Rogue Waves...something to keep you up at night on long passages - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 11-20-2008 Thread Starter
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Rogue Waves...something to keep you up at night on long passages

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Just by chance, I turned on the radio this morning and caught Paul Harvey Jr. talking about these.
I won't ask if anyone here has seen one because I doubt you'd be around to tell about it. Something to think about though, eh?
OK, I apologize now. Melatonin works wonders for helping you get some sleep.
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post #2 of 26 Old 11-20-2008
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I had heard recently that satellite monitoring had grown so discerning and widespread as to see rogue waves from space, and perhaps to give some warning of them to shipping.

Ah, here we go:

Rogue Wave Detection

Slashgeo | Using Radar Data to Detect Rogue Waves

Rogue wave detection & mitigation | Seasteading Institute
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post #3 of 26 Old 11-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesnort View Post
The New York Times > Log In

Just by chance, I turned on the radio this morning and caught Paul Harvey Jr. talking about these.
I won't ask if anyone here has seen one because I doubt you'd be around to tell about it. Something to think about though, eh?
OK, I apologize now. Melatonin works wonders for helping you get some sleep.
I experienced a rogue wave in the Patapsco River just outside the Key Bridge in Baltimore!

My nephew and I were sailing out of Rock Creek and were just NE of the White Rocks, about a half-mile. The winds were about 10-15 kts out of the NNW and the average wave height was about 1 1/2 ft.

Suddenly the monster appeared! We were close-hauled on the starboard tack when I glanced out over the side and there it was!!! Rapidly gaining on us was at least a four-foot swell, all by itself and coming from between us and the south shore of the river. Nothing was over there to send up a wake, nothing had been there. All we saw was this kinda scary, much-higher-than-anything-else-around swell coming on our port beam.

I figured I'd rather take this on the quarter than on the beam, so we tacked over and watched it come up on us. When it reached us it was at least at foot higher than our transom, but the stern rose to it and it passed under us and moved on, and we watched it die out about a quarter-mile away.

Weirdest thing I've ever seen on the river. Spooked me for a good half-hour.
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post #4 of 26 Old 11-20-2008
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This part got me thinking....

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The MaxWave team, led by Dr. Rosenthal, examined three weeks of radar data and to its amazement discovered 10 giants, each at least 82 feet high. “We were quite successful,” he said....

----

Another birth ground is seen as choppy seas where several waves moving independently merge by chance. But scientists say a giant of that sort would live for no more than a few seconds or minutes, whereas some [rogue waves] are suspected of lasting for hours and traveling long distances.


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post #5 of 26 Old 11-20-2008
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I too have experienced the dreaded Rogue Wake. The area around seven foot knoll is big time rogue wake territory.

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Originally Posted by jaschrumpf View Post
I experienced a rogue wave in the Patapsco River just outside the Key Bridge in Baltimore!

My nephew and I were sailing out of Rock Creek and were just NE of the White Rocks, about a half-mile. The winds were about 10-15 kts out of the NNW and the average wave height was about 1 1/2 ft.

Suddenly the monster appeared! We were close-hauled on the starboard tack when I glanced out over the side and there it was!!! Rapidly gaining on us was at least a four-foot swell, all by itself and coming from between us and the south shore of the river. Nothing was over there to send up a wake, nothing had been there. All we saw was this kinda scary, much-higher-than-anything-else-around swell coming on our port beam.

I figured I'd rather take this on the quarter than on the beam, so we tacked over and watched it come up on us. When it reached us it was at least at foot higher than our transom, but the stern rose to it and it passed under us and moved on, and we watched it die out about a quarter-mile away.

Weirdest thing I've ever seen on the river. Spooked me for a good half-hour.

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post #6 of 26 Old 11-21-2008
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A similar phenomenon is occurring in sporting events, especially athletics. Obtuse?? Yes but maybe not as much as you think.

With each passing major world sporting event, new world records are being set almost routinely. Are the records really being broken? Maybe but then again maybe not. The timing devices are getting more and more accurate so the margins are getting smaller and smaller and where we were once recording with analogue stop watches and an average thumb on the button, now we're recording down to 1000/s of a second with laser beams and other whiz-bang devices. So the speed at which I run today may be the same as that which was run some years ago but I'm being timed better.

What has this to do with rogue waves? Well, these waves are not new, they have been around forever. The difference is we now have the ability to find them, record them and as technology improves, we'll find more and more methods to scare ourselves.

One thing is for sure - I won't be losing any sleep worryig about rogue waves.


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post #7 of 26 Old 11-21-2008
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Why should Rogue Waves keep you up at night... not jack you can do about them...so why let it ruin your sleep.

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post #8 of 26 Old 11-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaschrumpf View Post
I experienced a rogue wave in the Patapsco River just outside the Key Bridge in Baltimore!
One long ago experience stays with me to this day...

Though not a "rouge" by any means, when I was a lad we spent much time on the shores of the Elk River.

Shipping from the C&D went by regularly, but one day a particularly large and speedy vessel went by.

The water level suddenly dropped from my chest to my feet.

Just as suddenly, the wake appeard.

The five foot cascading wall of water was pretty intimidating when you are only three feet tall!!

I still have nightmares of receding water, fish flopping around and such, then a devasting tidal wave.

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post #9 of 26 Old 11-21-2008
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There's been more than a few boats taken out by rogue waves. If it's at night, not a thing you can do. In the daytime, if alert, ya might get bow on in time.
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post #10 of 26 Old 11-21-2008
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In spite of all we know and how much better we may be able to measure and track natural phenomenon there is still a lot we don't know.
Tides cause waves. We all have seen this in tidal rips and races. I have noticed this phenomenon since I was a teenager sailing on the LI Sound which does not have a rip roaring current flowing through it where I was. Sets of larger then normal waves would come up from out of nowhere and no boat had passed by. There is a science called fluid dynamics that can perhaps explain this, standing waves and whirlpools. Sometimes all it may take is a Spring tide situation.
We were racing on the Hudson River late this summer around a Spring tide and it was getting dark. All the boats in our fleet were getting set up river of the last mark to round the last turning mark. The tide was nearing its turning point to ebb but was still flooding north. Out of nowhere (and there were no tugs with barges in sight anywhere) we got a set of 3+ foot waves that took everyone by surprise with some boats pounding or rocking violently or both. The tides don't always move evenly in an organized fashion. My guess is there was a last bulge of flooding water coming through at that moment that caused these waves - but that is only my guess - it could also have been a cruise ship coming up the Hudson to Manhattan 25 miles below that sent a bow wave up the river.
Rogue waves on the ocean are another animal altogether although who is to say that tides or current do not have something to do with them as well as prevailing winds and barometric pressure.

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