Sunday, February 26, 2017

7am hookipa has clean head to head and a half waves. Consistency is low because of the still westerly direction.

Sunday 2 26 17 morning call

Double session for me yesterday, second one at Honolua and these are a couple of shots that I took waiting for my surf guide customer to arrive. The detailed report is on the beach report that I took mid morning, below this post. The mid morning updates are kinda random, but it can pay off if you check the blog often during the day...

This one from the water shows the fun, playful size of the waves.

Couple of (hundred) words to commentate my choice of going to the Bay. At that time in the morning, the swell was peaking at Pauwela with readings around 5f 15s from around 325. That's the direction after the swell refracted upon the upstream islands of Kauai, Oahu and Molokai. The original direction up at the NW buoys was around 305. As indicated in the NW buoy to Maui travelling time and shadowing angles (check the "labels" section for future references) the Molokai shadow line for Honolua is 335. But the longer the period, the more the waves have the ability of wrapping around land points.

ALSO, here's a sentence from Pat Caldwell's meteo poem composed on Friday, referred to yesterday's swell: PEAKING SATURDAY FROM 300-320 DEGREES. Now, even though the dominant direction was shown by the NW buoys as around 305, knowing that the direction range was up to 320 was a good info to have. The consistency was low, because only the bigger, less westerly sets managed to wrap around Molokai, but some sure did.

So, with those information in mind, I just judged the swell big enough to get in there and we definitely scored much cleaner conditions that what the north shore (that I surfed very early) was offering. Local knowledge paid off, no forecast on the internet will ever tell you exactly the size of the waves at Honolua in a case like this. You got to make your own call and that's what this website tries to help with.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.4ft @ 14s from 291° (WNW)
Bit of a wrap, check the webcams.

North shore
5.8ft @ 14s from 316° (NW)
4.1ft @ 10s from 317° (NW)

4.8ft @ 14s from 305° (WNW)

3.7ft @ 8s from 56° (ENE)           
3.5ft @ 14s from 326° (NW)
Below is the graph of NW101 and Pauwela and it shows that Pauwela has peaked yesterday late morning (red arrow), but the NW101 is staying pretty steady in size and the swell turned more north in the last 12 hours. The two things should compensate each other and the swell in Maui should be smaller than yesterday (3.5ft @ 14s), but stay pretty steady throughout the day. It should actually be a bit more consistent at sunset (and possibly even a bit bigger), because of the more favorable direction.

NAM3km map at 7am shows ideal wind for surfing.

The 2pm map shows ESE trades that should offer good conditions also in the afternoon. Check the MC2km map later when and if they updated them. Despite the fact that yesterday they predicted a late afternoon glass off that didn't happen, I still consider them the best wind prediction for Maui with a reliability of about 85-90%. Morning maps are more reliable than afternoon maps, because the thermals are hard to predict.

Specially in a day like today, I add. This is a satellite picture at 6am and shows that wide band of high clouds that is moving to the NE and has already cleared Kauai. From the animation (link n.6 of Gp's meteo websites list), it seems that the same will happen to Oahu soon and eventually also Maui. No idea what time, that's something I don't have much interest in.

Current wind map shows:
1) tiny NNW fetch
2) elongated NNE fetch that will generated a swell predicted by Surfline to be 5f 11s from 24 on Monday afternoon.
3) an unusual SE fetch. No idea of what we're gonna get from that one, because of the long travel distance and the possible block of the Big Island

I got another board for sale. As I mentioned in a post more than a month ago, I ordered a slightly bigger version of my favorite board from the Oahu shaper Glenn Pang. The new board is 6.0x19.5x2.5 30.8L. I thought a couple of more liters would help catching waves in the chop infested Hookipa waters. And they sure do, but once on the wave I'd rather have my thinner (2 3/8) old one, because I can put it on the rail easier with my light weight (I'm 142 pounds at the moment). More volume also helps when the waves are small/soft, but I have another favorite board for small waves. Plus I surf every day and my paddling should be able to handle the 28.5L of the old board. Here they are next to each other, no need to specify which one is the old one and which one is the new one.
Both boards absolutely rip, I just don't need (nor have room for) both.
In a month of use, I put a few pressure bumps on the deck and the price is $350 for a board that retails around $670.
Here's the Craigslist post.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

10.30am honolua is a bit slow, but beautiful when the set comes. Head to a little overhead at the cave. 7 guys at the point, 13 at the cave.

6.30am hookipa has head and half to doh sets from the new swell, but not particularly consistent. Very light wind, but the morning sickness makes the shape average. Might get better later, but also bigger.

Saturday 2 25 17 morning call

Below is the picture of me carrying my windsurf foil setup two days ago, that was published yesterday on the front page of the Maui News (click on it to read the text). Thanks a lot to reporter Matt for mentioning the blog address and I feel like apologizing with my sail sponsor Hot Sails Maui for not having one of their sails. My weird quiver only consists of a 4.3 and a 4.0 and I needed a 5.8, so I grabbed one from the shop. And when you go for a solitary session at the harbor, the last thing you expect is to end up on the cover of the main Maui newspaper... in fact, I didn't see a single human soul until that shot was taken!

Yesterday I surfed and windsurfed in the morning, but the waves at Hookipa were all crossed up. Here's a beautiful Hot Sails Maui sail in a photo by Jimmie Hepp from this gallery.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

1.5ft @ 17s from 301° (WNW)
1ft @ 7s from 198° (SSW)
Pretty much wrap only at Lanai, check the webcams.
North shore
5.9ft @ 15s from 301° (WNW)
5.8ft @ 15s from 305° (WNW)
5ft @ 17s from 317° (NW)
2.9ft @ 11s from 346° (NNW)
4.1ft @ 9s from 48° (NE)
3.6ft @ 16s from 325° (NW)
3.4ft @ 10s from 359° (N)
New swell went up at the NW buoys and now the direction is much more reliable. That is a direction that is shadowed, so Maui will get a bit less energy than Oahu. Below are the graphs of NW101, Waimea and Pauwela. I drew a blue dotted line for the last one, following the prediction of the WW3 model that sees the swell peaking in Maui at around 5f 16s in the late morning/early afternoon.
As you can see from the readings, there's also the leftover from the previous NW swell (down to 10s) and the windswell. And in the meantime, the swell at Pauwela went up to 4.3ft @ 16s from 326° (NW) at 5am, so it's coming up nicely. That's well overhead at Hookipa, but stay tuned for the beach report for confirmation.

NAM3km map at 7am shows light wind and good surfing conditions

The 2pm map shows stronger wind, but not enough for sailing. Check the MC2km map when available for a more reliable forecast.

Current wind map shows:
1-2) two small but close fetches that will provide some northerly short period waves next week.
3) a moderate fetch down south that hopefully will take the flatness away from the south shores, but not by much.

This is a satellite photo at 5am. It shows a layer of clouds coming in from the south.

This is just a curiosity. A massive storm is predicted to form in the Atlantic and provide Nazare in Portugal with some really big waves. I expect pictures of that sessions to flood the internet.

This is a board I'm selling for $200. It's an Arakawa 6.6x18 3/4x2 1/2 and I just don't use it much, but it's a great board in good conditions. Here's the Craigslist ad.

Friday, February 24, 2017

6.30am hookipa has head to head and third nw waves. It looks better than yesterday as there's no wind and less chop.

2 24 17 morning call

Yesterday the waves at Hookipa had a seriously bad shape. In the morning I called it a 3 from the cliff, but when I surfed it, it felt more like a 1.5. Things improved a bit at sunset, but not by much. Check how irregular is the lip line of this left. I took this photo from the car since it wasn't even worth getting out for a photo shoot, let alone surfing it.

Well, that's also because I had just had some windsurfing foiling action earlier in the harbor. This time it went even better than Sunday and that's because the wind was much more manageable. Below are the graphs of the iWindsurf "Kanaha" sensor for both days. They should really call it "Harbor east pier", 'cause that's where it is. I only had like 40 minutes before the wind (as predicted by the MC2km maps) got just a tad too light.

This time I had a 5.8 sail and I could pump the foil up on a plane pretty much anytime I wanted. Once lifted, I managed to stay up there for a maximum of 5-6 seconds before the thing inevitably did a controlled mini-willie and stopped. Too much weight on the back foot as blog reader Garrett suggested in a comment after Sunday's post, I need to learn to keep the foil leveled once up. But the most important thing is that now I know the kind of conditions that are best for learning and I only had a couple of non dangerous falls. I'm still convinced that this is the best way of learning.

Yesterday's wind graph. Could have used a couple of more mph's.

Just for (my) reference, this is the graph of Sunday when instead I had a 4.0 and it was quite a bit more challenging. Obviously.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore
1.4ft @ 13s from 282° (WNW)     
1.2ft @ 9s from 196° (SSW)                      
0.5ft @ 20s from 225° (SW)
The first reading is the wrap of the current NW swell and the last might the one of the new rising one. In the end, you still need to check the webcams. Barbers buoy is down, btw.

North shore
4ft @ 8s from 88° (E)
2.9ft @ 5s from 57° (ENE)
2.6ft @ 12s from 328° (NW)
1.8ft @ 17s from 45° (NE)

3.6ft @ 13s from 349° (NNW)           
3.6ft @ 8s from 91° (E)
2.5ft @ 6s from 86° (E)
1.9ft @ 18s from 341° (NNW)
Reading the buoys sometimes requires some serious interpretation/knowledge. Normally I clean up those readings and leave only the "significant" ones for you guys, but this time I need them all for explanation purposes. Don't forget that those two buoys are sitting very close to each other.

The 12-13s readings are the current NW swell that is now on its way down. The sub 8s easterly readings are windswells. The 17-18s readings are the start of a new swell. The reason for those unmatching directions is that the buoys are subject to other energies and oscillations and the detection of the correct direction will only happen when this swell will grow in size and be predominant.
I'm gonna push this concept even further and declare that, based on my years of observations, ALL of those directions are not 100% correct (whatever 'correct' means, considering that the wave trains of a swell always has a range of directions, not only one), since they all influence each other. Only if there's a single swell in the water, the direction indication becomes more reliable.
3.3ft @ 13s from 319° (NW)
3.5ft @ 14s from 329° (NW)
4.1ft @ 9s from 79° (ENE)
3.4ft @ 14s from 333° (NNW)
2.5ft @ 11s from 337° (NNW)
None of the NW exposed local buoys shows signs of the new swell yet. But by applying GP's rule of thumb for the travelling time in its last and final version (I swear I'm not gonna change it again.. I might have to chisel it out on a rock at Hookipa...) 16h at 16s plus/minus 1's for different periods, those 2f 18s at the NW001 buoy should reach Maui at 4am + 14h = 6pm.
Keeping in mind that that 2f at the NW buoy will be less locally because of the decay due to the travelling and to possible refractions, and that the period slightly increases with the travelling, the WW3 output is quite in line with that, as it proposes 1.5f 20s at that time instead.

In other words, there should be some energy from the new swell at sunset overlapping to the old one.
Old one that is on its way down instead, as the Pauwela graph below shows. The light blue line seems to have peaked around sunset yesterday, but 3-4f 14s are still a fun size to play with. The quality of the waves will depend on the local wind and on the interaction with the windswell that is still up to 4f 9s unfortunately.
NAM3km map at 7am shows some possibly nice conditions on the north shore.

MC2km maps not updated yet at this time (check them later for the most reliable wind predictions), here's the 10 days Windguru table (link n.16 og GP's meteo websites list on the right) that shows two things of interest:
1) today the wind should be around 15mph from a direction around 60 degrees. Not the best for windsurfing (ideal direction for the north shore is around 75), definitely not the best for surfing either.
2) A wonderful (from the surfer's point of view, of course) start of the month of March.

Current wind map shows:
1) distant WNW fetch that is going to move north
2-3) I talked about those two forming fetches yesterday. So far the wind speed is pretty mild, so nothing major generated yet
4) I see it, I circle it. But I would not expect much out of this southerly fetch, seen how light the wind in it is.