Saturday, January 16, 2016

1 16 16 morning call

Massive day (at Jaws and everywhere else on the north shore) that unfortunately saw some serious accidents in different spots. Best luck to all the injured surfers.

This is my selection of Jaws' shots, thanks to all the contributing photographers.
"Albee Layer romancing", photographer Michael Stuart wrote.

Marcio Freire surfed Jaws by himself many times a few years ago when paddling into Jaws wasn't considered possible.  By himself he would jump off the rocks and surf it with no photographers/sponsors to motivate him, no jet-ski safety, no money prices on the line. Just pure soul surfing and some remarkable cojones. Photo by Cuda Shots.

Ian Walsh captured by John Patao.

Francisco Porcella. Photo by Jimmie Hepp.

I had a fun SUP session at Kanaha before it got out of control and then went to watch a spot that was double overhead and occasionally barreling. Unfortunately my camera had accidentally turned on in the backpack and the battery was dead. Would have been hard to compete with these shots, but I would have liked to show that there were spots that could handle the remarkable size of this swell. There always are.

The Pauwela buoy peaked yesterday at 5pm with a reading of 18f 18s, which is something you don't see very often. It's going to trend down all day today and tomorrow, before a new pulse of 10f 15s will arrive Monday.

Wind map shows a relatively weak NW fetch that is going to intensify tomorrow. The big and strong fetch that generated yesterday's and today's waves is now aiming at the west coast.
What made this swell so big is the proximity of the fetch (and the intensity and size of it, of course). If you scroll down to the wind map of Jan 14, you can see what I mean. But already the day after, the fetch moved east and that's why the swell is already declining relatively quickly today and tomorrow.

The tropical storm by the Cook Islands has been named Victor and this is what Pat Caldwell has to say about it: "Tropical cyclone Victor ESE of american samoa on 1/14 is gaining strength with a forecast track to the south. Wave models estimate deep water swell above 25 feet near pago pago though not aimed at Hawaii. The pago pago Wave Watch III output point dominant wave direction is modeled to veer, so by Sunday the wave energy would be directed towards Hawaii. Keep in mind the fetch width of tropical systems is like a pin point relative to mid latitude systems like the one north of Hawaii 1/14-15. Narrow fetches lead to more rapid decay of swell height with distance. As a result, present wave model output 1/15 only shows small surf potential for Hawaii 1/20-22 from SSW."

So, as anticipated yesterday, there should be a big size difference between the swells generated by Victor and the last weekend one generated by Pali. Once again, proximity played a big role.
Some people confused that swell with the wrap of the NW swell that was in the water last weekend, but it wasn't.

You might see some wrap on the lahaina side from this NW swell (which is WAY bigger that last weekend's one). You might also see some small waves coming from the south from those fetches SE of New Zealand I've been highlighting since a week now, but their related small buoy readings are completed masked at the buoys and I can't even tell if there's some energy or not.
In other words, if you want to go Lahaina side, check the webcam first!

Yet another windless day is confirmed by the MC2km map at noon.

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