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post #222 of Old 11-02-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

worded that badly.

I should have said does not a 25 knot wind pushing over opposing 7 knot current
result in the same sea state as a 32 knot wind blowing over water
that is not moving. My use of the terms "calm seas" screwed up
the meaning.-preventec47
Answer is still NO, not at all.

Waves, seas state not only depend on wind speed, but also depth, fetch, topography,and current at a minimum. There are other factors also.

I have crossed the Gulf Stream many times. Take 4-5 GS knot current with wind from the North. Lets assume a gentle 20 knots. The sea state outside the GS could be 4-6 swells at 15 second period, which is easily sailed in all directions, but in the GS the same 20 knorts would make it a very uncoimfortable ride and almost stop you from heading northerly. The sea state might be 10-12 with a 8 second period.

Inlets such as Barnegat in NJ are another example. Water rushing out the inlet on the outgoing tide in Barnegat Bat moves at 2 knotss east. In the inlet channel which is narrow ( Bernullis pricipal) that water is now moving 5 knotts east.

If you come in on an onshore breeze of 15 knts ( opposing) the ocean would be a nice 2-4 easy swell, because there are shoals extending outward 1/2 mile from the inlet these 2-4 foot sweels hit the 5 knot current in substabtially shallower water these swells now become 8 foot breaking crashing rollers aross the inlet which can throw you on the rocks.
Back in the Bay behind the inlet the water has no swell in the 15 knot breeze becasue there is no open fetch. Sames scenario with incoming tide would be maybe 2 ft brakers in the inlet channel with no danger at all.

Other NJ Inlets without the shoaling such as Cape may, AStlantic City ( Absecon) and Manesquan have no shoals so there arent breakers like barnegat, bit the current against wind does create a rougher sea state in the inlet.

This is a very simple explaination to a solution that contains many variables including the ones I mentioned above.

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