is occasionally oh with a medium crowd

12 15 14 morning call

4am main swell buoy readings:

Maui north shore (indicative of what's in the water on Maui's north shore)
10.7ft @ 14s from 337° (NNW)
7.4ft @ 8s from 49° (NE)

West lanai Maui north shore (indicative of what's in the water on Maui's south shore)
3.8ft @ 14s from 237° (WSW)
1.1ft @ 4s from 174° (S)
0.9ft @ 9s from 265° (W)

Well 10 feet are 10 feet, even though on the way down, as the waimea buoy graph below tells us.

The weather is dominated by the high pressure and the strong trades. I sailed Kanaha yesterday and it was pretty horrible. The strong wind torn apart the beautiful waves and added tons of chop on them.
It might still be considered kinda epic for European standard, but I lived here for 14 years and I'm spoiled, picky and very selective.
That's why I'm going to go look for cleaner waves to surf on the west side today.
Don't forget there's also a south swell. It doesn't show on the Lanai buoy, because that one does get the wrap of the NW swells and this one is so big that overshadows the south one (at least, that's the only reason I can think of, but I also observed it quite a few times, so I believe it to be true).

That's a bit unfortunate, because I wanted to verify a thing that I read on Pat Caldwell's page that kinda shocked me. Here it is:
"A surface low pressure system occluded east of New Zealand 12/8 with severe gales holding into 12/9 in an area about 3500 nm away from Hawaii. The pacioos/cdip buoy near american samoa showed a jump in southerly swell 12/10-12. Wave periods are mostly moderate near 14 seconds. As swell trains travel, the wave periods increase, so by the time the first batch of swell reaches Hawaii, they should be near 17 seconds. Inconsistent surf is predicted to fill in Sunday from 180-190 degrees, peak on Monday, and slowly drop on Tuesday into Wednesday. "
The period of the waves is an expression of the energy that was transferred to them by the wind that created them. How can it increase while they travel without any additional wind spacing them out more?
That doesn't make any sense to me, and I need to investigate it. I'm sure Uncle Pat is right, but I'd like to understand why. I got this big problem in my life... I like to understand how things work.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'll find plenty waves on my way to the Bay.
I got these two puppies to try out... Merry Christmas to me! :)

Have fun in the sun everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

12 14 14 morning call

4am main swell buoy readings:

10.3ft @ 15s from 323° (NW)         
6.1ft @ 8s from 24° (NNE)
4.2ft @ 10s from 359° (N)
1.6ft @ 7s from 52° (ENE)

Maui north shore (indicative of what's in the water on Maui's north shore)
9.5ft @ 15s from 327° (NW)           
4.1ft @ 8s from 353° (N)

West lanai Maui north shore (indicative of what's in the water on Maui's south shore)
2.9ft @ 17s from 278° (W)           
1.3ft @ 8s from 210° (SSW)
0.7ft @ 6s from 204° (SSW)
0.3ft @ 4s from 163° (SSE)

Well, I was wrong about the wind forecast yesterday. Next time I'll stick to what extremely sophisticated mathematical models that run on extremely powerful computers say...
Adapting to the conditions is a key factor to have fun, so I did the windkooking thing at Hookipa and it turned out to be a lot of fun, with the first sets of the new WNW arriving in the afternoon.
The good thing of such a westerly direction is the lack of consistency in the arrival.
If you watched Pipe in the morning, you noticed that once the swell turned on, it was pretty consistently big.
Instead here in Maui there were sets every 5 to 10 minutes and that made it for a really easy sail out.
Here's a photo from yesterday's session taken by FishBowlDiaries (you can find them on facebook).
I had a strong gust and with my poor skills I chose to do a safe little air landing off the back.
I circled the section I should have hit to do a proper one instead. But it's still early in the winter to risk injuries.

Today we have 9.5f 15s and that's pretty big.
Here's the buoy graph that shows the swell peaking this morning in Maui.

Below instead is the graph of the NW buoy that shows that the swell had a first peak around noon yesterday (the one we'll have this morning in Maui) and then it went up again during the night.
Notice also the lower part of the graph that shows how the direction changed to a more northerly direction.
The 5am reading is 10.3ft @ 15s from 323°. Yesterday the swell started from 302.
That means that the second day of the swell (today) the waves are going to be bigger and more consistent in Maui, since they will blocked a lot less from the other islands.

The wind is forecasted to be strong (20-25) all day, grab your sails and kites and have fun in the sun everyone!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Head high a bit choppy.

12 13 14 morning call

5am main swell buoy readings:
8.7ft @ 16s from 302° (WNW)           
6.7ft @ 7s from 2° (N)

3.8ft @ 20s from 308° (WNW)
3.8ft @ 12s from 322° (NW)
2.6ft @ 9s from 338° (NNW)
1.7ft @ 5s from 25° (NNE)

Maui north shore (indicative of what's in the water on Maui's north shore)
4.2ft @ 9s from 31° (NE)
4.5ft @ 13s from 328° (NW)
1.6ft @ 20s from 315° (NW)
0.7ft @ 4s from 73° (ENE)

West lanai Maui north shore (indicative of what's in the water on Maui's south shore)
    1.8ft @ 13s from 268° (W)
1.7ft @ 9s from 202° (SSW)
1ft @ 4s from 302° (WNW)
0.5ft @ 20s from 291° (WNW)

Brand new swell on tap today, but with a lot of energy still in the water from all kind of directions as you can see from the maui buoy readings. That means the waves will interact with each other, have ribs and multiple peaks on their face and be overall not that clean. In other words, what we normally get at Hookipa.

In the past posts I pointed out how this new swell's storm started from a relatively westerly position.
For your convenience, instead of scrolling down to the 12 10 call, here's again the wind map of that day. The highlighted one is the fetch that generated the start of this swell.

Now let's have a look at the directions at the buoys: 302 at the NW, 308 at the Waimea and 328 at the Maui one.
The reason they change so much is because the swell gets refracted around the islands.
You are never going to see a swell that comes from 302 at the Maui buoy, because there's only islands in that direction! But fortunately the waves bend and get to our north shore anyway.
The longer the period and bigger the size, the better they bend. But they do lose a lot of energy and consistency when they do so.
So, expect this first part of the swell to be a lot smaller than what you'll be able to see if you watch the Pipe Masters today.
Below is the wind map of today instead.
The fetch I circled at the bottom is what usually the trade winds look like and the islands sit right in the middle of it. This will happen in the next few days as the high moves east, but today the islands are sitting well outside the trades fetch and I believe it's not going to be a good day for wind sports, despite what windguru and even maui county @ km say. I might be wrong, but that's what I think.
But the damn high will move to a more favorable position and it will take like a week to do so. That means trade winds for a week. That means a week of chop infested waves. But someone will be happy. We're all different, that's a great thing.

Allright kids, I'm late this morning, let's see if I can sneak a quick sesh before work.
Have fun in the sun everyone!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Still doh sets, light wind, but not particularly clean shape. One guy out at middles.