Friday, February 24, 2017

6.30am hookipa has head to head and third nw waves. It looks better than yesterday as there's no wind and less chop.

2 24 17 morning call

Yesterday the waves at Hookipa had a seriously bad shape. In the morning I called it a 3 from the cliff, but when I surfed it, it felt more like a 1.5. Things improved a bit at sunset, but not by much. Check how irregular is the lip line of this left. I took this photo from the car since it wasn't even worth getting out for a photo shoot, let alone surfing it.

Well, that's also because I had just had some windsurfing foiling action earlier in the harbor. This time it went even better than Sunday and that's because the wind was much more manageable. Below are the graphs of the iWindsurf "Kanaha" sensor for both days. They should really call it "Harbor east pier", 'cause that's where it is. I only had like 40 minutes before the wind (as predicted by the MC2km maps) got just a tad too light.

This time I had a 5.8 sail and I could pump the foil up on a plane pretty much anytime I wanted. Once lifted, I managed to stay up there for a maximum of 5-6 seconds before the thing inevitably did a controlled mini-willie and stopped. Too much weight on the back foot as blog reader Garrett suggested in a comment after Sunday's post, I need to learn to keep the foil leveled once up. But the most important thing is that now I know the kind of conditions that are best for learning and I only had a couple of non dangerous falls. I'm still convinced that this is the best way of learning.

Yesterday's wind graph. Could have used a couple of more mph's.

Just for (my) reference, this is the graph of Sunday when instead I had a 4.0 and it was quite a bit more challenging. Obviously.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore
1.4ft @ 13s from 282° (WNW)     
1.2ft @ 9s from 196° (SSW)                      
0.5ft @ 20s from 225° (SW)
The first reading is the wrap of the current NW swell and the last might the one of the new rising one. In the end, you still need to check the webcams. Barbers buoy is down, btw.

North shore
4ft @ 8s from 88° (E)
2.9ft @ 5s from 57° (ENE)
2.6ft @ 12s from 328° (NW)
1.8ft @ 17s from 45° (NE)

3.6ft @ 13s from 349° (NNW)           
3.6ft @ 8s from 91° (E)
2.5ft @ 6s from 86° (E)
1.9ft @ 18s from 341° (NNW)
Reading the buoys sometimes requires some serious interpretation/knowledge. Normally I clean up those readings and leave only the "significant" ones for you guys, but this time I need them all for explanation purposes. Don't forget that those two buoys are sitting very close to each other.

The 12-13s readings are the current NW swell that is now on its way down. The sub 8s easterly readings are windswells. The 17-18s readings are the start of a new swell. The reason for those unmatching directions is that the buoys are subject to other energies and oscillations and the detection of the correct direction will only happen when this swell will grow in size and be predominant.
I'm gonna push this concept even further and declare that, based on my years of observations, ALL of those directions are not 100% correct (whatever 'correct' means, considering that the wave trains of a swell always has a range of directions, not only one), since they all influence each other. Only if there's a single swell in the water, the direction indication becomes more reliable.
3.3ft @ 13s from 319° (NW)
3.5ft @ 14s from 329° (NW)
4.1ft @ 9s from 79° (ENE)
3.4ft @ 14s from 333° (NNW)
2.5ft @ 11s from 337° (NNW)
None of the NW exposed local buoys shows signs of the new swell yet. But by applying GP's rule of thumb for the travelling time in its last and final version (I swear I'm not gonna change it again.. I might have to chisel it out on a rock at Hookipa...) 16h at 16s plus/minus 1's for different periods, those 2f 18s at the NW001 buoy should reach Maui at 4am + 14h = 6pm.
Keeping in mind that that 2f at the NW buoy will be less locally because of the decay due to the travelling and to possible refractions, and that the period slightly increases with the travelling, the WW3 output is quite in line with that, as it proposes 1.5f 20s at that time instead.

In other words, there should be some energy from the new swell at sunset overlapping to the old one.
Old one that is on its way down instead, as the Pauwela graph below shows. The light blue line seems to have peaked around sunset yesterday, but 3-4f 14s are still a fun size to play with. The quality of the waves will depend on the local wind and on the interaction with the windswell that is still up to 4f 9s unfortunately.
NAM3km map at 7am shows some possibly nice conditions on the north shore.

MC2km maps not updated yet at this time (check them later for the most reliable wind predictions), here's the 10 days Windguru table (link n.16 og GP's meteo websites list on the right) that shows two things of interest:
1) today the wind should be around 15mph from a direction around 60 degrees. Not the best for windsurfing (ideal direction for the north shore is around 75), definitely not the best for surfing either.
2) A wonderful (from the surfer's point of view, of course) start of the month of March.

Current wind map shows:
1) distant WNW fetch that is going to move north
2-3) I talked about those two forming fetches yesterday. So far the wind speed is pretty mild, so nothing major generated yet
4) I see it, I circle it. But I would not expect much out of this southerly fetch, seen how light the wind in it is.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

7am hookipa has the mix shown by pauwela. The photo shows a nw set, which are actually quite consistent and definitely predominant, but the windswell and morning sickness induces a lot of bumps.
Head to head and a third, light wind.

Thursday 2 23 17 morning call

Conditions were pretty bad all day yesterday and I ended up not getting in the water at all. I had a couple of opportunities (like foiling in harbor or windsurfing Hookipa in the afternoon), but I preferred to wait for the sunset, which instead didn't offer anything good. I had to come up with some mega zoom to make the photos interesting. This is Pavils.

Brother Brad.

5am significant buoy readings
South shore

1.4ft @ 8s from 180° (S)                      
1ft @ 15s from 288° (WNW)
Bit of wrap at the Lanai buoy and an interesting 8s straight south small read. I don't think either one is going to do much noticeable, but, as usual, check the webcams and you'll find out.

North shore
5.7ft @ 14s from 318° (NW)
3.3ft @ 14s from 316° (NW)
5.3ft @ 8s from 72° (ENE)                      
3ft @ 14s from 320° (NW)
Below is the graph of the three reported buoys. NW101 shows that the swell should keep increasing all day, and that's what I drew with the blue dotted line. NOAA's WW3 model outputs 5f  14s at 6pm, while the Surfline one sees it peak at 6.8f 14s at 2pm. The first one feeds the second which then adds its own near shore elaborations. Just by looking at the NW101, my guess is that the Surfline one is well overestimated. We'll have the confirmation tomorrow.
In the meantime, there's still plenty windswell, which will be much more consistent than the NW sets.
NAM3km map at 7 shows 16 knots, but fortunately the 6am iWindsurf Hookipa reading is only 6mph.
MC2km also sees the wind between 15-20 knots (pink) all day until 3pm when the WRF model predicts it to ease up into the 10-15 range (grey). 
Current wind map shows:
0) the big and strong low pressure (unnumbered on the map) that I pointed out yesterday by posting the old school weather map full of isobars, already moved across the Aleutians and not doing much for us anymore.
1) a new small fetch off Japan that is going to do the same and move NE right away (not good)
2-3) two small and weak fetches
L2-L3) the position where two small lows will form in the next few days and generate small/medium size/period waves.

You can tell that this pressure distribution is not conducive to the formation of big swells. Nothing over 10f, in fact, in the Surfline extended forecast (till Mar 11). Obviously and nonetheless, winter is still far from being over yet.
PS. I just received a reply from the Windity guy about my suggestion of incorporating the WRF model in their maps (seen the unreliability of the updates of MC2km) and here's what he replied:
"Hi Giampaolo, thank you for the link. In the future we plan to add more weather models into the Windytv. I will put this on our backlog."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

7.30 hookipa has shoulder to head high short to mid period waves at pavils and the point.
Moderate trades.

Wednesday 2 22 17 morning call

18 year old Zack is in vacation in Maui with his mom and I took him surfing at Honolua Bay.

Conditions looked very dubious from the cliff (as reported at 6.30am on this very page), but we decided to paddle out anyway and lucked out into an hour an a half of much higher consistency. Within the first 5 minutes, he caught 3 waves. We had a lot of fun.

At 10 I was at work at Hi-Tech and after 2 I took him windsurfing. He's my dream customer, up for everything and good at everything.

5am significant buoy readings
South shore
Nothing at the buoys, probably flat but check the webcams.

North shore
2.2ft @ 14s from 327° (NW)

2.6ft @ 15s from 307° (WNW)
A new WNW swell is on the rise on the two NW buoys. At the moment, the numbers are very unimpressive: already down to 14-15s and only 2-3f, but the size should improve later today. As usual, the low but long period readings didn't even get registered by those buoys out in the very rough waters.
Also, do not pay attention to the different directions, we have learned that we need to wait for bigger numbers for more reliable information on the direction. Fortunately you guys have the luxury of having someone that is willing to pull back up the wind maps that show the position of the fetches that generated the swell, and that is the best way of knowing what direction a swell is coming from.
Below are the maps of Feb 19 and 20 (I managed to forget to number the fetches for 2 days in a row) and you see the fetch in a fairly distant WNW position on the first one...
Wind map Feb 19
... and a little closer and less west position on the second one, but worse oriented (max energy is going to miss us to the north and hit the American west coast instead).
Wind map Feb 20

Surfline has the peak of this swell at 7f 14s at 2pm tomorrow from 318 (after refraction). What about today? Below is the NOAA WW3 model output that predicts the first presence of this swell in the Maui waters only at 3pm with a mere 0.5f 19s that will eventually became a full foot at 6pm. Which translates into the possibility of a few long period sets at sunset.

So, with pretty much nothing from this swell in Maui today, what are we going to surf? Here's the local buoys readings at 5am.

5.4ft @ 9s from 355° (N)

6.9ft @ 7s from 62° (ENE)
How can Waimea feel 5.4f 9s from the N and Pauwela only 7f 7s of windswell? I'm not really sure, but I'm gonna blame the "insensitivity" of the buoys and assume (and hope) that the northerly energy is also in the Maui waters. That'll add a bit of juice to the otherwise weak (7s) windswell. You guys should check Pauwela later to see if that energy reappears. Or just wait for the beach report that I will possibly do today from Hookipa. Beach report or not, Pavillions will be the spot to (try to) surf today, since it's going to be blowing pretty strong already.

NAM3km map at 7 shows 20 knots of trades and similar speeds for the rest of the day.

Oh look, MC2km maps are available early today, and this is the 1pm one that confirms the strong wind.

Current wind map shows:
1) a strong fetch in the NW corner. 7.5f 16s from 309 on Saturday predicted by Surfline
2-3) tiny little fetches (fetchetielli in my dialect) that won't do much

That fetch n.1 is so strong that I'd like to post an "old school" weather map. Don't you guys miss those isobars? I do. Actually I don't, because I check it every day, I just don't post it every day. Link n.1 of GP's meteo websites list.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

6.30am Honolua has waist to very occasionally chest high clean waves. 2

Tuesday 2 21 17 morning call

Yesterday was a really tough day to find some decent surfing conditions. I drove all the way to Honolua and didn't even think for a second to paddle out. As stated in the beach report, the waves were big and far from perfect. Take this first photo for example, and notice that big wedge induced by the mix of periods in the water. This wave ended up being quite useless.

This other one looked good for a second, but it shut down. That happened quite often.

And even this one that looked fine, didn't really do much for the surfer.

I so decided to go chase the small waves in Lahaina (there was a little wrap coming down all the way from the Bay). At least it was sunny and not windy. And that, compared to the weather on the north shore, was a blessing by itself.
Louise and her dad are two French Hi-Tech rental customers. I rented them those boards and by what I could see, they are absolutely perfect for them. She's on a Takayama In The Pink 9'3 (we also have it in 9.0 and 9.6) and he's on a T&C 10'0.
I told them to check the blog today... envoie moi un email you guys, I got more photos.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

Nothing at the buoys, check the webcams.

North shore
5.3ft @ 10s from 346° (NNW)

4.6ft @ 12s from 331° (NNW)
4.4ft @ 9s from 339° (NNW)

5.6ft @ 7s from 38° (NE)
4.8ft @ 11s from 328° (NW)
3.1ft @ 10s from 341° (NNW)
NW swell is pretty much half the size of what it was yesterday, as the NW101 and Pauwela graphs show below. Not that that matters much, since the north shore is going to be blown out again by the strong trades.
I put an arrow on the time I was at the bay yesterday and Pauwela was reading a solid 10f 14s. No wonder that were some doh+ bombs.

Instead, let me point out how useless is this "spot report" I checked yesterday evening on Surfline. At the same 8am time, the surf was predicted (or reported, whatever that is) to be 6-7 feet. That's probably what most people look at on their phone apps (I don't know for sure, because I don't have and don't want one).
The only forecast I find valid on Surfline (or anywhere else, really) is the one you get by clicking the "offshore swells" tab on link n15 (or 14 for the south shore). That's the one that looks exactly like a buoy output and tells you what the swell will be just offshore of your spots.

It will then be up to you to integrate that information with your local knowledge and try to guess the size at your spots. It doesn't take much to build that knowledge. Every time you are going surfing or even just to check the spots, check the buoy page (link n.11) to see what's in the water. Then look at the size of the waves and make a mental association between the two. Once you've done that 10 times, you'll know a lot more. And once you've done that every day for a month, you'll be an expert compared to someone else who only reads predictions like the one below and never knows what actually is in the water.

NAM3km map at 7am shows some moderate trades, which will continue to blow all day. West side still the call for clean surf, IMO. Size should be much more manageable than yesterday.

Current wind map shows:
1) solid NW fetch. The resulting swell will be much cleaner than the actual one, because the fetch is far more distant
2-3) little windswelly fetches that are not going to do much for us.
Still nothing down south.