I am a former Coast Guardsman who has done both the International Ice Patrol and Ocean Station duty through some unbelievably bad weather
For those tempted to do very late fall or too early spring passages, dont be tempted. I have seen storms where the average wave was 30 to 40 foot; often a verticle wall of water
.... every half hour you will get a series of two or three 60 plus foot waves..... one time we hit a very bad storm that repeatedly broached our Cutter
........that was in the last week of January "67
And oh yes, once you have seen one Ice Burg you have seen them all.....
the most dangerous ice burgs are the "burgy-bits" about the size of a duplex house...... you cant see them until you are right on top of them......
Lewis in San Diego