Friday, February 03, 2017

Friday 2 3 17 morning call

Just one session for me yesterday, when I got out of work at 2pm I realized that I was tired and that I hadn't been at home during the daylight for at least a week. So I chose to chill and rest, but before that, of course, I checked the conditions at Hookipa and took a photo of this kiter on his foil. There were a few surfers back in the water (it's been too big for a few days), but it wasn't that good: still pretty big and not breaking nicely. Didn't see anybody catching a wave for 20 minutes.

Earlier in the morning, during the search for the right spot with my tour guide customer, we had the opportunity to admire how beautiful and still pretty big the waves on the west side were (I deemed S-Turns too big/too much paddling and that was a good call). In the map below, the yellow line indicates a direction of 20 degrees, which is what the coastline from Napili to lower Kaanapali seems to be parallel to.

In the last few days and until today, this NNE swell was coming from an angle between 10 and 20 and so it didn't need to wrap much at all to hit the spots in that stretch of coast. Past Kaanapali, it instead needed to wrap a bit to hit the Lahaina (which it did with still plenty energy), and past Lahaina the size of the wrap was gradually decreasing the more you travelled east. No wrap whatsoever at Ukumehame for example, and that is very understandable if you just look at the map.

This morning's direction instead is from 30 degrees. My customer is keen to surfing Honolua Bay and below is the map of what I hope the wrap from such a direction (red lines) will do: still wrap enough to hit the inside of the bay (hopefully with a little less energy than what a straight swell would).
In blue I drew the line of a swell coming from a 60 degrees angle instead, and you can see how much harder it would be for that to happen. Those waves have better chances to eventually hit Fleming beach, and that's what actually happens on a big windswell episode.

Let's not forget a key thing: the ability of the waves to wrap around land points is directly proportional to their period. In other words, for any given direction, each period will wrap with a different angle and, depending also on their original size, it will generate waves of different size in the different spots down the coast. That's why it's so difficult to predict those things and that's why it would be smart to write down or make a mental note of the empirical observations. This particular swell was quite extraordinary: 12-13f 15s from 15 degrees won't happen every winter.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

1.7ft @ 14s from 275° (W)

Lanai buoy is feeling the energy of a new WNW swell. That shouldn't effect much our breaks (maybe slivers of that might make it to Kihei), so check the webcams instead to know how the waves will be.

North shore
4.5ft @ 14s from 33° (NE)           
3.5ft @ 10s from 28° (NNE)
3ft @ 17s from 309° (WNW)
4.3ft @ 17s from 331° (NNW)
4.2ft @ 13s from 27° (NNE)

7.3ft @ 13s from 33° (NE)
7.1ft @ 13s from 15° (NNE)
3.8ft @ 12s from 19° (NNE)
1.2ft @ 9s from 16° (NNE)
1ft @ 20s from 316° (NW)

Pauwela 3am
7.1ft @ 13s from 30° (NNE)

Pauwela 4am
4.7ft @ 13s from 31° (NE)
4.7ft @ 14s from 15° (NNE)
3.6ft @ 10s from 28° (NNE)

Both NW buoys feel the new WNW swell. Waimea has a nice 20s period from it, but in Maui, the energy from the NNE should still be highly predominant throughout the day. At least until tomorrow, when a bigger NW swell will build.
Once again, notice the huge difference between the 3am and 4am readings of Pauwela. When I saw the first one, I got a bit worried about my surf guide (that's why I did that analysis of the angles above). We'll see what the next readings will look like, but most importantly, we'll see what the waves look like! I'll try to post a report from the Bay at some point in the morning.
In the meantime, Hookipa will be definitely surfable again, but expect it to still be overhead.

Current wind map shows:
1) wide and long WNW to NW fetch. As I wrote yesterday, "After a couple of days of hanging out in that corner, this low will start moving towards us and will be the cause of the Kona wind episode predicted for Sunday/Monday."
2) relative close NNW fetch. As I wrote yesterday, "This fetch was much stronger yesterday (still number 2 on yesterday's wind map) and the related swell is forecasted to peak at 7f 15s from 307 at 2pm on Saturday". That forecast is now down at bit to 6.3f and the waves generated by the weaker winds of this fetch between yesterday and today, will add energy in the 10-11s range to what will be in the water already around late Sunday and Monday, overlapping with the arrival of the big WNW swell generated in the meantime by fetch n.1
3) NE low really doesn't want to give up and keeps adding a bit of energy from that direction too.
As a matter of fact, the NOAA WW3 model offers prediction numbers for 5 different swells on Monday, plus the local wind generated one. Gonna be interesting.

NAM3km map at 7am shows light winds everywhere. Showing the mid day map would be pointless, because this model doesn't show at all the thermal breezes that will most likely pickup in the afternoon.

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