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Sailboats in the vicinity of the Christmas quake in Sumatra a few years back reported a slightly bigger swell, but we all know what happened near shore. Not all earthquakes cause tsunamis, and the worst tsunamis are sometimes not earthquake-related at all. A huge underwater landslip, like the one forecast to slide a chunk of a Canary Island down to the abyssal plain some day, could create a huge tsunami pointed at the east coast of North America. After the initial very impressive "splash", the sheer depth of the ocean would disguise the forces involved until the 150 foot rollers came ashore...eek!

Being so close and in just 15 feet of water, you got a "free ride" with no harm done, which was lucky indeed, as a tsunami at that depth would've likely put you ashore or capsized/crushed the boat.

I find it interesting that even on a boat you describe the same disorientation and confusion noted by people on land, even though the water must have mitigated somewhat the vibrations felt on land. Thanks for sharing this.
 

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Hey Val. To be clear I definitely did not feel this quake. What woke me was a sound like I'd never heard before.
Maybe the weird physiological effects were from the sound. I believe much of an earthquake's "sound" is sub-sonic, but very powerfully so. Others on land have reported disorientation and even nausea without feeling "the shake" of an earthquake to any great degree.

Some biologists attribute the seemingly predictive behaviour of animals to precursor earthquake activity before a big tremor hits: They are, on some level, "hearing" the earth starting to creak.
 
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