Rogue Wave

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
Got a rogue wave story? Here is mine: On a day with essentially no swell and no waves, we were running many transects mapping the seafloor (just bathymetry this day) of an ecological reserve from a 25-ft Boston Whaler with old twin 100hp 2-strokes. We picked those sorts of days so we could get really, really shallow (e.g., 6 ft.). Knowing it was sketchy to be so close to shore, we kept a very good lookout. On a transect directly into the usual NW wind and waves (the red arrow below), we closely approached Sea Lion Rocks. A trainee was driving while I tinkered with the mapping stuff. I looked up and saw a long breaking wave well seaward of the washrocks. It took a moment to register, then I took the helm, spun around, and nailed the throttle while working out in my mind whether it would be possible to vector enough downcoast to outrun the breaker before it got us. The wave was from farther west than typical and it seemed like we might not make it. I felt the boat get on the slope of the wave and the crew said white water was just a couple of boatlengths behind. It took about 2000 ft to get away. I'd say the wave was probably 20 ft when the prevailing swell was 1-2 ft. I was so shaken that when I got to the office I sent a scathing email to a manager four levels above me chatising him for underfunding our vessels. We got money to replace the engines next funding cycle.

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Mrleft8

Super Anarchist
27,376
4,039
Suwanee River
Generally a nasty bit of water around there. This time of year it's supposedly flatter, and kinder than other times, but I'd rather not ever round the horn if possible.
 

Kenny Dumas

Super Anarchist
1,276
489
PDX
I haven’t been watching the weather down there lately. Anybody got the relevant weather picture at the time? It’s hard to look backwards
 

Rasputin22

Rasputin22
14,094
3,631
The reason I started this thread is that my GF's niece's husband took a gig on one of the Antarctic tourist ships to lead paddling tours. He is a graduate of NOLES and has a great background in this stuff but was due to ship out for the continent in a couple of days for a 12 day expedition. We are all supposed to have a big family reunion just after Christmas in LA and I just made out flight reservations last night. The gathering was all centered around his mission and then I see this first thing this morning. I first thought that this might be his ride but his is a much smaller vessel. Just what you need is a smaller boat when this monster from Viking lines gets sucker punched. I looked at the cabin layouts on the different levels but would think now that I want to be a couple of decks higher off the water when doing the Drake Passage.

1670030666207.png
 

Ed Lada

Super Anarchist
19,733
5,353
Poland
The reason I started this thread is that my GF's niece's husband took a gig on one of the Antarctic tourist ships to lead paddling tours. He is a graduate of NOLES and has a great background in this stuff but was due to ship out for the continent in a couple of days for a 12 day expedition. We are all supposed to have a big family reunion just after Christmas in LA and I just made out flight reservations last night. The gathering was all centered around his mission and then I see this first thing this morning. I first thought that this might be his ride but his is a much smaller vessel. Just what you need is a smaller boat when this monster from Viking lines gets sucker punched. I looked at the cabin layouts on the different levels but would think now that I want to be a couple of decks higher off the water when doing the Drake Passage.

View attachment 557208
Not too long ago on another Antarctic cruise, several passengers were killed when their RIB capsized on an excursion from the mother ship.
 

veni vidi vici

Omne quod audimus est opinio, non res. Omnia videm
5,734
1,234
Got a rogue wave story? Here is mine: On a day with essentially no swell and no waves, we were running many transects mapping the seafloor (just bathymetry this day) of an ecological reserve from a 25-ft Boston Whaler with old twin 100hp 2-strokes. We picked those sorts of days so we could get really, really shallow (e.g., 6 ft.). Knowing it was sketchy to be so close to shore, we kept a very good lookout. On a transect directly into the usual NW wind and waves (the red arrow below), we closely approached Sea Lion Rocks. A trainee was driving while I tinkered with the mapping stuff. I looked up and saw a long breaking wave well seaward of the washrocks. It took a moment to register, then I took the helm, spun around, and nailed the throttle while working out in my mind whether it would be possible to vector enough downcoast to outrun the breaker before it got us. The wave was from farther west than typical and it seemed like we might not make it. I felt the boat get on the slope of the wave and the crew said white water was just a couple of boatlengths behind. It took about 2000 ft to get away. I'd say the wave was probably 20 ft when the prevailing swell was 1-2 ft. I was so shaken that when I got to the office I sent a scathing email to a manager four levels above me chatising him for underfunding our vessels. We got money to replace the engines next funding cycle.

View attachment 557169
You are very fortunate you picked up on that at the last minute, could have easily been distracted with work for a few seconds, life is like that sometimes.
 

veni vidi vici

Omne quod audimus est opinio, non res. Omnia videm
5,734
1,234
Got a rogue wave story? Here is mine: On a day with essentially no swell and no waves, we were running many transects mapping the seafloor (just bathymetry this day) of an ecological reserve from a 25-ft Boston Whaler with old twin 100hp 2-strokes. We picked those sorts of days so we could get really, really shallow (e.g., 6 ft.). Knowing it was sketchy to be so close to shore, we kept a very good lookout. On a transect directly into the usual NW wind and waves (the red arrow below), we closely approached Sea Lion Rocks. A trainee was driving while I tinkered with the mapping stuff. I looked up and saw a long breaking wave well seaward of the washrocks. It took a moment to register, then I took the helm, spun around, and nailed the throttle while working out in my mind whether it would be possible to vector enough downcoast to outrun the breaker before it got us. The wave was from farther west than typical and it seemed like we might not make it. I felt the boat get on the slope of the wave and the crew said white water was just a couple of boatlengths behind. It took about 2000 ft to get away. I'd say the wave was probably 20 ft when the prevailing swell was 1-2 ft. I was so shaken that when I got to the office I sent a scathing email to a manager four levels above me chatising him for underfunding our vessels. We got money to replace the engines next funding cycle.

View attachment 557169
 

Rasputin22

Rasputin22
14,094
3,631
I used to get some pretty wild dinghy rides at Johnsons Reef on the North side of St John. I had an odd dink that was what was left of a British made RIB that burned to the waterline at the dinghy dock in Red Hook. The hard bottom was sort of a pram shape with decent deadrise and a big wide pram bow transom. A guy added 12" of plywood sides to replace the inflatable tubes and used it at happy hour to go out and wake chase the big St John ferries. He could get that dink charging across the wake and the ferry came up on plane much like a slalom skier or wakeboarder does. He could hit the big wake and jump about 12' vertical and land on the opposite side of the wake and do a cutback and hit the jump again. The passengers loved it and the ferry skippers hated it until they saw just how ballsy the guy was. When the Red Hook ferry met the Cruz Bay ferry half way across Pillsbury Sound the dink daredevil would peel off and hook up on the westbound ferry and be back at Horsefeathers the Red Hook happy hour bar next to the ferry landing.

I eventually inherited the dink and would use it for the long ride to Johnsons when there was surf. Way to long a paddle out so I would anchor in the channel and jump in with my board. On the right conditions, Johnson's Reef was like the Teahupoo of the Virgin Islands. After about three tiring sessions on one of the best days ever I could barely pull myself into the dink and was ready to take the ride around to my liveaboard anchorage in Great Cruz Bay when the cleanest set of the day came through. I ate some jerky and drank some Gatorade thinking I could revive myself for one more session but realized I was pretty tapped out. Instead I tied my surfboard to my anchor and fired up the trusty Yamaha 9.9 and caught the next set and had a wave much like the one in the video. The wide pram bow could keep the dink from pearling and I soon was carving all over those big clean faces like in a dream. My windsurfing buddies witnessed my antics and it wasn't but a couple more swells before I totally beat the hard bottom into shards and barely was able to motor back to home port and retire the little dinghy that could!

That big RIB in the video is much bigger and the consequences would be much more severe but the driver obviously had great wave knowledge.
 

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