Wednesday, January 04, 2017

1 4 17 morning call

A lesson and a session kept me very busy on the  south shore yesterday. The waves were exactly as expected: inconsistent, long period, knee to waist high (with occasional bigger sets) and extremely clean in the early morning.

Before we get into this morning's call, I'd like to thank blog reader Jeremy for his very appreciated spontaneous and generous donation for the blog at the beach. Thank you brother, sorry I was so busy and couldn't chat at all.

These photos were taken around noon when a light onshore breeze was blowing. The difference between small glassy waves and small non glassy waves is huge, for my likings. This guy instead didn't seem to mind the crumbliness of the lip line and was ripping tail slashes on one foot waves nonetheless. To point out the extremely effective use of his paddle, I drew some red lines to outline the geometrical figure that he is composing with it and his body.

In this moment, his stability has the wide base of that little "dog tent" I drew. That base has three dimensions. If you stand up on your board without using your paddle, your stability depends exclusively on your two feet, so it's much less.
Plus, in the previous image of the sequence, he used the paddle leverage to heavily put the board on the rail. Could have not done that without using the paddle.

Here's another example in which he's leaning on the paddle so hard that he's bending the shaft. Message here is: use your paddle, make it your third leg.

Thanks also to the blog reader that left a comment on my brief beach report, claiming that the onditions were a 8+ with occasional head high sets. That size is what I guessed from home based on the buoys readings. When I quickly turned around at Lanes, what I saw was smaller than that, but I did specify that I did not wait for a set.

It would be great if I could make the beach report posts like Facebook posts: anybody can easily put a comment that would show directly under the post, so that it would be much easier for the other readers to see it. Instead now you have to first notice that there's comments, then click on it and only after that, you can finally read the comments on the new page that appears. I have no idea if that is doable with this Blogger platform (which I'm not willing to change) and how. Please let me know if one of you guys do.
In that way, WE could use those beach report posts like "billboards" where the readers from all over the island can post their reports, if they feel like. You guys can still do that now (please), but it's not as user friendly.

Why the conditions were so good? Because there was no wind! I often say that the best wave forecasting tool is Windguru. Not because of their poor wave forecast (they only show one swell in their main table, based on the size, not the period), but because they show what the wind is going to be like. In winter in Hawaii, you can count on waves pretty much every day (yes, we're lucky kids), what counts is the wind. Period. Pun intended.

And that's why hereafter I'm posting the NAM3km map at 7am to show that the conditions should be pretty clean again. From the wind point of view, at least. We'll see later that the new swell on tap is a closely generated one, so it could have a some roughness/storminess in it, but I still think it's gonna be relatively clean and glassy. No beach report this morning, since my first work appointment is at 6.30am and I won't be able to see Hookipa at all. I do hear quite a strong white noise from my window which indicates: plenty energy in the water and no wind (that would lessen the noise).

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

1.3ft @ 16s from 204° (SSW)

2.1ft @ 16s from 195° (SSW)

The south swell went up a tad in size and went down a tad in period. The resulting waves should be similar to yesterday, hopefully also a tad more consistent for the reasons I explained yesterday.

North shore
6ft @ 12s from 348° (NNW)
4.1ft @ 10s from 3° (N)

5.6ft @ 12s from 359° (N)           
4ft @ 10s from 357° (N)

9.2ft @ 13s from 329° (NW)           
3.7ft @ 10s from 332° (NNW)

6.7ft @ 13s from 347° (NNW)
3.3ft @ 12s from 347° (NNW)
3.1ft @ 10s from 349° (NNW)
4.2ft @ 13s from 346° (NNW)
2.5ft @ 12s from 329° (NW)
The new swell on tap for the north shore is pretty much the opposite of the south swell I profusely discussed yesterday: it was generated very close to the islands, so it will have a steep rise and a steep fall (I like the Christmas tree analogy that Pat Caldwell uses) and extremely consistent because of the simultaneous arrival of all kinds of periods. The dominant period is around 13, but there will be also smaller ones (look at the Waimea readings, for example).

Since I just mentioned Pat Cladwell (from whom I learned and keep learning a lot), here's a wonderful summary of what's going on these days in the north Pacific: A blocking ridge pattern at the jet stream level over the Aleutians is keeping WNW to NNW surf from remote sources near nil. Weaker branches of the jet and their associated weaker surface low pressure cells are sneaking below the block. These closer sources are making waves for Hawaii.
You can read uncle Pat's meteorology poetry on link n.9 of GP's list of meteo websites on the right below the banners.
Below is the collage of the wind maps of Jan 1, 2 and 3. The red arrow indicates the fetch responsible for the new NNW swell and you can see how close it was to us. Lots of waves today, it's gonna be very consistent.

From the position of the fetches (specially on Jan 2 and 3), you can see how the most energy of this swell will travel to the NE of us. That is confirmed by the fact that the N buoy has the highest numbers. The buoys position can be checked at link n.0.

But we care more about the energy that will hit us, not the one that will miss us, so we'll take a look at the graphs of one of the NW buoy (doesn't matter which one, I picked the 101), Waimea and Pauwela. At the first one, the swell went from 4f to 9f from midnight to noon yesterday. I've seen steeper rises than 5f in 12h, but that is still not a slow one. I drew a red dotted line on the Pauwela graph to show how the swell should increase today in Maui. If you think you can barely handle the size of the spot of your choise at dawn, you can be guaranteed that it's gonna be quite bigger by the end of your session. So choose wisely.
Below is the Offshore Swell Heights tab of the Surfline forecast (link n. 15). The green line is today's swell and it is going to match very closely what Pauwela will record during the day. The closer the fetch is, the more reliable the output of the forecasting models will be. Notice also the orange line which instead is the NE energy that will start to be noticeable tomorrow, but will definitely kick in more on Friday.
Current wind map shows:
1) a distant NW fetch
2) a much closer fetch that will generated waves from both a northerly (2A) and a northeasterly (2B) direction. That low is going to stay in place for quite a few days. The result will be 4-5 days of solid NE energy.
3) another strong, but compact fetch down under. Next week should be fun on the south shore.

NAM3km map at noon shows not much wind for the rest of the day.

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