Thursday, April 21, 2016

4 21 16 morning call

As I wrote in the more and more frequent updates (keep checking the blog during the day and you might score a session one of these days), yesterday I didn't like the morning conditions on the north shore and I took advantage of a day off to go check the bay.

This has been a bit the year of the bay for me. Not that I surfed it all that much, but 10-15 sessions is a lot more than the annual 3-4 I used to do over there. I also surfed the Point at Hookipa more, that helped the confidence in the back hand take offs, I guess. It was about time.

Wasn't worth the $6 drive (on the highway I can easily pull 30 mpg), if you look at half empty part of the glass. Long waits in between sets and lots of people paddling when it finally came. No bad energy in the water, just more people than waves.
- I totally enjoyed the beautiful drive, despite the fact it I must have done it hundreds of times
- I learned what a long period swell from originally 300 degrees does at the bay
- I caught a few
- I had a bunch of lovely chats in the lineup both with locals and visitors
- I figured a way of climbing back up the path without putting too much load on my weak left knee
That's more than a half full glass, that's three quarters full!

After the session I shot one wave as surf reporters oughta do.

And after sipping a lovely Maui Home Grown coffee (in Lahaina at the corner of the main highway and Lahainaluna, mountain side next to the gas station) during my drive back (for which purpose the American coffee sacrilegiously beats hands down the Italian espresso), I got to Hookipa and shot the pros do their thing in very challenging/bumpy conditions.

The best two shots go to an in form Robby Swift.

Second surf session was at neighborhood break that was looking like a good 8.5 out of 10. I had a couple of very fun rides when... 3 o'clock came and the groms showed up.
I did good with the first four. We're talking some of the top Maui groms, kids like Jackson Bunch and the three Robberson's, for the youngest of which it was often double overhead.

One of those situations in which if you miss a wave, you're done. They're never going to expect you to catch one anymore. Not even in the next sessions, 'cause they'll remember you. You're kind of marked "kook" for life, unless you redeem yourself by sticking a free fall drop into the barrel while they're paddling out in the channel and they see you.

But I caught all my waves and was getting immediate respect. I also thoroughly enjoyed watching those kids rip and their contagious frothy energy. They yell "GO, GO" at each other, each single wave that comes. I never heard one of them say:"nah, I think you're too deep, let it go...".
I confess I used to be intimidated by a bunch of young rippers, but now I only get inspired.

The spectacle became even better when Axel Rosenblad and 5 more paddled out. So much to learn, those kids are so quick on their legs.
That was it for my session though. I could handle 4, not 10. I happily left them the lineup hoping that the first four kids will remember that uncle can paddle...

Lil' bbq with friends at the beach and now this post to refresh the memories of a really good day.
Just another one. Tomorrow is another day and another call will be made at the appropriate time.


And the appropriate time came in the form of 5.15am and here's your call.

5am significan buoy readings
6ft @ 14s from 301° (WNW)

6.2ft @ 15s from 289° (WNW)

6.6ft @ 15s from 322° (NW)

2.9ft @ 15s from 284° (WNW)

WNW swells staying pretty steady both in size and direction, today we can expect similar size compared to yesterday.

Wind map shows trades with a direction that is finally going a bit more offshore (look at direction away from the coast). Been too onshore and bumpy lately for me to get motivated to go windsurfing.
I'm a very picky windsurfer: unless it's really good, I'd rather go surf.

Wind map shows a nicely oriented by weak fetch. I'm guessing Hookipa will get head high 12 seconds out of that one around Sunday.

South pacific shows a fetch oriented a bit too east, but we'll get some angular spreading out of it.

Cloudbreak went off a few days ago (Surfline features great shots here.) and you would think we're gonna get some of that energy at one point.
Below is the weather map of April 10th in both the classic version with the isobars and the Windity graphical representation. Tasman sea fetches don't do too much for us, unless they're oriented in a perfect magic way that I have no idea what is. But Surfline has something in the forecast and even though I didn't see anything of relevance at the Samoa buoy (swell might have missed it to the west, but could still get to us), we'll wait and see what happens.

The good news is that the same storm moved east and set up a nicely oriented, un-obstructed fetch 4 days later on the 14th. Related maps are below and that's when you can kind of count on a south swell. The fetch needs to be east of New Zealand,  strong, long, wide and the more straight north to south, the better.

This one wasn't all that great both in terms of orientation and intensity IMO, and that is reflected by the average reading this morning at the Samoa buoy: 2.9ft @ 16s from 194° (SSW). The first 20s readings started Wednesday morning. Samoa is 2272 nm from Maui, 20s travel at 30 knots, that makes it 3 days to get here (3.5 days for 16s), which means Saturday morning. All is confirmed by the Surfline forecast below. Swell 1 is the Fiji one coming out of the Tasman sea, west of New Zealand. Swell 2 is the one coming out of the east of New Zealand.
Chech the Lahaina webcam, because, in line with the forecast, I've seen some sets already this morning. No related readings at the Lanai buoy, because they're masked by the WNW wrap.

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