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Old 03-10-2014, 04:27 PM   #101
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It's much like crossing the Gulf of Mexico, except its like the Gulf on Steroids. But we've crossed various times, Clearwater to Panama City and similar. Last time we had 1-2' all the way. Other times started at 3-4' and ended up more. Once was 6-8' by the time we completed it and that was in a faster boat.

We'd do just as you describe above, perhaps even beyond the 14 knots. The boat we will be on for that trip does cruise well at 20 knots.

I don't think the waves in the Gulf of Alaska are any different or bigger than anywhere else. Waves are waves.

The challenge with the Gulf of Alaska vs other places Is the lack of choices. The open water flat cannot be avoided.

Crossing the Gulf of Mexico is a totally different story in that you don't actually have to cross it to get from point a to point b.

For example to go from the Florida keys to the Yucatan Peninsula you can cross the gulf, but you can also take the northern route via the ICW all the way to Brownsville TX, or you could take the southern route through all the islands. Yes its a long way around but it can be done.

The concept here is that a mariner has choices. In the Gulf of Mexico.

In the Gulf of Alaska there are not choices. There is nowhere to duck in out of the weather. Once you leave Yakutat bay it's Hinchinbrook entrance 210 nm away or bust.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:04 PM   #102
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Kevin,

Tell the rest of the story with that night shot of your GPA and the hugh stbd waves, in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:12 PM   #103
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I don't think the waves in the Gulf of Alaska are any different or bigger than anywhere else. Waves are waves.

The challenge with the Gulf of Alaska vs other places Is the lack of choices. The open water flat cannot be avoided.

Crossing the Gulf of Mexico is a totally different story in that you don't actually have to cross it to get from point a to point b.

For example to go from the Florida keys to the Yucatan Peninsula you can cross the gulf, but you can also take the northern route via the ICW all the way to Brownsville TX, or you could take the southern route through all the islands. Yes its a long way around but it can be done.

The concept here is that a mariner has choices. In the Gulf of Mexico.

In the Gulf of Alaska there are not choices. There is nowhere to duck in out of the weather. Once you leave Yakutat bay it's Hinchinbrook entrance 210 nm away or bust.
Yes, once you've chosen to cross the Gulf of Mexico and started you've eliminated choices, but you do have them up front.

I don't know Gulf of Alaska waves but I do know PNW waves tend to be much different than South Florida, primarily shorter periods are common. The Great Lakes have some of that. Then there's off the coast of Hatteras, and entire different story.

We will sit and be patient if necessary to cross the Gulf of Alaska. But that is one of those places having some speed capabilities makes a big difference. 10 or 11 hours vs. 15 hours vs. 21 hours vs. 35 hours. While change can take place quickly, certainly in 10-15 hours it's generally more manageable than 35.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:51 PM   #104
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Kevin,

Tell the rest of the story with that night shot of your GPA and the hugh stbd waves, in the middle of nowhere.

I'll look at my photos.

What I can say is that we encountered unexpected seas like I've never seen before.

Large ocean swells are one thing, but we ran into approx 8-10' pure wind driven waves. These waves had no back to them.

It hit all the sudden... Gale force winds and waves on our starboard beam.

Our only choice was to head in to the waves. When I say we took green water over the bow, I mean at one point my windshield wipers appeared to be under water. Since the waves had no back, we would just fall off of ones and bury the bow.

Two things happened that day.

First I decided that I'd make my next gulf crossing as fast as my boat could go, to avoid exposure.

Second was that my Bayliner earned allot of respect that day. I have over 5' bow freeboard and was happy my boat performed so well.

Btw, I was also happy I have spent so much time intentionally seeking out rough water as a skill building exercise. It paid off that day.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:04 PM   #105
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Btw, I was also happy I have spent so much time intentionally seeking out rough water as a skill building exercise. It paid off that day.
I found that very interesting. We have a husband/wife captain team who have trained us. And I mean they don't just let us ride along. We do it all. They instruct and watch much of the time and they're tough as we want them to be. First time we hit really rough water on a boat not truly designed for rough was in the Gulf of Mexico. Now we were in position to escape to ports easily but they saw that as an opportunity. They had us in all directions. Taught us to time the waves and match with speed. We were totally exhausted at the end of the day but learned so much that you can't learn otherwise. Yet we did it where we could easily get to safety if necessary. And, as you, learned that boat was capable of handling a lot more than we knew with relative ease.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:03 PM   #106
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I found that very interesting. We have a husband/wife captain team who have trained us. And I mean they don't just let us ride along. We do it all. They instruct and watch much of the time and they're tough as we want them to be. First time we hit really rough water on a boat not truly designed for rough was in the Gulf of Mexico. Now we were in position to escape to ports easily but they saw that as an opportunity. They had us in all directions. Taught us to time the waves and match with speed. We were totally exhausted at the end of the day but learned so much that you can't learn otherwise. Yet we did it where we could easily get to safety if necessary. And, as you, learned that boat was capable of handling a lot more than we knew with relative ease.
My wife and I had much the same experience. It was great training and gave us a great deal of confidence. It was very successful in sorting out our relationship on the boat. On Salish Lady, my wife is the Captain. She has had that role for our last three boat. It has worked out great for me. I am in charge of snacks, naps and $&@# that breaks.

With all the off shore experience we have had in sailboats and trawlers, the most dangerous waves we have seen were in Haro Strait (between Vancouver Island and San Juan Island). We had breaking waves large enough to rip the dinghy loose on the top of our AT435. The next day in Rosario Strait we hit a wave large enough to rip the window wipers off the boat. It was a rough couple of days.

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