Also, I have found sea state forecasts to almost always understate the conditions. Maybe because they produce an average and if the forecast is 5 to 7 feet, you hardly notice the 3 footers, but will really notice the 8 to 12 footers which will occur 15% of the time. Doesn't sound like much, but at every 6 seconds, it means in one minute, you'll see 10 waves, so you will get one to two 8 to 12 footers every minute or so.
And jsut when you thought it safe to go out, I noticed that those easterly trades blow strongley fron NE to SE and produce seas days later from those three directions while the winds are steady out of one direction.
This meant that we got a very big resultant wave every 8 minutes or so. I'm talking 3 times the size of the average waves.
The entire stretch from the Canaries to Panama was subject to these three wave trains and I have never noticed more than two anyplace else.
ANd the model forecasts are not designed to give you three swells.