You are not missing anything; you are just asking the wrong question.I do not see how a water molecule can distinguish between being in a 20 knot wind added to a 2 knot current vs experiencing 22knot wind in still water. All these are _relative to the bottom_ which is is the frame of reference we always use but the point is that the frame of reference does not matter as long as you are consistent.
That does not mean I doubt for one second that the phenomenon exists, the evidence based on the collective experience is overwhelming (your examples are very much to the point). So I must be missing something and I want to know what it is.
Exactly. It does not matter where the wind is from or if there even is a wind. It has been said above that it is not a question of wind vs current. It is a question of wave vs current.Well, if these waves come from thousands of miles away, what does the local wind have to do with them? Why should it matter which direction it comes from?