Thursday, January 12, 2017

1 12 17 morning call

Magnificent day of surfing all over the island yesterday. My guess is that at least 90% of the known spots had waves. The combination of a north and a south swell created a real wave feast.

My numbers are: 3 sessions in 3 different spots for a total of 5 hours in the water. First one was at Hookipa at dawn. I overscored the conditions from the cliff, it was barely a 6.5 because of the sickness introduced by a close-by squall (at least that's my guess). I'm sure they improved later, but I was on my way to session n.2 that was totally epic.

One hour by myself before being joined by the lucky friend whom I told where I was directed. Head to head and a half, with the biggest sets pushing double. We had many moments of screaming with the arms up the air just looking at the perfect Pipe-looking empty peaks. And when on the wave, it was like surfing in a pool. With the difference that you could clearly see the rocks you were flying over. It reminded me of Publics in Oahu, but with a much steeper/heavier takeoff.

Third session was exactly what I needed to seal the day and bring down the adrenaline: easy, not crowded and extremely fun.

As we will see in the buoys section below, yesterday the north swell did build noticeably and here's a meaty one in this shot by Jimmie Hepp from this gallery.

5am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.4ft @ 14s from 214° (SW)

3.5ft @ 15s from 249° (WSW)

Below is the collage of the southern Pacific wind maps for Dec. 4, 5 and 6. The 4th had the most intense and better oriented fetch and I believe that's when the energy we received yesterday was generated. After that, the fetch wasn't quite as strong/ideal, so expect the heights and power of the south swell to be decreasing the next few days.

Slowly though, because, as Pat Caldwell reminds us, "Remote sources are long-lived since dispersion, or swell travel speed as a function of wave period, spreads the wave trains over large expanses.". He hence adds: "The 15-17 second energy is arriving 1/11. The dominant wave period should slowly decline with the breaker heights Thursday into the weekend."

North shore
8.8ft @ 15s from 303° (WNW)

4.4ft @ 17s from 316° (NW)           
4.2ft @ 13s from 19° (NNE)

6.2ft @ 14s from 339° (NNW)

4.7ft @ 13s from 13° (NNE)
3.5ft @ 16s from 322° (NW)
Lots of meat on the grill today, but let me first start with analyzing what the north swell ended up doing yesterday. The graph on the right below is what I posted yesterday: the steady blue dotted line was what Surfline had in their offshore swell tab (link n.15), the ramping up red dotted line was what the readings at the N buoy would suggest. The graph on the left is Pauwela's and I circled the two sections you guys should visually compare.

So this was a clear case in which the forecast was wrong and the buoy was right. Why did that happen? Because as sophisticated as they are, the mathematical models that try to predict the behavior of such an incredibly complex system as the interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean, CAN make mistakes. We got another example of that today!
In fact, here's another abstract from Pat Caldwell: "A compact low pressure went storm-force 1/8-9 as it tracked NE within 170°E to 170°W near 40°N."
Poor Pat, I can't believe that in these day and age he still has to try to describe what a low pressure did by words. Give him something graphic, please! Well, I do enjoy reading each single word he writes, but that's because for my weird mind, it sounds like poetry. But for you normal guys, below are the maps of Dec 8 and 9 and I put an arrow on the fetch of the low he's talking about. See how it moved towards us? Captured fetch again.

Here's how he continues:"A jason satellite estimate of seas at 00Z 2017-01-10, or 2 pm HST Monday, showed heights larger than predicted by the Wave Watch III, ww3, model.
More evidence of being larger than expected is given at NW Hawaii NOAA buoys 51101 and 51001 mid Wednesday 1/11. "

Let's verify that. Below is the graph of the NW101 buoy. It shows a steep rise from 4 to 11 feet in something like 7 hours. A foot per hour is a really steep rise. Well, is that really more than predicted than the ww3 model?

It sure looks like it is! Below is the graph of my wave forecast website of choice which, I believe -but I'm not 100% sure- is heavily based on the WW3 model (just like any other "forecast" website you can think of. None of them does a real forecast, other than Pat Caldwell. Every website just put the models output in a possibly pleasing graphical form. That's what I think).
As you can see, today's NW swell (which has nothing to do with the much bigger one on Friday/Saturday) was forecasted to peak at 6f 16s from 316 at 2pm in the offshore Maui waters.

11 feet at the NW101 buoy, definitely seem to suggest that the swell is going to be bigger than that, but the graph below could possibly still be true. The direction at the NW101 buoy in fact is 303 and that gets shadowed by the upstream islands. We will find out tomorrow by looking at the Pauwela graph, what height it will really reach.
In the end, what we need to know for today is that there is a new NW swell on the rise and an old NNE on the decline. Add the south swell, and here we go: today 100% of Maui's spot might have waves!
Current wind map shows:
1) a new fetch coming off the Japan conveyor belt
2) the remnant of tomorrow's swell fetch not looking that impressive anymore
3) a small fetch down under.

MC2km map at 7am shows a SE flow that will make the north shore look really good.

The noon map looks even better.

Lastly, but most definitely not leastly, it was with great pleasure that I read this Instagram post from my friend Fede, who was the guy attacked by a shark at Hookipa a while ago. Stoked for you hermano!!!

Yesterday went back in the water again! and still can't believe it! 🙌 I wanted to thank you all for your love and support everywhere I go, especially to badass Dr. Galpin who fixed me up and after 2.5 months my hand is at 90%. To all the heroes that helped me get back to the shore , to my wife, friends and family who helped me stay strong in though moments and god who put it all together. What a trip. Life is amazing !!! Fiesta Daleeeee

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