Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday 3 31 19 morning call

The funding campaign for the new Lahaina harbor webcam has raised $1060. Thanks a lot and let's keep them coming. I'm gonna start my posts with an update like this until it reaches its goal of $2,000.

Two shortboard sessions for me yesterday. My fingers are getting better after the cortisone injections, but I'll refrain from gripping disciplines until they eventually completely heal. So I'm only surfing and, guess what, I'm loving it.

This is Micah working a little harbor roller. No doubt I would have been doing that if my fingers were fine, but I'm not missing it at all. Just accepting reality the way it is and it's pretty damn good with all these waves we're getting.

Blog reader Luca kindly sent me a photo of Honolua, breaking at a small size at the Point. You can see the 12s in those lines.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore
1.9ft @ 17s from 212° (SW)

That reading is highly suspicious for the following two reasons. There's similar period NW energy in the water and it will somehow hit that buoy. No other buoy registers that direction. So this is one of those cases in which we have to look at the webcams to figure out what's going on on the south shore. Yesterday it was knee to waist high.

North shore
8.3ft @ 16s from 309° (WNW)

8.2ft @ 18s from 307° (WNW)

6.7ft @ 18s from 309° (WNW)

4.8ft @ 18s from 318° (NW)
3.7ft @ 9s from 354° (N)
2.8ft @ 11s from 340° (NNW)
The new big long period NW swell is in the water. It peaked at the upstream buoys around 8ft 18s, the collage below of the Pauwela graph and the Surfline forecast indicates that it should peak in Maui at 6ft 18s around 6-8am. Notice how accurate the offshore swell forecast is in this case, at least for the couple of main swells. Yesterday we had a declining 12s NNW swell (orange line on the buoy's graph, dark blue in the forecast), and the forerunning energy of the new swell slowly rising underneath it (dark blue on the graph, purple in the forecast).

The question is: with an original direction that seems to be pretty consistent around 309 at the upstream buoys, which Maui spots will be hit and how much? The post Buoys to Maui travel times and Maui's shadow lines contains the shadow lines for many of them. For your convenience, here's a few that every Maui surfer should know by heart:
- Hookipa 305
- Kanaha 320
- Honolua 335.

So Hookipa will be hit directly by all the energy that comes from 305 or more north. Everything else will need to wrap around all the upstream islands. Don't forget that the buoys only indicate the dominant direction (the one associated with the most energy), but swells always have a range of directions (300-315 in this case according to Pat Caldwell).
As a consequence of that, and as a consequence of the energy dissipation that is associated with the refraction, the size and consistency of the waves should be less at Kanaha and even less at Honolua. This last one can very easily be completely flat, even though some very inconsistent sets might manage to sneak in thanks to the supreme wrapping ability of 18s periods. I'd love a report/photo from there, if any of you west side guys go check it out (but I wouldn't drive too much for that).
The fetch map below is from March 27th and that's when it was stronger. In that moment the fetch was between 195 and 305, a pretty westerly start.
Wind map at noon. Notice the southerly flow on the south shore (which will be probably junk by mid day), which might make the afternoon conditions pretty epic if the Kona's will manage to sneak through the mountains and hit the north shore.

North Pacific has yet again a nice relative close NW fetch. More waves to come.

South Pacific offers another strong Tasman Sea fetch. Another big swell for Fiji (in 2-3 days), another small one for us (in a week).

Morning sky.

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