Depends on your definition of worst?
400 miles east of Bahamas
- 500 miles N of Virgin Islands
in unfamiliar sail boat - dead calm and no idea how much diesel
was in the tank - late November and calm forecast
to last a while
50 miles SE of Cape Mendocino - 45+ knots - very steep breaking waves ina very fast boat that wanted to stuff bow in back of each wave - My brother and I thought it was a fantastic day to sail - the less experienced crew thought they had died and gone to hell
75 miles west of Coos Bay, Oregon
- 48 degrees, dense fog
, mist, light winds and dozens of big purse seiners circling at 2 AM while we tried to motor
thru the area
Straits of Juan de Fuca in early March - west 35 to 40 knots - 10' seas at 6 second period, very steep and breaking - 35 degrees outside and waves continually breaking into the cockpit
- cold and miserable
My personal favorite:
Easter Sunday - west of coast of Baja Mexico
just north of Isla Cedros headed northbound in Tartan 42 with no autopilot
. Had to handsteer every second.
59 degrees, NW 20 - 22 knots and we were motor
sailing directly into it
NW 6' swell, SW 6' swell, and NW 3' wind waves
About every five minutes a "haystack" of water would break over the side of the boat and flood the cockpit
. I was wearing every bit of cold weather gear
and rain gear
I owned. Eight hours of this and my brother and I were both exhausted, hypothermic, and pissed off.
None of the above were life threatening - just cold and miserable and enough to make you wish your were at home in front of a warm fire.