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North Sea Math

Despite advanced forecasting models the 400-something kilometre trip from Hamburg to Denmarkīs “Cold Hawaii” coast still requires deeper research and higher mathematics to make the 10 hours driving worth the effort, especially when itīs done for a two days stay.
On one side of the equation stand mostly hours. The daily hours to get a constant flow of constantly too much work done, the hours necessary to drive and the hours left for the family. Add to this few Euros for gas and the resulting carbon footprint. A lot of numbers, but fairly easy to calculate.

The calculation on the other side of the equation is a bit more difficult. Itīs a complex formula that in the end defines the stoke. The stoke is defined by various numbers defining swell heights in the nearer and farther vicinity, swell periods and directions, wind speeds and directions, tides and hours of daylight plus water and air temps. This data is quite easy to get nowadays with various forecast sites like msw and windfinder. But they tend to show complicated things in a simple manor, which doesnīt always tell the truth. Itīs not their fault, itīs the forecast models who still are too simple for a complex nature.

Some successful and some failed trips up north have given me a little deeper insight in the mechanics that define the local surf. The key for the epic days is to see the different overlapping swells and figure out, which one would dominate at a certain break.

This time, the difficult calculation was made easy by a massive 5m @ 16 sec. swell pumping for two days over a long fetch in the north-western Atlantic. It was clear, that this swell would make it around Scotland into the North Sea. And the winds were forecasted east – southeast in the morning for Thy. The calculated stoke factor from this data was so huge, that it clearly left the other numbers aside. I had to go, by all means. And I didnīt get disappointed. >>>