Saturday 3 9 19 morning call

A shortboard session for me yesterday. Nice spray in this turn.

I chose not to go south, seen the confirmed reports of knee to waist high waves. But that sure looks warmer than the north shore. Photo by Chris Pagdilao.

Later in the day, the windsurfers at Hookipa were photographed as usual by Jimmie Hepp. This photo (from this gallery) clearly shows the short period of the NE swell.

Foiling downwinders that look like Finn Spencer and Kody Kerbox, but I could be wrong. Would love to practice that more, but I’m taking a break from any disciplines that involve gripping, as my trigger fingers are doing pretty bad.

3am significant buoy readings
South shore
Barbers
3ft @ 18s from 312° (NW)

Lanai
1.7ft @ 17s from 230° (SW)

Barbers only feels the wrap of the NW swell, which makes me think that also the 17s reading at Lanai might be that (you know how skeptical I am about the direction indication). But yesterday Pat Caldwell posted an interesting thought about this south swell:

The PacIOOS/CDIP Lanai and Barbers buoys show SSW swell of 12-14 seconds Friday morning 3/8. However the magnitude is low. Surf today was expected from tropical cyclone Pola from late last week. Given the shorter wave periods of 10-14 seconds that made it to the Samoa buoy, it is not too surprising that only a little made it to Hawaii, since the shorter the wave periods, the greater the angular spreading, thus the greater the drop in size with distance.
Better odds are from a mid latitude low pressure near 60S, 160W 3/1-3 south of French Polynesia. It had an wide, long fetch of marginal gales and a smaller area to severe gales over the 180-195 degree band. Surf reports from Tahiti 3/7 described the first of the seasonal south swells to reach a moderate level, relative to their high season average. Long-period forerunners should trend the surf up locally Saturday morning with inconsistent sets. The event should peak Saturday night into Sunday morning, at levels near to above the summer average, then slowly drop into Tuesday from the same direction.

Here’s again the collage of the maps of March 1, 2 and 3. This time I added a red arrow to indicate the cyclone Pola he’s referring to. If he’s right, then the 17s reading at Lanai could also be the southerly energy, I honestly don’t know. And that makes my personal call of where to surf before work more challenging than usual. Might have to go by instinct. If I decide to go south (and it might be a temperature driven decision), I’ll try to post a report from the beach.

PS. The 4am reading of Lanai is 1.6ft @ 15s from 216° (SW), so that’s a good sign that the south swell should be bigger than yesterday.

North shore
NW101
10.3ft @ 16s from 337° (NNW)

Hanalei
7.3ft @ 17s from 320° (NW)

Waimea
4.3ft @ 18s from 319° (NW)

Pauwela
6.9ft @ 8s from 46° (NE)

2.6ft @ 16s from 324° (NW)
 
After a timid start, the NW swell jumped up at the NW buoys and this is great news for the Legends of the Bay contest at Honolua. Below is the collage of the graphs of the reported buoys, plus the Surfline forecast. The NW101 graph shows a peak of 11ft 16s at around 2am. By applying GP’s rule of thumb for the travel time (16h @16s +/- 1h per 1s), that should equate to a peak locally right at sunset. I consequently drew a dotted line on Pauwela’s graph. Not sure how big it will get, I optimistically went for the 8ft mark. The Surfline forecast instead only shows up to 5ft.

What’s also really good news is the surprising direction at the NW buoy: 337. That would be as good as it gets for a big NW swell with stiff trades at Honolua, but, once again, I question that direction. Below is the collage of the maps of March 5, 6 and 7. The strongest day was obviously the 6th (red arrow) and that to me looks like 300-320, not quite as good. We’ll see, for sure there will be some big barrels on offer in the late afternoon, which is when the open men should have their final, according to the tentative schedule. And it should still be pretty solid on Sunday morning, for the joy of the other categories.

Wind map at noon.

North Pacific has a wide NW fetch and the windswell one.

South Pacific has a small and remote S fetch which probably won’t manage to send us waves.

Morning sky.

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