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.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

6am hookipa big and not particularly clean from the distance

Saturday 3 30 19 morning call

The funding campaign for the new Lahaina harbor webcam has raised $750. 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.

A shortboard session for me yesterday. When I first saw Hookipa in the semi-dark I gave it a 8.5 from the cliff. But then I moved to a place that would show the texture better and I managed to reduced the beach report score to 7. By the time I paddled out, the morning sickness leftover by the offshore onshores (sorry, sounds weird but just offshore the island, there were northerly light winds) made the conditions more like a 4. Then between 7.30 and 8.30 the thermal offshores made it a 9, pretty much just as good as the epic Thursday. And by the time I left around 9.30 the offshore was over and it was back to a 7. I write all this, to remind you guys how quickly conditions can change.

I only had very little time to take photos, here's a couple taken during the 9ish time frame. Beautiful empty lefts.

Bit out of focus, but shows the glassiness.

Here's three photos taken by Jimmie Hepp later in the morning (full gallery here).
Cody Young's style in that controlled tail slide top turn that he does is quite unique. And for sure the spray and everything else is at top pro levels.

Imagine you don't know it's him and someone photoshops the hair color and tells you this is Julian Wilson. I'd believe it...

Seen his brilliant performances in the Sunset and Pipe WCT contests, I asked him if he was going to follow the WCT contests around the world in order to try and qualify. He said he's going to Australia for some and then he'll decide depending how he does. Best luck to him.

This is a frame grab from a video posted by a Fijian friend on Facebook. Obviously (pumping) Cloudbreak. That is the result of the strong Tasman Sea fetch we observed on the map of the 26th. The Samoa buoy reads 1.8ft @ 16s from 208° (SSW) at 3am. In the post Buoys to Maui travel times and Maui's shadow lines I calculated the travel time from that buoy to Maui at 3.3 days, so expect some south shore action Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (2ft 15s on Surfline).

3-4am significant buoy readings
South shore
2ft @ 14s from 206° (SSW)
1.9ft @ 13s from 228° (SW)

Nice SSW and SW combo at Lanai. I taught a lesson in Kihei yesterday and it was knee to occasionally waist. Hard to say how big it's going to be today, but it shouldn't be flat. Check the webcams before going, soon we'll be able to check the new Lahaina webcam too. Keep the donations coming, summer time is almost around the corner.

North shore
6.7ft @ 11s from 359° (N)
4ft @ 9s from 2° (N)
2ft @ 20s from 272° (W)

6.1ft @ 13s from 328° (NW)
3.7ft @ 11s from 334° (NNW)
3.5ft @ 9s from 340° (NNW)
0.8ft @ 20s from 315° (NW)
6.7ft @ 13s from 336° (NNW)
4.1ft @ 10s from 336° (NNW)
0.4ft @ 25s from 327° (NW)
7.3ft @ 13s from 333° (NNW)
4.1ft @ 9s from 345° (NNW)
Lots of waves these days. Let's first notice that the highest energy in the water has now become more north than the past couple of days. That's because it's now the energy generated by the relatively strong fetch that the nearby low that I named Dewey offered on the 27th and 28th.
7.3ft 13s from 333 is a little less than Surfline's prediction of 9.6ft at 12s, but we'll take it anyway.
Also notice the very long period NW energy on the rise. The NW101 buoy indicated a W direction, but that's unreliable (the NW001 buoy has it from the NE instead, imagine that). That is the swell that will pick up noticeably only tomorrow in Maui and Surfline predicts to reach 5ft 18s in the morning (might happen a little earlier than that, imo). That is instead the swell generated by the other low I named Huey, which had a strong fetch on the 28th and kept stirring waters for the following few days (although with less intensity). That means that this swell will stat tomorrow (today too much other energy in the water to make a visible contribution, if not in the late afternoon) and last pretty much till Friday April 5th, when another NW swell which we haven't seen yet on the fetches map will replace it.

No shortage of waves on the north shore, that's for sure. There's no sign of a season change yet in the North Pacific, I'm going to stubbornly still call this Winter. Once again the conditions will be influenced by the local winds. Yesterday at sunset Hookipa looked pretty bad with onshore wind and I'm afraid that might give it again a bad morning sickness like yesterday. It should be calm though, until the usual 10ish and hopefully a little bit of thermal offshores will clean up things also today. Otherwise, it's likely a day to look for sheltered spots. Honolua and all the west side will have waves too, but without the offshore trades, might not be classic Bay. Might still be pretty good nonetheless if glassy in the early morning.
Wind map at noon.

Huey still offers a nice elongated but not too strong fetch in the North Pacific. The other two circled ones are pretty weak. No worries, more stronger fetches tomorrow.

Nothing in the South Pacific.

Morning sky.

Friday, March 29, 2019

6am hookipa is head and a half with occasional bigger sets and clean but not as clean as yesterday.

Friday 3 29 19 morning call

The funding campaign for the new Lahaina harbor webcam has raised $750. 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 session for me yesterday. Hookipa was gorgeous and Imai De Vault shredded this one with style as usual.

Classic bottom turn by Charlie Smith.

When it's like that, Lanes is in my top 10 favorite waves in Maui, but not in the top 5, as most times it's all about the drop.

Below is a clip with a couple of waves I caught. To introduce it, here's a frame from the beginning of the second one. The guy on the very left of the picture is Robby Naish on his standup board and he's paddling for a beautiful approaching wave. He was out with a bunch of team riders doing a drone shoot. I felt like it was my turn after sitting and watching them catch all the waves of the set before, so I timidly asked Robby if he was going (I knew he was!). Robby is such a nice guy and so aware of everything going on in the water, he replied: "Go, go!" and waited for another wave.

Thank you Robby. This also gives me the opportunity to remember the too often forgotten rule number 1 of the surfing etiquette: whoever has been waiting the most has the right of way. Please make an effort to remember who's turn it is. That rule usually goes out the window when it's more than 5-10 surfer, since it's hard to remember and that's when the "closest to the peak" rule number 2 comes into place.

Pure bliss.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore
3.6ft @ 13s from 283° (WNW)

2.8ft @ 13s from 223° (SW)

Local buoy still sensing what I believe to be a wrap from the NW swell. Nothing wrong with that, but since one is Oahu and the other offshore the SW tip of Lanai, we don't know if that wrap is going to make it to our Maui shores. Yesterday I did not look at any south shore camera (like the Kihei ones) and that's a mistake. Not that I was interested going there, but it's always good to know what's going on. Specially if you have lessons to schedule. I'll look at those cameras later today and I recommend you to do the same, they're all linked in the webcams section of this blog. I did get a word of mouth report of waist to chest high waves at Thousand Peaks, but I'm always skeptical when I don't know the reporter.

North shore
8.7ft @ 13s from 348° (NNW)
5.8ft @ 10s from 352° (N)

5.6ft @ 13s from 324° (NW)            
5.4ft @ 9s from 336° (NNW)
4ft @ 11s from 324° (NW)
5.9ft @ 13s from 322° (NW)
2.3ft @ 10s from 340° (NNW)
5.4ft @ 13s from 316° (NW)
1.4ft @ 9s from 59° (ENE)
0.4ft @ 7s from 57° (ENE)
Below is the collage of the graphs of the reported buoys, plus the Surfline forecast. All the upstream buoys just had an increase in the significant wave height (black line, it's the result on the open ocean waves of the sum of all the energies in the water), so we can expect that to happen in Maui too later today. The forecast only sees an increase in the late afternoon.

Whenever that'll happen, we don't care. Why? Because yesterday's very clean conditions are going to happen again this morning till around 10am, who cares if the waves are going to be bigger in the afternoon with the wind on it!
All I'm going to add is that Hookipa at dawn will still be overhead, but significantly smaller than yesterday at the same time, and so the more friendly size will make for more people out.

Wind map at noon. Like yesterday, it should be glassy till around 10am.

Huey moved north a bit and it's now bigger and stronger and generating a swell that Surfline predicts to reach 5ft 18s from 310 on Sunday morning., Dewey is still pointing some winds at us, but not as strong as yesterday. Nonetheless, Surfline still has 9.6ft 12s from 330 for tomorrow morning. Louie is leaving the scene.

Nothing from the south.

Morning sky.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

7am hookipa is head and a half to double and gorgeous.

Thursday 3 28 19 morning call

The funding campaign for the new Lahaina harbor webcam has raised $705. 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.

A longboard session for me yesterday. Then I went to work and after that I went back to Hookipa which offered a mixed bag of photo opportunities. In chronological order, we have Victor Fernandez making the most of the very light wind with a sub-discipline of wave-sailing that in Maui it's often called "slog and surf". Slogging is when you windsurf without planning. And even though that's no particularly fun, it still is my favorite conditions, because when you finally catch a wave, the riding will be cleaner than with strong wind.

This is Casey Hauser on his windfoiler. The fun from riding a wave on a foil doesn't come (necessarily) from hitting lips or staying in the steep sections. It's fun just to be carried by the wave, since the adjustments the foil requires are constant and extremely engaging for both body and mind.

If you starting carving up and down the face like Casey here, you add challenge hence fun.

Kiting is another way of enjoying the waves and the light wind. I think this was a lady, but it's hard to tell from the shot.

A little easier on this one.

At sunset the light wind died and the conditions improved to a 9 with most sets in that beautiful head and a half size. This is Matt Mercado, I think.

A friend asked me yesterday:
"GP, how come you gave it only a 5 this morning? It was so clean!".
"It sure was, but it also was very slow with few waves that were breaking."
"Really? When I got there, there was a wave after the other at the point!"
"What time was that?"
"Around 8.30am"
"Well, my post was at 6.30am, things change..."
Sometimes I wonder if it's worth to do beach reports from Hookipa. Conditions can literally change in a few minutes. Things that go into my score of the conditions: shape of the waves, texture and bumps, wind, consistency. I think it's still better to know something that not to know anything, so I'll keep posting them, but please remember that things can change quickly at Hookipa.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore
2.6ft @ 15s from 213° (SW)

2ft @ 14s from 266° (W)

Not sure how reliable those readings are in terms of direction, we need a local webcam to check the waves on the Lahaina side. Please keep the donations coming on the page I link. This is a nice wave at Ala Moana, but there's plenty flat spells in between.

North shore
6.6ft @ 14s from 317° (NW)

6.4ft @ 14s from 313° (NW)

6.6ft @ 15s from 314° (NW)

6.2ft @ 14s from 327° (NW)
1.4ft @ 10s from 31° (NE)
1.2ft @ 8s from 62° (ENE)
1ft @ 11s from 19° (NNE)

Wonderful numbers at the buoys. Below is the collage of the graphs of the four reported buoys plus the Surfline forecast. This last one sees the swell growing a little more during the day, but instead the graphs indicate that the peak is right now in the morning. After that, it should stay pretty steady throughout all day. A wonderful day of waves in Hawaii. Hookipa will be head and a half to double and extremely clean with a little offshore breeze. Not sure if I'll report or not.

Wind map at noon. Should be glassy till 10am.

Huey, Dewey and Louie are still in place in the North Pacific. The fetch that will make the most waves for us today is Dewey's, as it's the closest to us.

Weak SE fetch in the South Pacific.

Morning sky.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

6.30am hookipa has inconsistent chest to occasionally head high waves with frequent spells of flatness. Very clean.

Wednesday 3 16 19 morning call

The funding campaign for the new Lahaina harbor webcam has raised $705. 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.

A shortboard and a longboard session for me yesterday. First one was at Hookipa, second one at Honolua again. The reasons I chose to go despite the not so exciting 4am reading at Pauwela (3ft @ 13s from 346°) are the following:
- I checked the buoy later and it was back to 4ft
- the observation of the west side cams (particularly Little Makaha)
- I taught a lesson mid morning and was already on the Lahaina side
- the trades were blowing (north shore would have been blown out).

Looks like it was a good call: mostly flat, but a beautiful small set every 10 minutes and a very light crowd.
Here's a wave at The Point before my session.

Here's a couple of waves during my session.

Here's one where I was way too deep to make the section, but I kept grabbing on that rail. See the guy paddling all the way down the line?

I only saw him (with great surprise!) after I went through all the white water in between us.

Here's a wave at the Cave after my session.

The windsurfers at Hookipa enjoyed a last windy day. Since we're not going to see windsurfing photos for a while, I picked two out of Jimmie Hepp's gallery of the day..

4am significant buoy readings
South shore
2.4ft @ 9s from 169° (SSE)
1.5ft @ 15s from 198° (SSW)

1.2ft @ 14s from 187° (S)                        
0.8ft @ 18s from 188° (S)
Background southerly energy at the local buoys. Not sure about that 18s reading, as there's also 18s energy from the NNW and it could be a wrap of some sort. Yesterday it was knee high on the Lahaina side and today should be similar. Soon I'll be able to recommend again: "check the Lahaina webcam before going". Please keep the donations coming.
North shore
3ft @ 14s from 305° (WNW)
1.7ft @ 15s from 329° (NW)
1.4ft @ 16s from 329° (NW)
4.3ft @ 9s from 31° (NE)
1.4ft @ 18s from 334° (NNW)
New long period NW swell on the slow rise plus 4.3ft 9s from the 31 should make for a fun friendly size day at Hookipa. This is Pat Caldwell's description of the fetch(es): A compact low pressure 3/22-23 in the Kamchatka corner aimed swell at Hawaii over the 310-320 degree band. A new low pressure formed 3/23 and raced NE crossing into the Bering Sea west of the Date Line early 3/25. Acting upon the existing swell, the combined seas and swell grew over 25 feet in a wide area near the Hawaii great circle about 2000 nm away by late Sunday 3/24. The fetch aimed too NE of of Hawaii as it weakened just south of the Aleutians west of the Date Line 3/25.

Below is the collage of the maps of March 23, 24 and 25.

Below is the graphs of NW, Waimea and Pauwela together with the Surfline forecast. I circled the rise of the new swell on all of the graphs, you can see how low the energy is. The Surfline forecast sees the swell picking up noticeably only tomorrow (reaching 5ft 15s), but it does seem to be a little higher than what predicted for today, so I'm going call for a possible increase in size this afternoon.
Will report early from Hookipa the dawn conditions.

Wind map at noon. Should be calm till 10-11am.
North Pacific offers a lovely wintery scenario with three lows that I named Huey, Dewey and Louie. Huey is going to generate a swell that Surfline calls at 6ft 15s from 310 on Sunday. Dewey is going to stay there quite stationary (that's why there will be no trades) and the fetch oriented towards us is modeled to intensify and produce a swell that Surfline calls at 9ft 12s from 330. The Bay is going to be breaking again...
Unfortunately, yesterday's promising Tasman Sea fetch is now not oriented towards us anymore. Hopefully we'll still get some waves from it around next Tuesday/Wednesday.
Morning sky.