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Old 26-09-2011, 12:24   #1
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The Wave

I am reading a book called "The Wave" by Susan Casey. Amazing book on waves. So far it has talked about Mavericks, Jaws, Egypt, amongst other surf spots. It also has a section on the Arhulhas current off the coast of South Africa. The author interviewed Lloyd's of London scientist who predict wave height as it relates to the loss of ships at sea. I must say that I was fascinated by it for two reasons: 1) for my love of sailing and 2) for my love of surfing. The people who she chose to write about were intense both the surfers and the salvage skippers. The carnage on ships was amazing. There is one photo where a ship had 4.5 tons of steel removed from its bow.

I have never seen waves of the size she describes some with documented evidence approaching 100'. I thought of the biggest waves I had ever been in before. It was an ocean race off the San Francisco coast called the Half Moon Bay Race in the early 1980's. It started off of Pillar Point. I was in a Yankee 30 and when we got to the bottom of a wave all we could see was wave. A Yankee 30 has a mast height of 45' and I couldn't see the masts of the other Yankee 30 in the fleet. I am not good enough at Trig to even give a reasonable guess at how big the waves were. It is only now 30 + years later that I realize we were right near Mavericks on a big day.

Anyway it is a great book and I highly recommend it.
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Old 26-09-2011, 12:25   #2
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Re: The Wave

oh my god... sailing MAV????

The mind boggles...
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Old 26-09-2011, 12:36   #3
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Re: The Wave

Sara:
I don't know that Mav's had been named yet. I am trying to find out where the start for the race was. I think Jim Cate sailed that race too. He might know.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 26-09-2011, 13:42   #4
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Re: The Wave

The most astounding sight I ever saw concerning wave action was around 1961 or '62 on the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii) close to Hunter Point/Kano inlet. There is a small bay accessible from the south at high tide and very protected from the Pacific side by a rocky promontary about 50- 60 feet high that runs the length of the western (Pacific) shore of the bay. Only surge inside is at high tide when the entrance opens up.
We had ducked in there on our way north after some pretty rough seas leftover from a big Pacific Hammer that had lasted about 10 days leaving a really confused pounder behind.
Inside the bay was a log close to 100 feet long and about 4-5 feet across the butt that had been thrown right over the western shore that was around 50 feet high at high tide. It had landed atop an abandonded 40 foot troller crushing the wheelhouse and sinking her on the spot with her anchor line still out.
I can't imagine the force it took to lift that log over the rocks and fling it through the air to land on top of the boat!
Talking with some of the native Haida old timers about the seas they and their ancestors endured fishing and whaling off those Islands would stand your hair on end. Capt Phil
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Old 26-09-2011, 13:54   #5
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Re: The Wave

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I can't imagine the force it took to lift that log over the rocks and fling it through the air to land on top of the boat!
Talking with some of the native Haida old timers about the seas they and their ancestors endured fishing and whaling off those Islands would stand your hair on end. Capt Phil
It's probably wild up there right now. They have a couple weeks of the nasties, south Nomad is showing gusts to 50 knots today and waves running about 25 feet but it was hitting 70 knots earlier in the week. We've been hitting 35/40 knots down here on the Georgia Strait <whine>and it's raining buckets and only 50 degrees</whine>.

The Haida were and probably are excellent seamen.
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Old 26-09-2011, 14:46   #6
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Re: The Wave

I'm looking around for the photo I took with my ancient Brownie camera. The photo survived a couple of sinkings in the 60's but was still readable. A lot my stuff was destroyed on boats that sank back then but I recall running across the photo a few years ago. If I can find it I'll scan and post it... Capt Phil
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Old 26-09-2011, 14:51   #7
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Re: The Wave

I watched The Perfect Storm for the first time last night.
I'm wondering if a submarine would make a good liveaboard.....
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Old 26-09-2011, 18:55   #8
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Re: The Wave

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Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Sara:
I don't know that Mav's had been named yet. I am trying to find out where the start for the race was. I think Jim Cate sailed that race too. He might know.
G'Day all,

Gawd, Charlie, that was a long time ago! But I did all the singlehand schedule in 1980-1983, and so that other Y-30 was probably me in Dominique. As to the start line, as I recall it was usually set up outside the entry buoys, maybe a quarter mile out from them, but I wouldn't bet the farm on that. If a really big swell was running they might have moved it further out (not for us, but so that the committee guys wouldn't get seasick)! But honestly, I don't remember any really threatening conditions associated with the HMB races... time helps buff out those really scary times.

Down on the south coast of Tasmania the seas get pretty big on a regular basis, and also off the west coast nearer to Bass Straits. We often see things like "5-7 metre seas on a 6 metre swell" on the f/c for that region.

Ann and I try REALLY hard to avoid those days, but we've seen some fairly big stuff in those waters. Gives me a tight pucker string just thinking about it!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 26-09-2011, 19:11   #9
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Re: The Wave

Seems appropriate.

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Old 27-09-2011, 08:14   #10
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Re: The Wave

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G'Day all,

but honestly, I don't remember any really threatening conditions associated with the HMB races... time helps buff out those really scary times.

Ann and I try REALLY hard to avoid those days, but we've seen some fairly big stuff in those waters. Gives me a tight pucker string just thinking about it!

Cheers,

Jim
Jim I don't think the conditions were really dangerous. Its just that the waves were big. When we got away from Pillar Point things got better.
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Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 27-09-2011, 13:42   #11
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Re: The Wave

I'll second "The Wave". Just finished the book a few weeks back. Great reading. And interviews with Laird Hamilton are always interesting.

She did a good bit of travelling to put that book together, and interviewed some serious players.

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Brad
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Old 27-09-2011, 13:58   #12
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Re: The Wave

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Seems appropriate.

There are rings around Uranus also..or is that Saturn,naa there are some rings around Uranus im sure of it..
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Old 27-09-2011, 14:07   #13
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Re: The Wave

I saw pictures of the largest most consistent waves in the world..somewhere off the coast of Australia..over 100 ft high on average somewhere near Nairue...I have surfed in waves like the op described where you go down into the trough and a wall infront and behind 25 ft. tall and the reef was 2 ft under water!!!you get wiped out and the fish have a buffet..DVC
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Old 27-09-2011, 20:52   #14
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Re: The Wave

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Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
I have never seen waves of the size she describes some with documented evidence approaching 100'. I thought of the biggest waves I had ever been in before. It was an ocean race off the San Francisco coast called the Half Moon Bay Race in the early 1980's. It started off of Pillar Point. I was in a Yankee 30 and when we got to the bottom of a wave all we could see was wave. A Yankee 30 has a mast height of 45' and I couldn't see the masts of the other Yankee 30 in the fleet. I am not good enough at Trig to even give a reasonable guess at how big the waves were. It is only now 30 + years later that I realize we were right near Mavericks on a big day.
My recollection of those waves at Maverick was they were pretty smooth - at least the few times I wandered into them. You go up up up up and then you go down down down down, repeat repeat repeat... I was once one swell from a commercial trawler and couldn't see them in the troughs... Must be a great place to surf. Mo' better passage is a little further offshore.

Michael
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