Originally Posted by AMG
The so called freak waves are built up by a irregular pattern of waves that can happen in a storm. They donīt travel that far and are not so wide, why a warning system only can be a general storm warning. To put it short.
Safest is to avoid this kind of weather, sailing the known routes at the right time of the year.
Most all us know that a northerly wind blowing against a north flowing Gulf Stream can produce some particularly nasty short, steep seas. This is exaggerated where the two opposing forces (wind and current) are at their greatest, and/or in shallow depths. Best get out of the stream when these get real bad.
What is often overlooked is the eddy situation. The further north you go the stream spreads out, and there are numerous large swirling eddies that spin off onto either side. When these swirling eddies collide with 'local spot conditions' very freak waves can be produced that are totally irregular and undefined. Maybe "Norwegian Dawn
" came across one of these.
I was introduced to the existence of these eddies back when an 'late to life racing sailor' Phil Weld first tried to discover why he was capsized by an unexpected freak wave. I had wriiten of this incident
on another forum subject "Rogue Waves
", "In thinking back about the situation, I had made the descision to leave the Chesapeake Bay knowing of an approaching cold front, but not knowing of its intensity. Thank goodness I had figured that we would be out pass the Gulf Stream prior to arrival of the storm. I've come to find out that it's those meandering circular eddies at the irregular edges of the Gulf Stream that can produce some very 'freak' waves in storm conditions. Phil Weld spent 5 days under his inverted racing tri Gulf Streamer off of Burmuda as a result of one of these freaks. He named his next tri 'Rouge Wave'
Originally Posted by AMG
The latest incident was a 300 m long boat and compared to smaller yachts, she is not riding up on each wave why a hit is harder. Octopus is half the length and should probably got away better. In the past you always had storm shutters of steel on passages, but with bullet proof glass many yachts are sailing without these
On that other tread Gonzo had written, "I've been hit by two rogue waves. One of the NE coast of Brazil while delivering a sailboat to Martinique. We were sailing the trades with maybe 8-10 foot seas when out of nowhere a 30 foot wave made us broach.
The second time was aboard a trawler in the North Atlantic. A Northester had been blowing for about ten days and the seas where about 20-25 footers. I heard what sounded like a freight train, it was a huge breaker. It completely submerged the 85' boat up to the bridge.
I was at the stern by the gallows and somehow managed to hold on to a cleat.
Brian added: These waves are such freaks that there is no 'definition' of their shape as there might be with long, maybe overly big, ocean waves.