Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-12-2010, 06:58   #31
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Probably in an anchorage or a boatyard..
Boat: Ebbtide 33' steel cutter
Posts: 3,537
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
A little surprised that some of you guys even rose to the chum
True. One should know better. Still, it passes the time.
__________________

__________________
conachair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 06:58   #32
Registered User
 
SV Liberty's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Boat: Morgan Out Island 416
Posts: 155
Images: 1
OP asked if anyone had run into any freak waves lately.

I hesitate to call it a rogue wave, but on a passage a couple of years ago from Beaufort NC to San Salvador, Bahamas, in early December, in which we sailed well north of the rhumb line until a frontal passage allowed us to turn southwesterly, conditions deteriorated during our last 24 hours of the 5.5 day passage. Winds peaked at 30-35 kts, with higher gusts, and seas were running 15 ft plus (guestimated from the cockpit of our Morgan 416 Out Island). Wind/seas were quartering from the port stern, and we were rolling as they passed under us. While heeled over as a big wave passed under us, still about 25 nm out of San Salvador in very deep water, I saw a much, much larger wave curl and break on the port side of the hull while we were still near the top of the wave passing under our keel. This wave pushed us near to horizontal - spreaders never touched, but we were far enough over that the fishing pole in its holder on the starboard side fell out (saved by the safety line). In the split second it occurred I thought we were going to roll, but we popped back up, only our dampened skivvies the worse for wear.

Again, not sure it was twice the height of the significant wave height of the wind generated waves, but it was big enough that I hope to never experience one again.

Dave
__________________

__________________
SV Liberty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 07:02   #33
Senior Cruiser
 
sneuman's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Jamaica
Boat: Tayana 37 Cutter
Posts: 3,167
Images: 37
I've seen 30-40' in a typhoon, but nothing "freak", thankfully.

But, if you look at the definition of significant wave height, you'll find that a small percentage (1/1000) are liklely to be - by definitin - nearly 2x as big as the SWH.

I suspect that most reports from sailors of "freak waves" are just especially large waves within the definition above, not freak or rogue. Having said that, I don't have the knowledge to doubt that under the right conditions (especially large swells countering especially strong currents - think Aghulus) that these waves exist.
__________________
Voyage of Symbiosis: http://svsymbiosis.blogspot.com/
sneuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 07:24   #34
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,188
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate

But... on a more serious note... in '05 I took my Hunter 37 across from NC to Europe... 60 miles from Flores I got hit by a gale that lasted 4 days... torrential rain that dropped visibility to less than 30ft... I dropped everything and laid ahull.
I retreated to the saloon where I'd set up my sea berth as the table acted as a leeboard to keep me in the bunk...
I got hit by a few waves that broke with a resounding crash just as they reached the boat.. with occasional water sweeping over the saloon deck hatch... I was laying down braced against the impacts... or firmly gripping the shelf built into the port hull as I slept...
At one point the boat started to lift and kept going... then there was a hell of a bang against the hull and the boat took off.... I went straight up and ended up on the cabin sole the other side of the table looking at the deck hatch over me which was nothing but green water... and jets coming through the closed hatch...
How big was the wave.. I've no idea... was I scared... not really... I'd accepted I was dead a day earlier.. this was on day three of the blow... next day around noon it all died down and when I looked ourta the hatch there was Flores 4 miles away with what looked like a thousand water falls coming of its steep cliff lined coast.
I know it was 60kts+ of winds because when I got into Horta, Faial... there were a load of boats just arriving that ahd been caught in the same blow further south and their wind speed logs had recorded speeds between 60 and 75 knots...
So sorry guys... never seen a freak/rouge wave but... MAYBE..... I've felt one..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 07:30   #35
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,573
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Rogue waves are a well researched and clearly defined phenomenon ...
Perhaps savoir would accept a less sensational term, such as “anomalous transient large-amplitude waves”.
Rogue or Freak Waves are defined as waves that are more than double the significant wave height (SWH), which is itself defined as the mean of the largest third of waves in a wave record.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 09:11   #36
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Rogue or Freak Waves are defined as waves that are more than double the significant wave height (SWH), which is itself defined as the mean of the largest third of waves in a wave record.
They are NOT the invention of lazy or sensationalist journalists.
Fair enough, but I've never heard anyone talking about one who wasn't using the term incorrectly. 99.9% of the population doesn't know anything about the ocean so when they see a big wave it's a "freak/rogue/whatever" wave, and 99.9% of all mariners would never see a true freak wave anyway. Buoys that sit for decades encounter one maybe two.

It's like getting hit by a meteorite. It happens. Very, very, very, very, very rarely.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 09:11   #37
Registered User
 
Jmolan's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mexico/Alaska/Oregon
Boat: 34' Searunner Tri
Posts: 712
I hope this goes through.








I have been going to Sea for 31 years now. North Pacific and Bering Sea, I cannot honestly say I have seen a freak wave. I have seen plenty of big waves, but nothing double or more of the wave train.
__________________
Jmolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 12:03   #38
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 741
I have always thought of rogue waves as those coming from a different direction than the prevailing. In '95 on the way to Bermuda we were across the Gulf Stream on a hard starboard tack when a spreader-high wave smacked us from the port side. I guess it was in an eddy but I have always thought of that as a rogue wave.
__________________
Hannah on 'Rita T' is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 12:15   #39
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
I've been in, on and around the ocean for most of my life and I have seen only one freak/rogue wave and that was about 40 years ago. It was not in a wind opposes current situation. The wind was blowing about 30 and seas were running about 10 feet with occasional trains about 15 feet. About a half mile away we saw a huge wave coming. When it got to us the face of the wave was at least 40 feet. There was about a 20 foot wave in front of it and one behind it. That was the only wave that big seen that day. It meets the classic definition of Rogue wave as it was way bigger than the others around it. These waves do exist! Just because you have not personally experienced one is no reason to question the character of those who have.
__________________
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 13:09   #40
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
I've been in, on and around the ocean for most of my life and I have seen only one freak/rogue wave and that was about 40 years ago. It was not in a wind opposes current situation. The wind was blowing about 30 and seas were running about 10 feet with occasional trains about 15 feet. About a half mile away we saw a huge wave coming. When it got to us the face of the wave was at least 40 feet. There was about a 20 foot wave in front of it and one behind it. That was the only wave that big seen that day. It meets the classic definition of Rogue wave as it was way bigger than the others around it. These waves do exist! Just because you have not personally experienced one is no reason to question the character of those who have.
I don't so much question the character as the knowledge of anyone but a long-time mariner who says they've seen one. If you've been on the water for 40 years and have a well documented sea time history and the credentials to back up that captain on your name, I'd believe you. Otherwise it's just sea stories.

And anyone who's spent time on the water knows that one thing vastly more common than rogue waves and hurricanes is sailors spewing sea stories about conditions that seem to get worse and worse with every telling.

Again, not doubting you or anyone in particular, but I'm skeptical. I go back to my meteorite example. Yes, they happen. It's proven, documented, and fact. Hell there was a guy in Arizona who got killed in his bed (if I remember correctly) when one smashed through his roof. But the odds of anyone seeing one are almost infinitesimally small, and the odds of me meeting anyone face to face who truly has is even smaller.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 13:11   #41
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Part of my dislike so much of conversations like rogue waves, somali pirates, and all that other jazz is that it sways people from caring about things that truly are important and that are not distant and minuscule threats. People spend more time worrying about rogue waves then they do their chainplates or cleaning out their diesel tanks.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 14:07   #42
Commercial Member
 
Mark Johnson's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Bern NC
Boat: Searunner 34 Trimaran
Posts: 1,565
With rogue waves, as with ANY weather related phenomenon, ones own personal experience is totally meaningless. Mine included! Only with scientific study, taking into account verifiable measuring devices, as well as hundreds of first hand stories relating rogue waves, both experienced and observed... only then does the big picture start to come into view. (Ignore what is related over drinks in a bar)!

As I have said earlier, if you read say... 500 articles on the subject, you realize that they are not so much HUGE and generated during a blow, (like in the movies), as the day or two after one, and it is assumed that it is when two separate wave trains combine into a few really large waves. It is often in a truly moderate sea, AFTER a storm is well over. Read the account of Gulf Streamer...

During the 21 full time years I spent building my boats, I kept going by reading literally thousands of books and magazines about this very sort of thing, among others. When it comes to weather related science, or any other science, one's own personal life experience is a drop in the bucket compared to the collective experience of tens of thousands of others, put together to look for the pattern.

Also, for decades rogue waves, that fit the definition, have been accurately measured with weather buoys. They are not necessarily huge, just twice the wave train. The notion that running into one is as unlikely as being hit by a meteorite is sheer folly. I would say it is much more likely than say... being hit by lightning. Lightning deaths are seldom reported worldwide, because it kills one or two at the time, nevertheless, it kills far more people than hurricanes.


The danger for mariners is more the "difference" in size than the "huge" size. It catches them off guard, with full sail up, and on autopilot. (perhaps pissing over the stern rail at night)?

If you spend say 10 years continuously at sea, you are quite likely to experience several rogue waves, and may not even know it. Forget "The Poseidon Adventure"... No one ever said that rogue waves suddenly flipping huge ships in a moderate sea, was anything but a movie!

On a sailboat, most waves that meet the definition... (like 16' in an 8' wave train), go unnoticed or are unremarkable enough to not get into a report of any kind.

Since there is no way to avoid or prepare for a rogue wave, (or hitting a container at night), the best we can do is: stand a good watch for shipping, and don't fall off of the boat.

Mark
__________________
Mark Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 15:07   #43
Senior Cruiser
 
atoll's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: gettin naughty on the beach in cornwall
Boat: 63 custom alloy sloop,macwester26,prout snowgoose 37 elite catamaran!
Posts: 9,310
Images: 75
gotta get my 10 cents worth in,only experianced one personally,that was off columbia on passage from curacao to san blas panama.

running down wind in 40+ knots,3-4 m waves,could hear this thing coming about 2 minutes before it got there,as the roaring got louder felt the stern begin to rise,grabbed the tiller that was on the aries wind vane and heaved to get us directly down wind, still going up,gradually a wall of foam and breaking water caught up with us.

as the wave broke on the canoe stern i remember seeing two dollops of water hitting the aft deck just before we sunk into the trough,feel sure we would have broached down the face of this wave had i not been on the helm.
__________________
my catamaran building project updates http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...36#post2502136
atoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 15:30   #44
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2008
Boat: Custom cutter, 42'
Posts: 378
Alright. I've seen a freak wave, and had the good fortune to survive it. I'll tell you about it.

It was about 1982, winter. I was skippering the commercial fishing boat Sea Runner. We had spent the night anchored at the east end of San Clemente Island. During the night a storm blew up, the weather report for the vicinity of San Clemente was steady 45 knots, gusting 55. By morning, we had a steep, short wavelength sea running, average wave heights were 10-12 feet. Maybe every third wave had a breaking crest. The wind had fallen to about 25 knots.

We were crossing the channel between San Clemete and Santa Catalina and were blasting along, having a good time working the seas. Seas were on our port beam. I was designing a 44' catamaran at the time that I planned to take cruising, and was thinking about how she would handle the conditions. I thought she'd be fine. Sea Runner was a very good sea boat. I was at the helm and Mike (crew) was up in the wheelhouse with me. About mid channel he pointed to weather and said "look, I can see something". I couldn't see anything. We went on, and maybe 5 minutes later he said "look. Now you can see it". And I could. It was a long grey line, wide across the horizon. It looked like the horizon, but you could tell that it was too close. We carried on and eventually it got close enough to see clearly. It was around noon, the sky was blue, visibility was good.

This wave was unlike anything I've seen at sea. It looked like a wave coming up on a beach that has formed up and will soon break. The face of the wave was extremely steep, and the wave height was at least triple the other seas. When we were 3 waves away from it I turned dead into it, and throttled all the way back. It was unthinkable to take this wave in any other fashion. Mike ran down into the cabin, yelling at the rest of the crew to hold on.

On Sea Runner, the helmsman's head was 11 1/2' above water. To give you an idea of the height of the wave, when we were on the crest of the last wave before the freak, say it was 10' high, that would put my head about 21 1/2' above the mean sea level. I couldn't see the top of the crest from a normal position behind the wheel, as the wheelhouse top limited the upwards angle of my vision. I had to press my forehead against the windscreen to be able to look up and see the crest.

The wave had been steepening during the time I could see it clearly. The face had become concave, and it was clearly close to breaking. As we slid down into the trough into it the wave broke, very close forward of the bow. What we hit was this huge wall of turbulent whitewater. There was a big bang and everything went dark grey for a few seconds, and then we popped out the other side.

The whole crew spent the rest of the passage in the wheelhouse looking for more waves, but the rest of the passage was normal.

When we make port in San Pedro I gave the boat an inspection. There was a short mast on top of the wheelhouse. The masthead was 18' above water level. Mounted on the mast top was a lightning rod made from a 3' length of bronze rod. It was bent straight back. So I know we had solid water more than 18' high over the top of the boat.

Note, if I'd been outside in an open cockpit I'd not be here writing this.

Paul
__________________
Pauls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2010, 15:48   #45
Moderator Emeritus
 
hummingway's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Gabriola Island & Victoria, British Columbia
Boat: Cooper 416 Honeysuckle
Posts: 6,933
Images: 5
Thanks for sharing this Paul and congratulations on surviving. A remarkable tale!
__________________

__________________
“We are the universe contemplating itself” - Carl Sagan

hummingway is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Freak Wave - Compound Leg Fracture TaoJones Cruising News & Events 10 14-12-2009 14:33
Freak O' Nature BIG JOE Meets & Greets 14 14-10-2009 23:23
Yachtsmen 'died in freak accident' sctpc Pacific & South China Sea 21 14-08-2008 15:49
Witnesses tell of freak death of Steve Irwin CaptainK Off Topic Forum 7 04-09-2006 16:06



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:38.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.