Couple of sessions before work yesterday and another beautiful day in Maui was archived. As usual, Hookipa had extremely variable conditions. It looked almost perfect at one point and then a westerly wind sucked in by the relatively strong ESE trades blowing just offshore Pauwela point (you could see the white caps in the distance) introduced a bad chop that brought the score down to barely a 5.
By the time I was leaving, the ESE trades line was getting closer and pushing the westerly wind back, and it was starting to look gorgeous again. That is to reaffirm the concept that no matter what score I give Hookipa in the morning, conditions can change within minutes. I do see that the score is appreciated though, so I'll keep doing it. A reader told me that if he reads a score better than 6, he comes down to surf, otherwise he stays home. Very questionable criteria I objected, for the reasons I just explained, but he added:"still much better and reliable than the Mama's cam!"
The trades must have filled in later on as you can see from the white caps out the back in these pictures by Jimmie Hepp from this gallery.
I've been confusing Cody Young and Tanner Hendrickson a lot lately. Fortunately I have a personal spotter at work that will tell me if I was right or wrong. Hey Tyler, I think this is Cody, am I right? Anyway, whoever he is, that is a beautiful bottom/top turn combo.
4am significant buoy readings
We're not gonna be able to see any south swell readings at the local south facing buoys for a few days. Two are the reasons for that:
1) the big west is overwhelming the buoys
2) there's not much energy coming from the south after the beautiful, totally under utilized swell of a few days ago.
That doesn't mean that it's not worth a look at the webcams.
9.6ft @ 15s from 284° (WNW)
10.2ft @ 15s from 305° (WNW)
8.1ft @ 18s from 304° (WNW)
8.1ft @ 17s from 311° (NW)
Below are the graphs of the four buoys I reported above in clockwise order, with the NW101 at the top left. I put an arrow to indicate the peak on each of them. You can almost visualize the swell marching through the chain of islands by looking at the delay between the peaks. By looking at the upstream buoys, it's easy to predict that the swell will gradually taper down all day today (blue dotted line), but seen the size, that might go almost unnoticed by most people.
Despite the doubts I expressed yesterday, the Surfline forecast was spot on about the timing, but a bit high on the size. Below is the comparison from the 3 days old Surfline forecast (that I posted on the 12) and the Pauwela graph: timing is correct, but the swell only reached 8f, not 11. Thank god I add, because, as you read yesterday, I signed up for the Legend of the Bay contest that should be held this morning (all categories but open Men's) at Honolua. Honestly, I have no idea of how the waves are going to be with 8.1ft @ 17s from 311 in the water. Honolua to Molokai emerged lands' shadow line is 335, so my guess is the following: very inconsistent, but when the set comes, it will be big. Could also be completely flat, I just have never gone there with a swell this west. But I'll be there early and post a report, so we'll find out! For the north shore residents instead, it's evident that those numbers will make Hookipa too big for 99% of the surfers. And the 1% that could surf it, will probably be at Jaws which, if it breaks, will probably be relatively small. Look for alternatives in terms of shadowed/protected spots is my obvious suggestion.
The red arrows indicate the smaller, less westerly swell that hit Thursday and that almost everybody forgot about. Thanks to that, my second session yesterday was a bit of a score, because it was in a spot that, with the big westerly in mind, not many surfers thought about. Here's a little tip for you guys: when there's a big swell that is catching the attention of most surfers, don't forget the smaller stuff in the water (if there's any). I've been scoring uncrowded sessions for years thanks to that.
Current wind map shows:
1) a strong, distant westerly fetch
2) a much closer NW fetch
3) a hint of a windswell fetch
4) a solid Tasman Sea fetch. We never know what we get out of those, but Surfline is calling for 7.5f 16s from 210 for Fiji on Wednesday, if you have money and time to go there...
If you noticed a resemblance between this wind map and one of few days ago, you were correct. Jan 9th weather map looked a lot like today's. As a consequence, we're gonna get another big westerly swell that Surfline predicts at 11f 15s from 308 on Wednesday night for the Maui offshore waters (that is after the refraction upon the upstream islands).
MC2km map at 7am shows ideal wind conditions everywhere
The noon map unfortunately shows the start of an onshore flow at the Bay.
Which is confirmed by the 2pm map. By then, if this happens, the Bay will be total junk.
And as I was done with this call, I received an email from the HSA with the tentative schedule (subject to change) for the day:
7:00 Longboard Semi
7:30 Boys 16-17 Semi
8:10 Boys 14-15 Round 1 (3)
9:10 Longboard Final
9:25 Boys 16-17 Final
9:45 Boys 14-15 Semi
10:25 Boys 12-13 Round 1 (5)
12:05 Boys 14-15 Final
12:25 Boys 12-13 Round 2 (3)
1:25 Girls U14 Semi
1:55 Boys U12 Semi
2:25 Open Women Quarters
3:45 Boys 12-13 Semi
4:25 Girls U14 Final
4:40 Boys U12 Final
4:55 Open Women Semi
5:35 Boys 12-13 Final
5:55 Open Women Final