Sunday, March 01, 2009

I need a day off and a massage!!!

I'm going to start this post by commenting about the unusual conditions we are having here in Maui.

Here's the weather map of March 1st, but I could have chosen any day of the past week or any day of the coming week... they all look the same!
It's actually not unusual at all to have some days of rough short period big N-NE swells and side-on winds in winter time... what's unusual is the amount of days these conditions are lasting! Two weeks?!! Never seen anything like that in the last 8 years.

I've been sailing for at least seven days in a row now. Lucky me, I hear you saying? Not really...
What I REALLY love about Maui is the wonderful variety of conditions that allow me to do both wavesailing (high and light wind) AND surfing (laying down and standup paddling). This may be shocking for most windsurfers, but if Maui was a place where the wind would blow strong 24 hours a day, 365 days a year... I would not live here. My body couldn't take it. I'm all sore after seven days already!

Plus, it gets mildly boring to always sail the same conditions. So, in the attempt of introducing elements of newness, I mounted the camera in a new place (thanks to Glenn for the tip!). And I bought a new board...
Here's the result.

2 27 09 kanaha sideon from giampaolo cammarota on Vimeo.

Clearly you can't turn it on and off, so that means longer editing times. On the other hand, thanks to that I could measure exactly the duration of a couple of swims I had for my board (lost it in the waves at lower Kanaha). Let's see who guesses the longest one. I'll take five guesses in the comments and then I'll declare a winner.
Oh, I'll take the opportunity to remind the readers that I can be hired to film those videos. I can put my cameras pretty much everywhere on your rig and I can follow you with my head band camera. One blog reader already hired me for his April vacation: thanks for that. And remember, the quality of the videos is WAY better before uploading them to vimeo, youtube, etc...

Quick update on those DaKine footstreps. I don't like the back one. It's too stretchy. It's like having a Superfreak as a footstrep. But while the Superfreak absorbs the peak power of a gust (which is a good thing for me), the strep absorbs the peak pressure I put with the top of my foot on the strep to make the board carve on the rail in the bottom turn... and that's not a good thing for me. So, I replaced the back strep with a traditional. I'm allright with front ones. They're actually nice because they are shaped in a way that makes it easy to move the foot in and out and they absorb very little water. Maybe I'll keep this hybrid configuration. No big wipeouts yet, so I can't comment on the safety aspect.

Board: it's a Starboard evil twin 70. I believe it's actually a little more than that (I'd say at least 72) and it planes shockingly early. It's loose in the turns and it didn't require a style adaptation that all the other twinzers that I (quickly) tried so far demanded. So it's an easy board and that little volume is so well balanced that I'm using it without problems even in the ligth wind spells. Haven't really used it in good conditions yet, so stay tuned for a more proper report.

As usual, here's the photo that shows where the camera is. It's upside down, no big deal since there's a very smart setting that allows you to film like that.

Jeff's newest Superfreak ultralight prototype... these sails keep getting better and better.

I drove to Hookipa yesterday and here's what I saw: not a surfer in the water. Not a windsurfer either (just too gnarly). Not a car in the parking lot. Must be boring times for the lifeguards...
In the late afternoon two kitesurfers ventured out. They must have felt quite good to have Hookipa all to themselves (they usually have to stay at Lanes). Kiters are the real winners in these sideon conditions. No super short twin fin windsurf board can achieve the tight turns I've been observing at lowers by the kiters. Plus, going over all that white water is a piece of cake for them, compared to the struggle we experience instead.
Once again I'm thinking about giving it another try. And once again I know that for some reasons I won't...

Forecast. As I said, wind, wind and more wind. The 10-11s NE swell will have a couple of peaks around Monday and Wednesday, but then it will fade leaving us with pure ENE 7-8s windswell... and 3 seconds in the period and a few degrees will make a difference that deserves the adjective 'huge'... for the worse, of course. Fortunately, towards the weekend a NW swell is modeled to hit. We like that.

Here's a very touching video.

Here's a less touching, but quite funny one.

Not quite as touching, nor funny, here's a short video of a music night we recently had with some beach friends. Yes, we only played veeery recent tunes. How's this other one?

Here, I'll leave you with the weather map of exactly one year ago: March 1st 2008. Way less wind and a beautiful fetch brewing a long period NW swell all the way out there... that's what I'm talking about!

Enough of that. I'm off windsurfing today and if the weather gets better (good luck with that!) maybe I'll take photos of one of the very few spots that can offer some decent surfing with this direction. I might surf too, but being Sunday my prediction is that there will be a hell lot of people in the water... we'll see. Stay tuned for that. Aloha.


Wave said...

I have been having those same grateful feelings for the absolute variety of conditions we get here on Maui. It amazes me how different it can be from day to day.Or even hour to hour if you are sailing uppers.

Wind obsessor said...

Interesting about you're unusual weather patterns - we too have been having equally strange weather here in Guernsey with only one day of wind in 5weeks! I blame the ecomonic crisis as it seems to be fashionable to blame any problem on the economic meltdown!

Wave said...

...And speaking of a variety of conditions....Happy Opu went off today!!! WESTSIDE!!!!

Anonymous said...

The new camera mount is a winner! Lets you see the footwork, the backside to frontside transition, and see where you are on the wave way better than helmet, masthead, or nose!

Ray said...

My hands are destroyed, back is sore, and I'm sunburnt as hell.

Awesome weekend on Maui!

cammar said...

Thanks everyone for the comments.

Anyone guessing the duration of the swim yet?

Lano said...

Seriously GP, that was the best video you have ever created! Absolutley loved it! great perspective, great sailing, great song!

ummmm duration of the swim, 3 minutes 13 seconds.

Dan said...

Was it two minutes mr. Phelps?

Anonymous said...

Hey GP,

Thanks for posting the clip from our musical soiree from Friday night! What a wonderful evening shared with great friends--my Maui family! Looking forward to our next soiree when I get back there in April.

I absolutely cannot believe how lucky I was these last two weeks with regard to windsurfing conditions there on Maui. I'm a little disappointed I couldn't stay another week! Sailed every day, including 5 awesome days on the 12'2" Ke Nalu with the 5.0 at Kanaha; and those overcast and cold onshore days with the big NE and NW swell were a blast. It was a strange sensation to always feel chilled each time I got out of the water, with my teeth practically chattering as well. I remember seeing a german dude uncontrollably shivering by his car! And then the sun came out as the wind and waves increased! WOOOHOOO!!! My elbows and left knee are pretty achey from all of that fun, I can finally close my left hand into a fist for the first time in so many days.

Luckily, 8 inches of fresh snow have fallen since arriving in NYC yesterday afternoon, so I get another day of rest....No school, it's a SNOW DAY! WOOHOOO!!!

All the best,


Oscar said...

20 min?

Sorry but it is strap not strep... :)

Anonymous said...

Hi GP, came back to Italy, where, in two monts, we had two o tree good sailing days, before complain yourself about Maui wind and waves

Anonymous said...

that mount is sooo sweet
i really like your video

George Markopoulos said...

great tunes

robertkudla said...

The long range models say the la nina is easing. That is what moved the high pressure system, but for the past 18 months there have been o sunspots, and like last year, when the la nina faded, it reintensified. It will make for an interesting year, weatherwise.

Filippo said...

15 minutes swimming?

cammar said...

Thanks everyone for the comments.

Loris, I made a philosophy of life out of the statement "it could always be worse". I'm not complaining, I know how lucky I am, but two weeks of wind are unusual and I miss glassy surf days. Fact, not complaint.

My two swims were 4'20" and 3'40". That makes Lano's the closest guess. Having been in Maui helps, I guess.
Yesterday I would have had an even longer one (the board was cruising with the strong current downwind), but Juan nicely held the board for me. When I got there he told me:" I fell and I didn't see your gear. All of a sudden I felt this thing between my legs and I thought it was a shark! Then I saw it was your sail..."
Little 'technical' note/tip. Unless I'm at Hookipa and my board is headed for the rocks, I take it quite easy when swimming and do a backstroke. Two reasons:
- it's way easier to breath
- I can check the people on the waves. This saved me a few times. People riding waves are focused on the wave and sometimes don't see people swimming. If I see this happening, I yell very loudly and make sure they see me.

cammar said...

Lil forecast update. This is what Pat Caldwell wrote on Monday march 2:
"Long period swell of 14-17 seconds should arrive locally Tuesday night, keeping moderate to near high breakers relative to north shore standards for exposures to 20-30 degrees. The event should be long-lived, slowly tapering down Friday into Saturday from 20-40 degrees.

Models are showing a change to the jet stream pattern this week, returning a trough east of Japan to the dateline, which should bring a return WNW to NNW swell starting this weekend. "

Wednesday morning, the buoys and webcams show the new NNE pulse and the weather map shows the NW swell brewing. Really no complains...

Lano said...

So what did I win? Free surfing lesson in June?

cammar said...

You win the opportunity to share a beer on the beach with me.
You bring the beer... ;)

Brian S said...

I've notice that you have a safety line on your camera. How/where did you attach that to the camera case?

cammar said...

Good eye, Brian.

It's a spectra kite line and it's thin enough to fit into the opening of the closest arm where the camera case is screwed on.
So, it the arms break in that place, I will still lose the camera.
In theory, you can run such a thin line under the black plastic clip that closes the camera case, but I was too lazy to really see if that would work without having the line bouncing in front of the lens...
The main reason I put the line is because I don't particularly trust the two clips that go around the boom. They're plastic and plastic breaks easy. So, at least, in the case of that particular failure I would still save the camera.

Bob said...

You can blame me for the weird weather GP. Been here just shy of two weeks hoping for of course its been poor. leaving Monday so que the swell for my departure..:(