Tuesday, May 23, 2017

6.30am hookipa looked overhead and light wind. Lahaina is waist to chest with occasional bigger sets and light wind. Peaks was windy.

Tuesday 5 23 17 morning call

After a lovely surf session in Lahaina, yesterday I managed to miss the windsurfing on the north shore because I waited too long for the conditions to be the way I like them. Not sorry a single bit, for a change here's a photo of a kiter showing the waves (which occasionally were up to mast high or 4m faces). Photo by Jimmie Hepp from this gallery.

3am significant buoy readings
South shore

No signs of any energy from the south at the buoys, but that's only because the new NW energy is shadowing it. These are the kind of things you learn when you observe the buoys for as long as I have. What counts in this cases, is the knowledge of the original fetch (which I posted in a collage yesterday) and, if the sun is out, the webcams of course. My guess in the dark is that there's still waves.

Here we go, I decided to wait to have that confirmation and sure enough I immediately caught a chest high one. Might have been the set of the day, who knows. What I was afraid of, and seem to show watching the live feed, is a bit of wind texture caused by the fact that today the trades are going to be kinda strong and that usually brings some turbulence also on the other side. Might clean up though.

In the meantime, here's the graph of the Samoa buoy that shows the swell that is forecasted for the weekend picking up mid yesterday (red circle). As illustrated in the post Buoys to Maui travel times and Maui's shadow lines , the travel times from it to here are according to the following table.

20sec--30kts-- 74hrs (3days)

17sec--26kts-- 85hrs (3.5 days)

14sec--21kts--106 hrs (4.5 days)

11sec--17kts--130 hrs (5.5 days)

The first recorded reading seems to be 2f 16s around 8am Monday (there might be smaller ones with longer period before it). Those will take a little more than 3.5 days to get here and that means Thursday evening. In the meantime, they will also lose some size and gain some period. As a result, the Surfline forecast calls for 0.8f 18s at 8pm on Thursday. Considering how inconsistent a south swell is at the very beginning, we can safely say that the first day of the swell is going to be Friday.

North shore
10.3ft @ 8s from 62° (ENE)

4.5ft @ 12s from 306° (WNW)

5.3ft @ 11s from 329° (NW)

5.5ft @ 8s from 350° (N)
4.4ft @ 11s from 334° (NNW)
NW Swell still up at the buoys, plenty energy on offer also today. If you remember the fetches, you'll know that this is going to be a long lasting swell, with decreasing period and size hand in hand with the direction going progressively more easterly. If you don't remember the fetches you have two options:
1) scroll down to the past day's calls and check them
2) read the wordy explanation of Pat Caldwell:
A long-lived, broad area of low pressure moved slowly east from the dateline along 40°N 5/18-21 as peak winds slowly weakened. Strongest winds aimed NE of Hawaii. There was a short-lived spell of 13-15 second wave period energy late 5/21 locally as measured by the pacioos/cdip Waimea buoy. The energy is dominant in the 10-12 second band mid Monday 5/22. The primary fetch aimed at Hawaii was of strong to near gale winds over the 320-340 degree band, closest on 5/20 about 800 nm out. Fresh to strong breezes over the 330-360 degree band nosed even closer to within a few hundred miles while the tail of the fetch was beyond 1200 nm away. This should make for a long-lived episode as the dominant direction veers from NNW to N then to NNE.

Overhead also today is my size guess, but with the Hookipa sensor already reading 9(6-12) from the east at 5.20am, I might not even go have a look. I like clean waves.

2pm wind map shows easterly trades and another good day for wind related sports.

Current wind map apparently only shows a NNE windswell fetch.

But with my surprise, the Meteogram automated generated fetch map shows a fetch down south.
That map (right of the photo) is at 6Z which is 8pm Monday, and the Windy map (left of the photo) is current (5am this morning), so there's a bit of time difference between the two, but the reason the fetch I circled doesn't seem oriented towards us is that the closer you get to the poles, the more distortion gets introduced when you try to represent the Earth on a flat map. That's why the Great Circle Rays maps are an important tool.

Now the problem with that fetch is that is about one more extra day of travelling distance and considering it only has up to 30-34 knots wind in it, I believe that the related wave energy will have a hard time make it all the way up to Hawaii. We will see in 7-8 days.

Morning sky. Watch out for the trade's generated squalls on the eastern sides of the island.

Watch out also for some really shallow low tides coming up this week due to a spring new moon. Here's Kahului. Lahaina is roughly one hour later than that.

Monday, May 22, 2017

9.30am honolua has very occasional knee to waist high waves.

6.30am lahaina side knee to waist high and clean. Peaks was windy.

5.30am hookipa has shoulder to head high sets,  but the shape is ruined by the wind.

Monday 5 22 17 morning call

A surf and a wind foil session was my booty yesterday. Here's another kind of booty I luckily captured in 2008 at Oluwalu, that came up in those Facebook memories of the day things. My best duck dive shot ever, I love her dry hair and everything else.

3am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.4ft @ 13s from 170° (S)

2.5ft @ 13s from 176° (S)

Still nice southerly readings at the outer buoys, Thousand Peaks loves that size and period. Knee to waist high and peeling is my call.
Below are the wind maps of 15, 16 and 17 that show continuous fetches aimed at us, so there should be background swell for the next few days too. If the whole summer was like this, I would feel the need to go to Indo a little less. It's been fun down there, yesterday I gave my early morning SUP session a 9.

North shore
7.3ft @ 8s from 4° (N)
4.2ft @ 12s from 334° (NNW)
4.1ft @ 10s from 340° (NNW)

3.2ft @ 13s from 326° (NW)

3ft @ 14s from 326° (NW)
2.5ft @ 8s from 80° (E)                      
1.2ft @ 10s from 334° (NNW)
NW swell is here, below are the graphs of the three reported buoys that show that the swell is still on the rise in size, but with numbers that are below the forecast. The swell is also rapidly declining in period and that will limit the size on the reef. Wind sensor at Hookipa shows 6(4-8)mph from 93, so not too bad. Stay tuned for the beach report.
Wind map at 2 shows some easterly trades with a much better direction than reported by other models.
Current wind map shows:
- a north windswell fetch
- a couple of fetches down south, but the good stuff happened in the past three days. Forecast calls for 3.3f 15s from 197 on Saturday with longer periods picking up already Friday.
Automatically drawn fetches.
Morning sky shows some clouds moving in from the south.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

6.20am hookipa close to flat, Ukumehame knee to occasionally belly high and clean

Sunday 5 21 17 morning call

A lesson, a session and a work shift and another gorgeous day in paradise was filled with beauty. Took a while for my brain to register that presence.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.6ft @ 13s from 195° (SSW)

2.5ft @ 13s from 188° (S)

2.6ft @ 13s from 163° (SSE)

Still some lovely southerly readings at the outer buoys, check the webcam. Yesterday it was consistently knee to waist high with occasional chest high sets on the Lahaina side. Today should be similar with a diminishing trend in the period.

North shore
3.3ft @ 8s from 69° (ENE)

Don't miss the opportunity to go look at Hookipa in one of the flattest days of the year. In summer time in fact, the trades blow pretty consistently and, unless they're very easterly, there's always a bit of windswell (for the joy of the Pavillions' aficionados). Today 3.3f 8s will be barely noticeable, instead.

No signs of the new NW swell at the NW buoys either, it will pick up during the night. Surfline calls for 5.5f 13s at 8am tomorrow, so there should be waves already at dawn. Here's their forecast (offshore swell tab, of course!).

Yesterday I forgot to comment about the wind and about how the new model I'm using was pretty spot on to predict the afternoon trades two days ago, while all the other models were calling for no wind. This is today's map at 2pm and it looks like I might be wind foiling again!

Current wind map shows:
- northerly fetch leftover from the NW fetch responsible for Monday's swell
- still a solid southerly fetch
The high pressure west of the north fetch will move east and bring us a temporary episode of trades, before another out of season lovely period of calm. That'll happen in coincidence with the arrival of the big south swell and the two things together are quite a rare occurance. I don't have the statistics, but I'd say it happens 1-2 times a year.

Automated generated fetches map. I could call it "computer circles", as opposed to my circles. As you can see, once again I overlooked the ESE little fetch.

And since that fetch east of New Zealand looks so good, here's the weather map that shows the lovely long parallel isobars. Tomorrow no more, but it was a pretty intense 3 days of wave generation for us.

Here, you can see everything I just wrote about the wind forecast on the Windguru 10 days table.

Morning sky looks pretty clear, but I heard of heavy rains yesterday afternoon in Kihei, so you never know how it's gonna end.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

6.30am hookipa close to flat.

Saturday 5 20 17 morning call

Absolutely gorgeous day (off for me) yesterday that I celebrated with:
1) an early morning session at Hookipa
2) a mid morning nose riding session at Thousand Peaks (knee to waist high)
3) an early afternoon wind foiling session at Kanaha.

This barrel shot from Jason Hall shows what I wrote about yesterday's conditions: because of size and low consistency, I gave them an overall 3.5, but there were some eights out there. Jason is really good at finding them. He also asked me for a little surf report and the resulting video is here.

Windfoiling was a bit of a breakthrough. Not only I managed to foil for 15-20s, but for the very first time I actually managed to have some fun! Kanaha's steadier wind made some difference, but even more was the fact that I used my superlight Hot Sails Maui Firelight 4.3.

I love when my mini-porch looks like this.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.6ft @ 13s from 185° (S)

2.1ft @ 13s from 171° (S)

2.6ft @ 14s from 186° (S)

Steady background southerly energy at the outer buoys, check the webcams. Here's a solid chest high ones, but it took me a while to catch it.

And here's how Pat Caldwell describes the source: Extra-tropical rebirth of tropical cyclone donna E of New Zealand 5/12-14 resulted in a compact fetch of severe gales aimed at Hawaii.
The pacioos/cdip american samoa buoy rose late Monday to a maximum on Tuesday 5/16 with 6'@14°S from 185 degrees. This is a good indication surf will arrive in Hawaii. The moderate wave periods would result in more loss of swell size with travel distance as compared to longer wave periods.

Below are the fetches of the 13, 14 and 15 (left to right)

North shore
3.1ft @ 8s from 80° (E)                      
1.1ft @ 10s from 325° (NW)
Not much at all at Pauwela, today (and tomorrow) should be a near flat day at Hookipa. Next swell on Monday.
North Pacific wind maps shows a nice and close NW fetch and a weak windswell fetch. Good combo.

South Pacific wind map shows that complex pattern we saw yesterday unfolding. Still good wave generation for us, but I liked yesterday better.

Here's how the fetches look like on Meteogram. I confess I would have overlooked the weak SE one without these maps.

There we go, another stunner on its way.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday 5 19 17 morning call

I went surfing before the call this morning and this is a picture of Hookipa I took around 7.30am after my session. The offshores were easing up and it was pretty gorgeous out there. I scored it 3.5 in the 6am beach report that you find below this call, because of size and inconsistency, but there were some high quality waves out there. I got a little vision of the lip on top of my head on a left that was like an 8.

Yesterday I surfed in the morning and had another short attempt at wind foiling in the afternoon. Still a lot of struggle, but I had 5 seconds of magic silent ride that were worth the whole thing. The wind is kinda patchy inside the harbor and that doesn't help, I might try on a 15 knots NE steady day at Kanaha next time.

Some windsurfers hit the small waves at Hookipa in the afternoon.
This photo is by Jimmie Hepp from this gallery.

7am significant buoy readings
South shore

2.2ft @ 15s from 203° (SSW)

1.8ft @ 14s from 194° (SSW)

1.6ft @ 15s from 183° (S)

New southerly pulse hitting the outer buoys, check the webcams for size.

North shore
2.5ft @ 10s from 322° (NW)

2.2ft @ 11s from 326° (NW)

On the Pauwela graph below you can see how the NW swell never went over two feet yesterday (light blue line), but, apart from a decline in the period, it's staying pretty stead this morning. It should continue to hold throughout the day, before declining tomorrow, going in the 9s range.
Wind prediction at 2pm shows some easterly trades. All Windguru's models are calling for a pretty much windless day and that's what the isobars would suggest. We'll see. Good test for this new model I'm using.

Current wind map looks so good today, that it deserves to be zoomed in, north and south (below).

The north Pacific map shows a absolutely decent new NW fetch. The swell it's generating is forecasted by Surfline to reach 6f 12s from 324 at 2pm on Monday. Unfortunately, the wind is predicted to be moderate from a NE direction of around 60 degrees. That'll ruin it. Maybe the kiters can still enjoy it with that direction.

But what's really exciting is happening in the South Pacific. A pretty impressive fetch has set up S to SE of New Zealand. It's gonna improve for us in the next 12 hours, before becoming too zonal (east to west direction of the winds). The related swell is forecasted by Surfline to be around 3+ feet 15s over the weekend, but I'm liking also Friday with 2f 18s. We're talking next week.

Here's how those fetches look like on the Meteogram map.

No clouds whatsoever and another gorgeous day in paradise is on its way.

Beach report before call today.
6am the buoy reads 2f 11s and hookipa has chest to occasionally shoulder high waves. Cleaner than yesterday since the wind is light and the windswell running across is almost gone.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

8.15am same as previous report, but now there's some wind on it.

5.45am hookipa has inconsistent chest to occasionally shoulder high wavess with frequent moments of flatness. No wind at the moment, but a bit of morning sickness and an offshore wind line.

Thursday 5 18 17 morning call

Just a little session on this offshore peak for me yesterday.

The nose rider went to the rescue of this lovely lady that was being pushed offshore by the stiff wind.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

1.9ft @ 13s from 160° (SSE)

2.2ft @ 13s from 161° (SSE)

Little leftover energy from the south. The observation of the webcams will be key in deciding if it's worth it.

North shore
3.8ft @ 12s from 301° (WNW)

2.3ft @ 13s from 325° (NW)

5.1ft @ 9s from 70° (ENE)
1.6ft @ 13s from 310° (WNW)
Pretty meager readings at the buoy, the forecast was right. 1.6f 13s will be barely noticeable at Hookipa, (the noise out of my window is very mild) and my guess is that the windswell (which is going down) will still be predominant. At least should be pretty clean thanks to the lack of wind.

I thought this swell was going to be bigger, because I remembered some decent fetches. The good thing of saving the maps I use daily for the call is that you can retrieve them. Below are (from the left) the wind maps of May 13, 14 and 15. As you can see, only on the 13th, the fetch had some intensity, but it was pretty west and far from us. The next couple of days the fetch looks pretty weak. So, that was my mistake, due to my old and forgetful brain.
Pat Caldwell sums it up: The weak magnitude of the source and long travel distance limits surf potential locally.

At the bottom of the above collage, you can also observe the fetch east of New Zealand that will provide us with the next southerly bump on Saturday. Here's how Pat Caldwell describes it: The remnant of tropical storm donna became extratropical as it deepened east of New Zealand 5/12-13. A compact fetch had direct aim at Hawaii, with the limiting factor being the narrow fetch. The system was strongest 5/13 with severe gales and weakened to gales as it tracked east with similar size 5/14-16.

Current wind maps shows:
1) an average NW fetch
2) windswell fetch

The south pacific deserves a zoom today. It's a pretty impressive storm, but today we're still blocked a lot by New Zealand. Tomorrow should be the best day of wave generation for us. Consequently, the swell is forecasted by Surfline to pick up all day next Friday and peak Saturday at 4f 15s. That's a pretty good swell, probably the biggest of the new season so far.

That's how those fetches look on the meteogram's map, which unfortunately doesn't take into account the shadow of New Zealand.

Wind map at 5am shows light side-offshore. It might be even better than that, as the 4.30am sensor reading shows pretty much no wind at all.

2pm map is not too different, but you can expect the thermal wind to fill in, at least at Hookipa.

The morning sky looks beautiful and free of clouds. I put a red line to indicate the tail of the weak (at our latitude) front that is approaching.

You can see it better in the big blue photo. Once again, our magic latitude is being magic. We're just under the clouds.