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Old 04-05-2010
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My most vivid experiences in those kind of conditions were over the continental shelf in the Atlantic off Georgia. Here the waves can pile up very steeply (15- 20 feet tall) and be very closely spaced as well.

The one thing that surprised me besides how hard it was to avoid seasickness was the difference in windspeed in the troughs vs at the crests. Even though it was gusting well into the 30 knot range and sometimes well over that, in the troughs it felt like there was almost no wind.

As a result, the boat would slow nearly to a stop as it was climbing each wave, seemingly get thrown back against its rudder, would then take a knock down at the crest, pitch bow down and either slide on its topsides or roar down the back of the wave.

Most of this was in a boat of a similar shape and vintage to your boat, if you hit the wave right it was not too bad, the Vee'd bow sections hitting comparatively more gently than you would expect. The problem came if you lost too much speed and landed on your topsides, or if you had too much speed, launched the boat clean out of the back of the wave, missing the back of the wave and landing squarely in the trough. That was just plain scary and painful.

Jeff
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies
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