That's an interesting question...how high were the waves in a 60 knot
storm ? I was asked that same exact question many times.
They were " bloody big" I would opine.
When pressed, I would say " I estimated 15-18' "
I used the spreader height on my mizzen mast
, which was about 15' above the deck
as a gauge. There would be a time or two, standing on deck
, when I would look aft, and the waves were at or above spreader height, but hard to say exactly as boat motion was all over the place.
That's my best " guess"....though " bloody big" seems more appropriate...certainly bigger than anything Ii had ever seen.
Another thing was the distance between the waves. To my eye they appeared to be stacked quite closely...how close....another guess....100' ???...maybe closer....sometimes there would be a wave on top of a wave....and they were coming at me at some speed...barely enough time to recover from one before the next one was on top of you..
And finally, while the waves weren't breaking per se, the tops were being blown off, and the face of the wave was quite steep. It was these breaking crests that would roll over the boat and try to roll the boat in the process.
There was another sailboat over the horizon somewhere and we stayed in touch thru' SSB
. He told me he got rolled, mast
in the water
, but that never happened to me.
I'd be interested to hear someone else's view. The worst of it lasted about 18 hours or so, then the wind
started to ease, but it took another 24 hours or so for the seas to settle down and we could put up sail again.
There were only two people on the boat. Myself and a friend, bless his heart, he was a trooper. We tried out best to maintain a 45 degree angle going down the waves. It wasn't easy. Our homemade drogue
wanted to pull the stern perpendicular to the wave, but we were trying to " steer" the boat to some degree.
For either of us, this was a trying time. While, we were experienced " yachties", we had never experienced this kind of weather before, so everything we did was " experimental" based on something we had likely read before.
My boat was fin keeled with a skeg hung rudder
....towards the end, we could last about 15 minutes behind the wheel
before handing it off for a quick catnap...
Would love to hear someone else's experience.