you hit the nail on the head!In my example a mean to say there is a NET 4 kt difference in apparent wind speed over the surface of the water. The Gulf stream is about 2kt. So, with my numbers a 20 kt wind out of the north would be 22 kt over the surface of the water. If the wind was out of the south, then this would be 18 kt over the surface of the water. However, the difference between 22 kt and 18 kt does not account for how nasty the water would be if out of the north. Thus my problem with being stuck thinking of this as a frame of reference scenario.