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post #361 of Old 10-07-2008
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Originally Posted by bestfriend View Post
Sorry guys, I got busy at work. That is "Aspect computing" in the 1998 Sydney to Hobart race. 70 knot winds, higher gusts, 54ft boat. Not a comment on anyone's story, just a picture.

Sway, you don't see the tops blowing off because the wind had been blowing so hard for such a long period that it is flattening the waves.

Conditions, demographics, it all matters. Read the books on the race and you will learn a lot about how the sea works when multiple forces, both air and water, combine in in a tight space. Also read Willard Bascom's books on waves.

As far as first hand experience, there is much to be said about whats underwater and the topography around you. In the Bay here, you can get your ass kicked in 30+ knot winds with basically minor waves, maybe six feet at the very most. The wind can feel like its gonna rip your ears off, and your sails too. Then you can go out the gate in 15-20 knot winds, and the seas can be twice that height, and sometimes it feels safer. A completely different experience and it can even be on the same day!
For whatever reason, those do not appear to me to be seas associated with 70 knot fact, not even close. Now I am referring to open waters with significant fetch and I'm unaware of where the photo was taken and what the actual conditions were at the time of the photo versus worst reported. But rather than just rain on anyone's parade, I've taken the trouble to dig up some NOAA photos as an example of sea state under the Beaufort scale. 70 knots is Force 12 and I think you'll agree that what the NOAA photo shows as Force 12 conditions looks rather different than the photo posted by our bestfriend.

Beaufort Wind Force Scale and Sea State

Last edited by sailaway21; 10-07-2008 at 02:19 AM.
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