Originally Posted by sailingdog
Anytime you have swells passing from extremely deep waters (5000'+) to relatively shallow waters (<50'), you're going to have some serious problems. That describes almost all of the banks in the Bahamas, as I've said previously. Most of the Bahamian banks are located next to very deep water—like Exuma Sound, where the water is 5000'+ deep less than a half-mile from shore, and on the other side of the islands, like Stocking Island, the water is not even 35' deep.
Makes sense. Even though I have no real offshore experience, on the lake that I'm familiar with you can watch water "shoal up" on shallow areas near the shore and the waves increase in both height and frequency. Although I'm seeing it on a micro-scale, I can only imagine that it would have the same effect, only greater, at sea; thus making rough-but-doable seas into the stuff of nightmares, almost instantly.
Or I could be wrong.
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books. - John Lubbock