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Old 06-22-2014, 10:33 PM   #61
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Not sure if 6' with 6 sec period is possible. But I would think it would look something like this:

They are pretty close on the Great Lakes as can be seen in this NOAA article on swimmers. Read the last sentence. High short period waves are the norm here, likely why so many freighters have sunk on the Great Lakes. Quote

The Dangers of Swimming in Great Lakes Waves

A quick review of Great Lakes fatality and rescue incidents reveals a common factor: moderate to high waves with a short period. Waves on the Great Lakes are different from the ocean because they are driven by local winds (whereas the ocean contains both locally wind driven waves and waves travelling from far distances-or swell). As a result, they typically have a much shorter Period, or length of time in between each successive wave. This means swimmers have less time to recover from a wave before the next wave hits. This also leads to the waves appearing more chaotic than traditional ocean waves. Some compare the Great Lakes to swimming in a washing mashine because the waves can become so disorganized and choppy (image 3). The data collected on Great Lakes current related incidents shows that most drowning fatalities and rescues occurred when wave heights ranged from 3 to 6 feet (figure 1), and wave periods between 3 and 5 seconds (figure 2).
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:12 AM   #62
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I am having a hard time believing anyone else can envision waves tall enough and close enough that the average person standing on tiptoes, reaching up could nearly touch the tops of 2 separate waves...

Really...has anyone ever seen anything like that or have a picture?

Event the most chaotic waves in a seawalled ,turning basin filled with large wakes I have never seen match a 6X6.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:58 AM   #63
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Good luck on your trip, Ian!
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:04 AM   #64
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" Event the most chaotic waves in a seawalled ,turning basin filled with large wakes I have never seen match a 6X6."

I don't believe it's physically possible.

"The steepness ratio is expressed as the height to the length. A 1:24 is a long, shallow swell found in deep waters. A 1:14 and up is a wave that is too steep to stay together. Once the ratio gets high enough (like fractions, the closer together the numerator and denominator, the higher the fraction -- 1:1 is the highest [that would be a wave at a right angle with the length exactly as long as the height.] the wave will break'

Quoted from Understanding and Utilizing the Secrets of Waves

Understanding and Utilizing the Secrets of Waves - BoatSafe.com
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:23 AM   #65
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Good luck on your trip, Ian!
Thanks, Jack! Your initial impression about the boat still holds true. It's in remarkable shape. All the best . . .
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:41 AM   #66
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Cape Mudge may have waves that steep.

There are breaking standing waves during SE storms in the tidal flood over a shoaling area.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:38 AM   #67
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A 3 second period in , say 20 knots winds and two- three footers is still about 50-60 feet crest to crest. Have tested this a few times on the Pamilico sound when I had nothing better to do than hold still at the helm while we slammed into those little brick walls.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #68
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A 3 second period in , say 20 knots winds and two- three footers is still about 50-60 feet crest to crest. Have tested this a few times on the Pamilico sound when I had nothing better to do than hold still at the helm while we slammed into those little brick walls.
That's what makes Maw point such a tricky sometimes dangerous place. When you come out of the Neuse, and turn to port you are broadside to the tall, steep seas. The fetch there is about 40 miles. Many have been caught off guard.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:29 PM   #69
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When the "screaming blue northers" blow down the sea of cortez they create "refrigerator" waves. Small but short period and relentlessly beating you to death. Our philosophy, as learned from a good friend, is you can't change the weather so leave on a nice day with a prediction of good weather to come. Don't depend on the prediction.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:04 PM   #70
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I'm still trying to picture 5-6 ft waves that are 6 ft crest to crest. Can you draw that one for me Psneld?
Here are a couple of pics from our trip from Seattle to Stockton, CA last summer. These waves were about 6'-8' with a 2'-3' wind chop on top, with wave periods of about 10 seconds.





That was not a fun day to be on the water. That was the first time I've ever gotten sea sick to the point where I gave back breakfast...and I was wearing one of those "sea sickness watches" at the time.

When we left Neah Bay, WA that morning the forecast was for milder conditions. So a good lesson here....if you're planning on making a long day of it, be prepared for some rough conditions.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:20 PM   #71
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Here are a couple of pics from our trip from Seattle to Stockton, CA last summer. These waves were about 6'-8' with a 2'-3' wind chop on top, with wave periods of about 10 seconds.

When we left Neah Bay, WA that morning the forecast was for milder conditions. So a good lesson here....if you're planning on making a long day of it, be prepared for some rough conditions.
We were convinced for a while that the area from Neah Bay to the Columbia River permanently had huge swells. We've not been in that area much but the shock was we had a smooth ride in that area.

Our last trip around Cape Flattery as we turned into the Strait and things calmed a bit we just collectively gave a big sigh. We've encountered more rough conditions in the PNW than in thousands of miles on the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico and Bahamas. Still I'd rather have 10' at 13 seconds than 6' at 4 seconds as you might get occasionally in the Gulf Stream. Although I'd rather not have either.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:24 PM   #72
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Don't know about the precise period, but do know that 5-6' waves with a very short period, such as we see in Mississippi Sound (shallow and pretty vast) with a bit of wind will beat you up like a bad bar fight. The boat will take it fine, but the skipper heads to sheltered water - which means a marina. We do this for enjoyment, after all.

High Wire - as a crusty old navy nuc, I had debriefed on the FPYC - yep, we called it the Mae West curve in the mid 60s.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:41 PM   #73
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Amazing how every part of the world has some of the roughest water in it....
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:04 PM   #74
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Amazing how every part of the world has some of the roughest water in it....

I am still waiting with fear that I may run into a docking storm like I've been hearing about.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:17 PM   #75
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Amazing how every part of the world has some of the roughest water in it....
Actually I think they do in a way for those not use to the waters. Unfamiliar patterns are roughest. Oh, and every inlet is the roughest too. Reality though is that any of them can be rough in the right conditions. Also the roughest is the one you're out in. They're not so bad sitting at the dock.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:55 PM   #76
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There are a bunch of different kinds of rough.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:13 AM   #77
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Wave conditions tend to be most accurately measured on the sphincter scale, not on the bravado scale. When I had my life ring washed off the side of the fly bridge, I knew I was in at least sphincter factor 4 conditions. By the time I was having a hard time keeping my feet and the dinghy got washed off the sun deck, I knew well I was I was in full Sphincter factor 8 conditions. I'm pretty sure I could have proven it using a common vacuum gauge for testing automobiles. I have no doubt at sphincter factor 8, I could have demonstrated at least 20 inches of vacuum in a single clench.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:00 AM   #78
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In my present and past jobs I have been out in all kinds of stuff and have assisted people in all kinds of stuff.

I have also sat on panels with some of the most prolific cruiser's in the world.

I found that there are some that pass along amazing tales of survival in the worst kinds of weather. I also found some that give a blank stare and say..."ya know...I've never run a really big breaking inlet, or been caught at sea in much more than a fresh gale (up to 40 knots or so)".

I always hung with the ones that never really got caught in bad weather...those tactics are harder to learn than survival because often survival is more luck than knowledge...I found that out by having to rescue some of the "experienced guys".
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:33 AM   #79
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I got caught once in a really nasty series of thunderstorms about 3 summers ago. It's something I never want to repeat. I like to think I'm really good with docking but not this good, docking with wind guts up to 80mph was pure luck.
The boat that followed us in from the Holgate area ICW was smarter he grabbed the nearest bulkhead threw out fenders tied off and went below with his wife to ride out the series of storms. They lasted almost 4 hours with only small breaks inbetween.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:56 PM   #80
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Wave conditions tend to be most accurately measured on the sphincter scale, not on the bravado scale. When I had my life ring washed off the side of the fly bridge, I knew I was in at least sphincter factor 4 conditions. By the time I was having a hard time keeping my feet and the dinghy got washed off the sun deck, I knew well I was I was in full Sphincter factor 8 conditions. I'm pretty sure I could have proven it using a common vacuum gauge for testing automobiles. I have no doubt at sphincter factor 8, I could have demonstrated at least 20 inches of vacuum in a single clench.
I really like that scale, you should copyright it! Very practical, would have to allow for some personalization. I do everything I can to avoid level two.

Staying put for small craft advisories and avoiding inlets with the ebb going against the wind are my first lines of defense.

While i am far from being any sort of master mariner, I pretend sometimes by following one of my favorite nautical maxims (author unknown):

"One sign of someone with superior seamanship skills is avoiding if at all possible putting himself in the position of needing to use them."

The few times I have reached sphincter scale 4 or 5, I was always saying to myself "you dumb ass!" rather than "Gee George that was some good boat handling there"
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