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Old 17-02-2009, 19:47   #1
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Rogue Waves

I did a search of the site first, and didn't see anything on this, so here's my query.

My girlfriend, who for the past several months has been committed to going cruising with me in about a year, just saw a special on television about rogue waves, and is now going through some uneasiness about the idea.

Great.

Anybody know much in the way of experiencing these beasts? I think I probably saw the same documentary she saw a while back, and, of course, was aware of the phenomenon.

But just how prevalent are they?
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Old 17-02-2009, 19:57   #2
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More prevalent in some places than others but not common anywhere. 15 years sailing and 15,000 miles at sea and never saw one. My understanding is that rogue waves only happen in rough weather when several large waves happen to coincide, exacerbated by shallow water and contrary currents.

You don't see some giant wave come out of nowhere on a calm, sunny day like they show in the movies. That belongs in the same category as the devil's triangle.
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Old 17-02-2009, 19:59   #3
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That's pretty much my opinion, as well.

But she's in apprehension mode. Hopefully, it will fade.
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Old 17-02-2009, 20:19   #4
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We really have done rogue waves here before but the answers you have here are about as good a summary as there is. Look at the bottom of this thread and see the "Similar Threads" list. My system shows 5 others.

This would be one of the best:

Rogue Waves

If you could know about them they wouldn't call them rogue waves. Not predictable is my best summation. Lots of things are not predictable or actually just not common from a land dwelling point of view. Whales, shipping containers, and lightning are also variables that don't have a lot to do with predictability but could be the cause of your demise. If you lived near Buffalo, NY you could have had a plane crash on your house. In the world of stuff that is just possible there is a lot of things out there.

The real dangers that account for the things that do happen most often don't include any of those. The real potential problems are more about basic things that people often don't think twice about. My number one thing is - being in a hurry. It destroys a lot of boats and people more often than all those other things. It's even something you could prepare for and prevent. Those are the things that should have people worried because they could have been prevented.
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Old 17-02-2009, 20:23   #5
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In over 100,000 miles of sailing, I never saw one.

They happen with some frequency on the SE Coast of the African continent. The Agulhas current runs South up to 6kts in places. When a slow moving cold front comes through there will be strong (70kt) Southerly winds that appose the current and the seas can build up to 100'. These seas have been known to produce even higher "Rogue waves".

I saw a ship wrecking yard in the Southern tip of Madagascar where they piled up about 6 or 8 ships with broken backs. The ship will get on top of one of those monsters and the weight of the ship is only supported in the center of the ship with both ends hanging out in space. The next moment the ship is in the trough with the ends of the ship in the water and the center hanging in space. This has been known to break the keel of the ship and actually bend the ship to where it is unusable.

These types of waves are not known in good weather......the answer is to stay away from areas that they frequent, in bad weather. These days, there is no need to get caught up in this stuff.
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Old 17-02-2009, 20:34   #6
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We were hit by one off of france 27 years ago. But it was in state 4 seas and we were in a boat that was designed to sink in the 1st place. To go from the surface to 150' feet deep and back in about 10 seconds unplanned is not fun. It still did considerable damage and made for a very exhausting trip home.
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Old 17-02-2009, 20:47   #7
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I totally agree with being in a hurry causing most problems. Just prior to Xmas 5/6 had to be rescued off the NSW coast Australia on there newly purchased yacht. Speaking to a friend of mine he told me that the weather was foul when they left Sydney, so no surprise really. Another point about the rescue was that it seemed sea sickness may have been the bigger problem as aerial photos on TV the next day showed the yacht still well afloat and not looking too bad . Maybe a case of "get me off this is not fun" syndrome but maybe I am being too tough.
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Old 17-02-2009, 21:19   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
We really have done rogue waves here before but the answers you have here are about as good a summary as there is. Look at the bottom of this thread and see the "Similar Threads" list. My system shows 5 others.
I did a search just using the words "rogue waves" and didn't see those threads. Perhaps I didn't look deeply enough. I would have figured those would have been at the top of my search results.

Sorry about that.
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Old 17-02-2009, 21:23   #9
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There is a fairly thorough treatment of the subject in Extreme Waves, Craig B. Smith. Washington DC: Joseph Henry Press, 2006. Have a look at it before you pass it on to your girlfriend though.
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Old 18-02-2009, 03:11   #10
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Originally Posted by sushirama View Post
We were hit by one off of france 27 years ago. But it was in state 4 seas and we were in a boat that was designed to sink in the 1st place. To go from the surface to 150' feet deep and back in about 10 seconds unplanned is not fun. It still did considerable damage and made for a very exhausting trip home.
OK...you hooked me....what kind of boat was that?
I'm thinking the only logical explanation is a sub?
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Old 18-02-2009, 03:17   #11
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Hi,
Like most others - lots of sea miles over 30 years and no truly 'rougue' wave experienced that casued any issues.
Once years back off West Oz coast - close in on night race - medium breezes half crew up half asleep, have a 60 foot high breaker appear with a roar out of nowhere.
But despite all below being dumped from bunks, plus on deck crew all wishing to change underwear afterwards, it actually did us little harm.
We were powered up beating at 7 knots, well able to turn up into face of the rising wave and still had enough way to tack through the white water on the top.....
But that was once only in 30 years - had more scares crossing the road.
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Old 18-02-2009, 03:34   #12
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20 years on and off as a professional fisherman in Bass Strait, experienced some big seas but can't think any could be called rogue waves. I have surfed some monsters that were about three times the general run of the swell.
I have seen some red algae blooms collecting in the surf though froth flotation, where the waves could be called rouge waves.
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Old 18-02-2009, 04:49   #13
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Rogue wave - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 18-02-2009, 05:02   #14
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and some pictures of waves index111TheStorm
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Old 18-02-2009, 05:46   #15
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Watching that special on TV about rogue waves is pretty much the same as watching a special on tornadoes, pretty scary but not too likely (in most of the USA) to happen to "us."
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