Wednesday, May 31, 2017

7.15am lahaina has waist to chest high waves and clean at the moment

Wednesday 5 31 17 morning call

Another superb day of surfing yesterday on the south shore with clean waves in the morning up to occasionally head high. I had two sessions that were both 9s.
Here's blog reader Justing showing a nice low stance at the spot of his choice.

3am significant buoy readings
South shore

2ft @ 14s from 142° (SE)

2.3ft @ 13s from 190° (S)

2ft @ 14s from 170° (S)

The outer buoys are back online and show us still plenty energy in the water from the south. This week has been amazing so far and it's not over yet: there will be waves for the rest of it. Next week looks grim instead and the week after has a big one in the forecast (3f 18s mid day Wednesday 14). Check the webcams as usual, this morning I have an appointment with a student at a record time of 5.15am at the spot. He proposed it, I accepted with enthusiasm thinking: that's my kind of student!

North shore
3.4ft @ 10s from 329° (NW)

4ft @ 11s from 333° (NNW)

3.9ft @ 7s from 83° (E)           
3.7ft @ 11s from 334° (NNW)
New NW swell is here, Hookipa looked pretty damn good at sunset already with clean sets in the shoulder to head high range. I expect it to be bigger today, 3.7f 11s will make for some overhead waves. Below is the Surfline offshore swell forecast, is it accurate or what? It buffles me that most surfers still look at the spot forecasts and find high degrees of inaccuracy. That's totally normal for me, the only thing I look at is the offshore swells, then it's up to me to know what that means for each single spot.

The wind will be on it from early, below is the map at 5am and the Hookipa sensor already reads 11(6-19)mph from 85 at 4am.

Even stronger wind at 2pm, it's gonna be quite a cracking day (for the season) for wave sailing on the north shore. I might have to hit it too at one point.
North Pacific wind map shows a couple of tiny fetches. After the current swell (that, as you saw in the forecast, will only last a couple of days), the north shore is going to go pretty small, but with the strengthening trades, there will be at least some windswell to ride at Pavils/The point.
South Pacific wind map not too exciting either with only a couple of tiny fetches oriented towards us. Bag as many waves as you can this week is my recommendation.
The clouds are still spinning around that local low, but it didn't effect us at all. Looks like another beautiful day is on its way.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

9.45am most lahaina's spots are an 8.5 with very good wind and in the waist to shoulder high range with occasional bigger sets at 13s period. Relatively uncrowded.

6.45am hookipa looked tiny and with a bit of wind on, but still relatively clean. Lahaina waist to chest with occasional bigger sets and clean everywhere.

Tuesday 5 30 17 morning call

Another absolutely fantastic and gorgeous day of surfing on this wonderful island. There were two reasons why I didn't surf too much in the first two bigger days of the swell:
1) most spots were closing out
2) tons of crowds because of the long holiday weekend

Yesterday instead, both aspects improved a lot (second one only in the afternoon) and I surfed 5+ hours in four different sessions. This is a gopro shot that shows the beauty of the afternoon conditions at Thousand Peaks: a solid 8 due to a bit of texture of a very light onshore wind. Glassy would have been a 9, light offshore a 10. But what made it very special, it was that it was just me and a friend, observing the people on the shore totally surfed out and packing up to go back home early after an "exhausting" three days in a row at the beach. Sometimes you just got to wait. Today and the rest of the week should be even better.

Jason Hall's gopro shots are more exciting then mine.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

ALL the outer buoys are down (which is an impossible coincidence, so it must be something else), so we have to base our analysis on three things:
1) the WW3 forecast, which in its Surfine implementation today calls for a declining 2.5f 12s at 8am
2) the analysis of the original fetches (done below)
3) the observation of the webcams (when the sun comes out)

Below are the wind maps of May 22 (Monday), 23, 24 and 25. You might have to click on the photo and watch it on a computer screen to see something. I went back 8 days, because the lovely fetch on the 23rd (7 days ago) is a bit further away than usual and I think the related swell it will require 8 days of travel. Accordingly, both Surfline and Pat Caldwell (and me when I saw it a week ago!) call for a new long period pulse starting tomorrow. So for today we're probably gonna surf the slower lower period energy generated by the fetch on the 22nd. Should be another fun day, with much less crowd.

Here we go, in the meantime, the sun did came out and even though the webcam still struggles to keep the focus, this is a killer head high + set with absolutely nobody on it.

North shore
2.7ft @ 9s from 37° (NE)

Still small waves at Hookipa, get them clean before the wind gets on it as the sensor is only reading 2(0-4) from ENE at 5am, but today it will pick up at one point. Below is the 5am map that shows it right behind the corner.

This is the 2pm map that shows the wind in the 18-21mph at Hookipa, while the other models predict the return of the trades to only happen later tonight and tomorrow. I already know that this model is going to be right again. It's pretty good for the north shore, I think. Not as good for the south shore unfortunately.

North Pacific wind map shows a few fetches that will make the NW energy picking up tomorrow (3.7f 11s from 332 at 8am is the latest prediction) last a few days.

South Pacific wind map is quite poor from the Hawaii wave generation point of view. I would not expect any of the circled Tasman Sea energy to make it all the way to us, but it's gonna be good for the Fiji WSL contest. Still tons of energy directed to South America.

The clouds are still doing their counter clockwise dance, but they're not creating any damage, so guess what... another absolutely stunning sunny day is on its way. The weather in Hawaii is just ridiculously good.

Monday, May 29, 2017

9.30am lahaina side still fun with occasional head high sets

6am hookipa seemed smaller than yesterday in the dark and light offshore. Lahaina side belly to shoulder with occasional bigger sets and no wind.

Monday 5 29 17 morning call

South shore topping the heights yesterday, but surprisingly good waves also on the north shore. Let me start my story of the day in chronological order with a Gopro shot showing the beauty of the early morning conditions.

The morning light was so gorgeous, I made sure to come out of the water early enough to have at least half an hour of time before going to work. Of course I also wanted to take some photos for the blog, but what I really wanted to do was just sit shirtless in the sun, get the vitamin D production going and suck the beauty of everything in. Haleakala was majestic as usual.

There were some small runners going all the way.

Surprisingly good waves on the north shore I was saying, after work I went for a totally unexpected wave sailing session at Hookipa that had shoulder to head high 11 seconds waves.

"11 seconds?!?! It was only 8 and coming down yesterday, what happened?" was the disquieting dilemma that tortured me all afternoon. That's when my archive of wind maps comes handy. Below on the right is the map of May 24. The fetch responsible for this 11s swell is the one further away. I even went on Google Earth to measure the distance: 17,000 miles. 11s travel at 17.16knots, that's 4 days and yesterday was that was it! Pat Caldwell had it in his table, Surfline had it in their forecast, I made the beginner mistake to only focus on the south swell and completely overlooked it.

I also failed giving the deserved attention to the Pauwela readings that I reported yesterday morning: one of them was 1.3ft @ 13s from 48° (NE) and that built to 3f 11s during the day.
Sorry about that.

3am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.9ft @ 14s from 154° (SSE)

3.5ft @ 13s from 166° (SSE)
4.9ft @ 6s from 111° (ESE)

4.3ft @ 11s from 109° (ESE)

Interesting readings at the outer buoys, another good example of how the direction indications at these buoys should be taken with a grain of salt. A difference of more than 30 degrees compared to yesterday would make no sense, specially considering how remote the source is. The fetch couldn't move that fast even at the Screaming 60's latitude. I'm going to blame that 6s energy reported by the SW buoy (and with unreported minor readings also by the other ones) that probably comes from a patch of strong trades below the equator.

The Surfline forecast calls for 3f 14s slowly coming down in size from 196 instead and that's what I'm going to trust. In other words: still plenty energy on offer also today. Check the webcams and keep an eye on the wind (see discussion below).

North shore
2.8ft @ 11s from 41° (NE)
1.4ft @ 9s from 38° (NE)
1.4ft @ 6s from 43° (NE)

NE swell still there, but it's predicted to decline all day. I don't hear any noise out of my window, but that could be due to the offshore wind that 4am is blowing 5(2-7)mph from the South at Hookipa. Pauwela's graph below is a bit confusing, but I circled the NE swell in red. As you can see, it peaked yesterday and now is coming slowly down.

This is the 5am wind map that shows a light southerly flow, probably associated with that local low highlighted in the cloud maps at the end of the post. That should stay like that for most of the morning and that seems less that ideal wind for the south shore. Really good for Hookipa though.

The 2pm one shows the usual sun induced tradish thermals on the north shore and a more westerly component on the south one.

North Pacific maps show very little wave generation today: a tiny NNW fetch that was much better yesterday. Related swell still predicted by Surfline at almost 4f 11s on Wednesday.

South Pacific maps show very little wave generation too. All the energy is directed towards South America. 13f 15s for next weekend is the prediction for southern Chile, for example.

There's a local disturbance to keep an eye on. Red arrow shows the way the clouds are moving.

Big Blue shows the same.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

7.30 Maalaea update. That was more waist to chest. I got fooled by that one set. Nice and glassy though.

6.30am hookipa was surprisingly still waist to chest high. Maalaea has inconsistent chest to head high sets.

Sunday 5 27 17 morning call

Outrageously gorgeous days of big waves on the south facing shores yesterday. I went on a photo  safari and visited several spots. The first one was going totally off and this guy was on a tear (next three photos).

Lots of closeouts, but also the occasional barrel.

Granger Larsen grew up surfing this wave. You can tell he's quite comfortable there (next three photos).


Spot 2 was Breakwall where the HSA contest was running kids heats. Solid double overhead for them.

Spot 3 was doing the Teahupoo thing, which I failed catching properly on camera.

Spot 4 was were the longboard contest was held. I got to watch two heats with non particularly good surfers and the result was totally boring (no lack of respect for longboarding or nose riding, but I do have a preference for high performance shortboarding). I'm sure the level picked up later on, but I got out of there pretty quickly. These two lost boards floating over the reef symbolizes what I just wrote. The reef walks that followed looked gnarly.

Spot 5 was the one I surfed and unfortunately got dropped in on a beautiful looking wall. He's already apologizing, no worries brah! Let's all make an effort to be respectful of the etiquette and to be tolerant with the undeliberate violations. A positive vibe in the lineup makes the whole experience a lot more enjoyable.

Spot 6.

Spot 7.
4am significant buoy readings
North shore
2.2ft @ 8s from 27° (NNE)
1.6ft @ 9s from 32° (NE)
1.3ft @ 13s from 48° (NE)
1.1ft @ 10s from 18° (NNE)

North shore nearly flat but if you have a longboard there will still be something to ride at Hookipa.
South shore
3.1ft @ 14s from 169° (SSE)

3.2ft @ 14s from 176° (S)

3.8ft @ 14s from 186° (S)

South swell didn't go down that much in size, just a second or two in the period. That does translate in less size on the reef though, so today you can expect slightly smaller waves, but still plenty energy. It should overall be a better day on the Lahaina side, where I found the most spots couldn't quite hold the size yesterday and were closing out in the biggest sets. High crowd advisory still in effect.

Here's an early morning overhead bomb I just caught on the webcam.
Another windless day, here's the map at 2pm. The model was totally right about Maalaea yesterday, btw.
North Pacific maps show a narrow NW fetch, but fetch nonetheless. Resulting swell forecasted at 4f 11s on Wednesday by Surfline.
South Pacific maps only show a weak SSE fetch which I would have totally missed if it wasn't for the Meteogram map.
I don't think those clouds will bother us, so hopefully another stunner of a day is on its way.
Thanks a lot to blog reader Ben who informed me that the reason why there's so much fuss about the tides is that they have been higher than predicted. I quickly investigated and found out on this website that he was right. Here's a graph showing the predictions (blue) and the actual level of the water (red). That also explains why I didn't notice any particularly low tide when surfing (I remembered much lower tides in the past years). I didn't surf at high tide, but yes, 3-6 inches more than the prediction are a lot.