Tuesday, January 05, 2016

1 5 16 morning call

A big day like yesterday usually means a big morning call post the day after. This one is no exception.

I'd like to thank all the photographers and friends that are so kind to let me use their photos on this blog.

The swell hit during the day and the buoys got up to some massive numbers. I checked them around noon and Pauwela was reading an impressive 12f 18s.

That's what Jaws looked like in a photo by John Patao. Surfer Aaron Gold.

This is from Pat Caldwell's never disappointing three times a week weather discussion.
"The NW Hawaii NOAA buoys 51001 and 51101 and the pacioos/cdip near shore Hanalei, Kauai buoy show wave energy from this event lower than the Waimea, Oahu and Pauwela, Maui buoys. This is an indication of the highest swath of swell aimed NE of the islands. "

Two more Jaws photos, this time by Jimmie Hepp.
Bethany Hamilton continues to amaze everybody.

Later in the day wind sports happened. This is Jason Polakow.

Here's a great shot from my friend Tomoko: Dave Kalama on a beautiful outer reef right hander puts it on the rail by leaning on his paddle.

This is the spot I surfed with my SUP.
I've been out of the water for 2 months and, short board surfing or not, now that I'm out there again, I feel like someone just finally bailed me out of jail.
Nice turn by a really nice guy, who I failed to ask his name.

Same spot, different break, some size squeezing in. Photo by John Patao.

Honolua had moments of epicness, as this photo by my friend Kulia clearly shows. Good enough for Kelly Slater to be out there.

The graph of the three buoys shows a much shorter travel time than usual. The reason is in the sentence quoted from Pat Caldwell above. That's why I insist in not getting too precise when calculating the travel time from the buoy. A reading of whatever size and direction at the NW buoy does not describe the entire swell. It only partially describes it in that specific point of the ocean. It might be quite different just a bit far from it.

I highlighted the rapid growth at the Maui buoy: 10f in 12 hours. It was fun to watch it rise the whole morning. Luckily I had an afternoon work shift.

Anyway, they're all going down today, but that doesn't mean that the waves are going to be small by any means. As a matter of fact, at 4am Pauwela reads
9.5ft @ 15s from 321° (NW)
5.5ft @ 13s from 328° (NW)
First reading is in line with the Surfline forecast which calls for 8f 12s at 8pm. Tomorrow afternoon another pulse of about 10f 16s.

The reason behind all these NW swells are the fetches that have happened in the last 3-4 days. Every day I post the wind map of the north pacific (or the whole pacific if I see something interesting down south), and highlight the fetches generating waves for us.
I don't repeat it all the times, but a fetch like the WNW one I highlighted today will generate waves that will take 3 (front of fetch) to 5 (back of the fetch) days to get here. It not only depends on the position of the fetch but also on its intensity. The stronger the wind, the higher the period of the waves it will generate and the faster they will travel.

It's not worth IMO to spend too much time trying to predict size and arrival times of swells out of observing a fetch. For that there's the WW3 model on which most wave forecasting websites are based. The reason I post these maps is to give you guys a qualitative idea of what's ahead.
You see a fetch like this, you know there will be waves in a few days. Not massive as yesterday's ones, because the wind inside the fetch is not particularly strong.
And if you observed and remember all the maps of the last few days (if not, you can just scroll down and refresh your memory), you can easily guess it's not going flat anytime soon.

Should be another sailable day (yesterday I saw wind and kite surfers out at Kahana in the afternoon).
MC2km map at noon below shows the wind that it shows.

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