Thursday, May 26, 2016

5 26 16 morning call

I was in the water at dawn in Lahaina yesterday and between 6 and 6.30 there was a moment with perfect wind (very light offshore), tide, size and direction. The combination of that made for some of the most beautiful belly high waves I've ever seen. Fortunately I didn't have the gopro with me, because a photo would have not been able to render the perfection and the beauty. There was not a single drop of water out of place.

Maybe I under called the size a bit (I like to stay on the conservative side on my calls), there were occasional shoulder high sets, and the conditions stayed pristine for most of the morning.

After my session, I taught a SUP lesson, then took a nap and then went out again at another break. A moderate SW wind picked up (island wide, I heard) and that kicked everybody out but me. There's always something positive out of everything.

Including the lesson, I spent a total of 6 hours in the water. It was a good day. I don't have any pictures, so I'm linking this Surfline feature that shows some perfect Indonesian waves.

In the past couple of days, I posted the 7 days old South Pacific wind map (if you guys don't remember them, just scroll down to those posts). Those maps showed a decent fetch Tuesday and a much weaker one Wednesday. So why was yesterday bigger than the day before?
Because the waves had 13s period. The fetch was 4,100 nm away and 13s waves take 8 days to get here. That's why Wednesday was bigger than Tuesday.

3am significant buoy readings.

3.6ft @ 8s from 72° (ENE)

1.9ft @ 13s from 191° (SSW)

2.2ft @ 13s from 199° (SSW)                      
0.6ft @ 20s from 218° (SW)
Here's what Pat Caldwell says about the new SW swell we're forecasted to start seeing today:"
A storm-force low pressure tracked NE in the Tasman sea 5/19-20 with seas building above 40 feet west of New Zealand. Gales behind a front pushed into the sub-tropics, and fresh to strong breezes well into the tropics 5/21-22.
The pacioos/cdip american samoa buoy showed a steady rise 5/23 from both the long-period remote swell of 14-22 seconds and the closer post-frontal, shorter-period swell of 10-14 seconds. The time series of swell height, summed up for all wave periods greater than 10 seconds, had a Christmas tree signature centered on Monday night with peak heights to 7 feet. The heights and dominant wave periods have steadily dropped 5/24-25.
Surf in Hawaii from Tasman sources rarely surpasses the seasonal average, except for cases such as this where the source winds of high magnitude push further northward. For the highest Tasman events in Hawaii, the heights fall into a bracket just a notch above the average for top exposures. The Tasman direction has limited surf potential and large error bars on the local surf estimate due to shadowing by SW Pacific islands.
Long period swell of 17-22 seconds is expected to fill in locally overnight Wednesday through Thursday. Inconsistent arrival of the largest sets is typical during the onset stage. The event should be filled in by Friday when it is predicted to peak from 200-220 degrees. It should drop near the seasonal average by Saturday morning, and steadily drop below average into Sunday. Background tiny to small breakers from 208-220 degrees could linger on Monday 5/30. "

Below is the South Pacific map of 7 days ago, showing the start of the strong Tasman sea fetch that generated those 40 feet seas. It's gonna get closer to us the day after, but we'll analyze that tomorrow.
In the meantime, I'll base my call on the buoy readings. Still a couple of feet 13s at Lanai from the east of New Zealand fetch of the 17-18th, and that's exactly what was in the water yesterday. And Barbers feels the forerunners of the south west swell with a promising 0.6ft @ 20s from 218° (SW).
The onset of the new swell will be painfully slow as usual, but Lahaina is the spot again for today, also considering that the windswell on the north shore has gone down to minimal levels.
I'm going early again, expect a report later.

Wind will be coming from a quite offshore direction.

Wind map doesn't show any significant fetch.

South Pacific either. Bad day of wave generation for Hawaii.

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