Yes I agree. Many very experianced Captains had their stories dismissed as "Tall Sea yarns" for many years, untill the day the guy on that North Sea oilrig had measured and had actually hard data to support that the wave existed. Unitll that point, Science stated that a wave of that magnatude couldn't exist and if certain events
took place that could support one, it would be on a scale of 1 wave in 10,000yrs. Then a Tanker was severly crippled off the bottom of Africa
, and scientist said, OK, so a big wave can occur more often, but hey, it still can't be as big as the Sailors are telling us and it is because certain weather
conditions against tides cause the problem. Easy to solve, don't go there. Stay further off coasts. Then two ships in the deep Southern ocean were hit. Each was a 1000NM apart and the incidence was at different times. And the thing that hit the scientists, were that niether vessels were in any current streams. One ship that survived had evedince of how high the wave was and science for the first time had to go "ummm, maybe we are wrong.
A maths guy came up with a theory and he could predict a wave happening, but couldn't support his theory. Untill the original guy on the Oil
rig came along with hard Data. The Oil
rig guy placed special Laser measuring gear
on the platform and recorded Wave events
during a storm. Another massive 30M wave hit and they had hard measured data of what was taking place around the wave. Placed against the Maths theory, they filled in the blanks and could scientificaly show how the waves form, via absorbing the energy of two other waves around it. So it was at that point that they got the funding
to put the Satillite with the SAR radar
in space and take a look at the ocean surface. Now the scientist thought they might sea on average, one wave per year. What stoped everyone dead in their racks was that they measured some figure like 30 of them in the first few months.
How does it affect us as yachties?? Well, a yacht has a good chance of going of the tops of these things. Pitchpolling will be the biggest danger
and some of the experianced guy's here are better to take this further, as I am swimming in the deep end now.
As for ships, this is where the trouble lies. They don't go up over the wave. A ship is designed to take a crush stress of around 15T/sqM. These waves have been estimated to produce forces of in excess of 100T/sqM. So for designers, the pressure is now being placed on them by the insurance
companies to build stronger vessels. But stronger vessels mean more cost. So for them the dury is out on how to proceed.