Our good friend Matt from Caroline Islands Surf Tours sends us a regular surf report – November-December 2011. Check out their photo gallery at the end of the newsletter!
After a long, drawn-out summer, Micronesia’s season started with a bang in early November. With light ESE wind prevailing, we enjoyed four swells in four weeks—two small-moderate, rippable pulses, and two full-on bombs that reminded me why I have been coming back to this island, year after year, since I was 19—more than a decade.
The first major swell event was from a more northerly direction than our typical swells, and with the wind cooperating we were able to surf nearly every spot on the N/NW side. The Airport pumped on day one—long, blue freight training barrels grinding down the reef, the biggest sets in the 8-10 foot range (15-20 foot faces). Day two saw the swell focus squarely on WC’s, and with a bottomed out tide upping the heaviness factor a small crew of chargers enjoyed solid 6 foot, spitting, below-sea level slabs. Then on days three, four, and five (the swell just kept pumping!) Maindish delivered fun, chest-high to overhead rippable walls and the occasional barrel. By the end of the week we were exhausted—no one could paddle, let alone surf—and we luckily had a few down days before the next small pulse.
The second large swell, which hit in mid-November, was from a more NW direction, focusing its energy on WC’s bowl and Sidedish. WC’s quickly built from 4-6 foot in the morning to a deadly 8-10 foot by late afternoon, looking very much like a mirror-image of Tahiti’s famous left-hand slab Teahupoo. In the name of self-preservation we decided to enjoy the peak of the swell at Sidedish, which was 3-5 foot and pretty much a barrel fest. With only six people in the water there were always enough waves to go around, and we even got to share a few sets with some young local surfers who were making their first foray into the waves on the North side. By the time the swell started to decline we had surfed 20 hours out of 66 and were totally done in, but with fun, chest-high waves at Maindish for the following three days, plus another small pulse a few days later, we never really got a chance to recover.
As December hit things started to slow down—a moderate-strong tradewind belt moved in and a high pressure pattern in the jetstream began driving storms N and E before they could really develop any fetch in our direction. The past week has seen a return to a light E/ESE wind flow, however, as well as a few small pulses from the NW. And with a moderate-sized system blowing up off the coast of Japan over the next couple of days, a crew of second-year visitors is looking to replicate last year’s epic New Years run.
Here’s hoping that your holiday is filled with good waves and good times. We’re looking forward to seeing you here in Kosrae sometime soon.