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Old 09-09-2015, 12:40 AM   #1
Al
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Freak waves

Having recently experienced a rough passage in a area that is common for confusing seas (Camano Point) and (McCarthy Point) in Clarence Straits here in Southeast Alaska, the thoughts of facing some of the waves that seemed excessive during that voyage crosses the mind in retrospect.

Following posting on the subject of ballasting on another thread this evening I had opened my 'CaptainG.com' site finding an article on freak waves. It contained the following video. While it is somewhat long, it is well done and should prove interesting to many on the site.

Keeping vessel size in mind as one watches the seas in this video and others shared on the forum, the factors that affect large vessels subject of the videos, can be exstrapulated down to our personal boats. Ugly seas are ugly seas and the fears or concerns are equal. At least in my mind.

As an example, when the seas become 3 foot and the winds 15-20 Knots, I am well underway to find some 'hide-y hole' to dodge into. That being said if caught in those conditions. which was the status, and the conditions increased to 20 knots with gust and 5 foot riptide seas much as described in the video, while not 'freak', scary. and no 'hide-y hole available.

As often happens, conditions exhilarated quickly leaving no options but to buck along. This being said from a 27 foot boat length perspective. I am sure each of us has a built in limits factor that equals my concern.

Enjoy the video and the information contained.
Regards,
Al-Ketchikan

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Old 09-18-2015, 10:15 AM   #2
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Hi Al,

Noticed your post this morning (I lazily scan the recent posts sidebar on the right, and missed this one for some reason) and will watch it after I get off work.

I imagine you're getting nailed by the same storm we are right now, so why not cuddle up with some munchies & hot drinks and watch all 5 episodes of the Horizon BBC series on freak waves;



There truly be monsters lurking beyond the horizon
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:44 PM   #3
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15 - 20 kt winds is not really that uncommon and 3 ft seas seems fairly benign. It's 2-4 ft seas on most days around here. With that criteria I would never go out. I have a small 28 ft boat as well.


Are these numbers correct? Or are we talking meters?
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:51 PM   #4
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But keep in mind wave heights are relative. When we lived in NH, we would take our 17 foot bow rider into the ocean in 3 foot waves or more all the time, but those were well spaced. On the Chesapeake, particularly where it meets the Potomac river currents, 3 feet short period (almost no period really) and confused can start to get uncomfortable even in our 34 foot boat.
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Old 09-18-2015, 05:13 PM   #5
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Right on Murray- 40 knots with higher gusts, four foot with whitecap tops, most likely 12 foot top to top looking out our window.
I am not able to form a picture to offset Shrew's view of wave conditions. I do know that the East Coast is a mystery to me and am always amazed at the far distance out from land the waters are shallow in terms of our local water being more than not, dropping off into 10 to 15 fathoms from the get go (Shear dropoff) and that may have a bit of difference in the quality of our difference in waves, just know that having lived here in Southeast Alaska all my life and accessing water travel, being in two to three foot waves in our smaller boats is a gut buster or very uncomfortable. just saying.
Carolena's explanation seems fair. Thanks for the videos and yes, as I type the coffee pot is on the fire and time to internet chat is here-

By the way Murray, we do have reservations at the Northren Inn for the evening of Oct 6. Will be down to Kitimat around 4 PM local.

Cheers- Al-Ketchikan
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:17 PM   #6
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Yikes, 40 knots! We're 60 miles up a channel so it's only a gusty 20 knots here, but it's bucketing rain.

October 6th sounds good; Tuesdays are usually my light day at work & I may be able to duck out early. Keep us posted
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Old 10-01-2015, 11:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayM View Post
Hi Al,
watch all 5 episodes of the Horizon BBC series on freak waves;



There truly be monsters lurking beyond the horizon
Great series Murray, thanks.
Just proves, no matter how smart we are we just don't know what we don't know.

Interesting they said a ship a week is lost.
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