Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday 1 22 17 morning call

Allright, I'm not gonna call yesterday "another gorgeous day of surfing", but if you moved around the island there were plenty opportunities and fun to be had. I apologize for having been too negative in yesterday's post and I'm afraid I gave the impression that there was not going to be anywhere where to have a decent surf. Instead, I had two sessions at two different spots and they were both fun.

For the future, here's a statement of general validity: unless there are no swells in the water, and no matter what the wind is doing, there's always a place where to surf on this island. Always.

Here's the chronological story of my day.
After the first session, I drove Lahaina side to meet my potential students. We found a place that was protected by the wind but the low consistency of the waves didn't satisfy me (they're not absolute beginners) and together we called it off.

I got to Honolua around noon and, as I stated in the beach report), the consistency was extremely low over there too. Leftover sets of the old WNW swell were sporadically breaking every 15-20 minutes and the stiff offshore was giving them the usual clean and polished Bay look you can admire in the photo below taken at 12.15pm.

From the buoys (Waimea was already pumping) and from the knowledge of what the fetch did, I knew that the short period northerly energy was going to hit any time soon. I grabbed my longboard and hit the water when the conditions were still quite poor looking. This was the best set I had seen thus far and I gave the conditions a 1.5 in the beach report.

Then I got the opportunities to experience one of the most sudden conditions changes. In two hours the short period northerly energy started to fill in. Everything changed. It went from super slow to super consistent. The mix of periods I counted was between 5 and 10 seconds. Some waves were literally on top of each other, but thanks to the perfect shape of reef of the Bay and the offshore wind, even the shortest ones were rideable and fun. I went for a head high 5 seconds one and I had the feeling that the nose of my longboard was gonna touch the wave in front in the drop...
Amazing variety. The wave count went through the roof, since the same 20 people total went from a set every pope's death to relentless supply. FAR from being the best session I ever had there, it was for sure the one in which I caught the most waves. Or at least, the one in which I paddled for the most waves (I missed a bunch because some of the softest were hard to catch even on a longboard).

The size kept growing and after the second turtle roll that took my board out of my hands (very dangerous thing in such strong offshores), I decided to get out of the water. That's how the conditions looked from one of the lookouts at 4pm. Quite a difference, uh?

This body boarder found a rare close out barrel, but definitely the word hollow was not appropriate for the day.

Meanwhile a couple of wind and kite surfers hit the water at Hookipa and this is Cruser Putnam in a photo by Jimmie Hepp from this gallery.

During my trip back I encountered all kind of crazy weather conditions. Including a sand storm on Lahainaluna, heavy rain, blustery wind and of course plenty rainbows.

This is a short video showing the wind at Thousand Peaks that I estimated at least 50 knots with stronger gusts. Sorry if you can't hear my commentary, but that wasn't really necessary. The shaking of the car is eloquent enough.

Being sitting in there when that happened does not match my idea of fun.

When I got to Hookipa around 5.45pm, I was pretty surprised to see a kiter out in some pretty crazy conditions. Reminds me of Nazare.

The wind was gusting up to 45mph, but the kiter Nick Sabin looked in complete control to my non-expert eyes. The thing I liked the most is that not only there was no one else in the water, but there were very few people left on the beach at that time and with that crazy weather. He had Hookipa all to himself and it was zero show off (like it often is due to the natural amphitheater setup and the constant  presence of photographers and observers in general). It's not easy to have a soul session at Hookipa, but he managed to do that. He was clearly having a lot of fun.

There you go Nick, you may want to save this wind graph to show your grandkids one day. 20 mph difference between lulls and gusts, I don't know how you handle that on a kite.

6am significant buoy readings
South shore

Southerly readings disappeared at the buoys, but check the webcams because there is some little long period energy and today it might actually be a bit more consistent.

North shore
11.7ft @ 10s from 57° (ENE)

10.7ft @ 10s from 351° (N)

11.6ft @ 10s from 11° (NNE)

10.3ft @ 12s from 345° (NNW)
10.3ft @ 9s from 32° (NE)

I'm quite puzzled by the direction and higher period at the Pauwela buoy, my feeling is that during the day it will lose the little west in it and go down to 10s like everywhere else. In the meantime, that is an absolutely killer reading for the Bay again.
Below is the graph that shows the extremely steep rise that happened yesterday while I was in the water. Should be holding pretty steady through the day.

On Jan 20's call, I commented on the difference between the Winduguru and Surfline wave forecasts for Sunday morning 8am. Let me refresh your memory:
Windguru :12f 10s from 38 degrees
Surfline: 13f 8s from 70
It's not guite 8am yet, but you can tell that neither one was totally correct. I'll try to write down the 10am reading, but I might be in the water. Could use some help from the readers here.
In the meantime the 7am readings became available:
10.2ft @ 9s from 36° (NE)
9.9ft @ 11s from 347° (NNW)

Current wind map shows:
1) a very strong fetch that is producing a swell that Surfline call building on Tuesday (6f 20s from 318 at 2pm) and peaking on Wednesday (12f 16s at 8am)
2) the windswell fetch now moved completely east
3) a Tasman Sea fetch that is completely blocked by the north islands of New Zealand
4) a small/weak southerly fetch

That storm up there is quite intense and it deserves an old school weather map full of isobars.

MC2km maps officially won the award for the least regularly updated maps on the internet. They're stuck at Friday, so here's the much less explicit NAM3km map at noon. Fortunately today there's not much need of details: it's gonna be strong and easterly.

Bit of an old school post today. I enjoyed it, but don't get used because it took me way too much time to write it.

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