"I had the best wave of my life" (...oh, come on!)
"I had the best wave of the last five years" (...that's more credible.)
"I'm in awe"
That's some of the comments I heard on the beach yesterday.
To be honest, I also heard mild complaints about the waves closing out too much, the wind being too strong and the water being too choppy, but overall I would definitely describe yesterday as a fantastic day of wavesailing and rank it a five star without a doubt.
I was shooting with the camera and got a lot of footage. I have no idea when I'll be able to edit it, since the forecast finally looks the way it should in winter time. Here's how Pat Caldwell summarizes it: "Normal winter surf, high."
This morning I only have time to post a shitty photo (taken by mistake... maybe I should take more photos instead of videos, whatcha think?). But it somehow shows the quality of this swell.
I'm on a wave (so is Gary initiating his sequence of bottom turns downwind of me). Please appreciate the distance with the previous wave: a football field!
It's called wavelenght and together with the wave period (seconds between waves) is one of the parameters that affect the shoaling of the waves when they hit a shallow bottom.
Without getting too much in detail, the bigger the wavelenght (and period), the more the waves grow on the reef. Not only that. Longer distance between waves, makes it easier to go out (more opportunities to pump and get speed between waves), makes it easier to emergency water start when falling in the impact zone, makes it easier to spot other sailors in the impact zone, makes it easier to read the waves. In other word, it's higher quality wave sailing, compared to wind swell (which can still be a hell lot of fun, of course).
Also, try to follow the crest of that wave in front of us (click on the photo for that)... it's a whole freaking wall of moving water all the way to kite beach. That's because it was low tide in the morning (when I took this photo) and the biggest waves were closing out. That's not good... but it got a lot better in the afternoon with the high tide.
Let's see what the Waimea buoy readings were for this swell.
Notice how the size went up from 6 to 9 feet, but also how the period increased and MOST IMPORTANTLY for Kanaha, the direction went from just over 300 degreess (that'll be NW) to just over 330 (NNW). The impact of this for Kanaha is huge.
Check the following map and try to understand (maybe using a small ruler on the screen) the shade provided by the West Maui Mountain for everything coming more west than 320...
This is the weather map of this morning, Sunday 2 10 and it's dedicated to those friends leaving Maui today to go ski/snowboard on the mainland (I got three of them). Congratulations, what a good week to do that you guys!!! ;-)
Now, that's a serious storm and it's occluded, so it's gonna stay there for a while. The resulting NW swell will be in the extra-large category and will last pretty much all week. You thought the West Maui Mountain blockage was a bummer? Sometimes it is, but sometimes is a blessing! Without it it would be too big everywhere!
EVERYTHING in life has at least one bad aspect and one good one. Wonna have a happy life? Just focus on the positive one... it's THAT simple!
AND, as the satellite photo clearly shows, there's not a single cloud over Hawaii.
Since the first photo didn't really show that, here's how the sky looked like yesterday.
In other words, Maui is back to being the paradise it's known as.
And I'm conscious that I'm extraordinarily lucky to be able to experience this. If I was just a little less lucky I could have been born in Afghanistan and being a refugee right now... or somewhere in Africa and being starving...
This goes to anyone who woke up in Maui today and has even the smallest complaint about anything at all, like:
- my job sucks (...at least you have one)
- I don't like my partner anymore (...either keep her/him and shut up or leave her/him!)
- Kanaha is too crowded (...hey, there's waves!)
- I wish I earned more so that I could buy a bigger truck (...which half of the working world population do you belong to? The one that earns more or less than two dollars a day?)
- etc, etc, etc...
YOU GUYS ARE SO UNAWARE of what the lives of other human beings are in other parts of the world in this right moment! Stop bitching and start becoming aware of your luck...