Captains log 201611.24

 

The outlook for Savannah to the bla bla bla sound out to 20 miles is 5-10 knots and seas of 2 feet.

We were between Savannah and bla bla bla sound. Stupid me believed the forecast because they had been saying the same shit for a while now. Must be true then. Sadly not.

So I went out onto the Atlantic. Seas were not 2 feet. If waves were the same height as me (6 foot 1) standing on the deck of my boat (1.5 feet) then they quite simply are not two foot waves in anyone's language.

 

I've had people tell me that 6 foot waves means 12 feet from trough to peak. No. Sorry but if you think that you are just plain and simple mistaken. Wave height is measured from the trough to peak. There are many reasons for this and none of them make sense to use 1/2 the peak to peak height. Firstly, waves are not sinusoidal. The majority of the wave mass/energy is in the lower part of the wave. That simply means that the average wave mass is below the 1/2 peak to peak height.

 

If you want to get technical, we'd look at energy in the wave as that is the important figure. The RMS value (the true average in terms of energy) is below the peak to trough height (can be called peak to peak for reasons best left to more technical literature than my rant). It makes no sense to measure waves based on a metric that is nonsensical. This is why the weather bureau uses peak to peak. It is easier to measure out in the field. It relates far better than 1/2 peak to peak. The best way would be to measure RMS but they have settled for a statistical analysis of the average of the highest 1/3 of the waves. So take the highest 1/3 of the waves and average them off and that gives you the peak to peak (trough to peak, same thing really).

 

Now, when 2 out of ten waves is about 7 feet high, I call bullshit about the 2 foot wave height forecast. If the average 1/3 of the waves was 2 feet then why the hell am I getting 7 foot plus waves 10% of the time????

 

Anyways, lets just say that it was freaking rough out there. Apart from a couple (I literally mean 2) fishing boats (I mean large professional trawlers) that were being thrown around port to starboard, there was no one out there but us. Clearly Darth NOAA is not a trusted entity around here. The Rebels did not take the bait. Except for stupid me.

 

After heading out of t Catherine's sound we were greeted with even worse conditions. Typically sounds can be nasty places. On this particular occasion the sound was rough but getting out there was worse. As mentioned, the seas were rather large but I didn't mention the period. They were short period waves so the boat was thrown up and down repeatedly. It was nasty. I've seen some nasty crap and this was just nasty. I far prefer bigger waves and longer periods as the boat smoothly follows them. This was stern up and bow down then reverse every few seconds. Two feet my ass. I've been in 4 foot seas that were smoother than this. Over and over and over. Because the way out is so long, we literally well passed the three mile limit while still in the channel, turning around made no sense. It would take almost as long to go back as it would to get to the next inlet.

 

From my perspective it was rough. I was getting queasy and I don't get sea sick. Going up and down so much so fast was taking it's toll. I hadn't had breakfast and I slid the hatch back. The wife was not looking good. The mil was in her room, on the floor huddled in the fetal position balling her eyes out like she was going to die.

 

Yep. We're out about 5 miles, the water depth is shallow (20-40 feet) and is shallow for 80 miles out. Which is the problem. Shallow water waves are nasty. They are higher and shorter period than deep water waves. Ever wonder why waves break at the shore? That's because they hit shallow water and then grow tall and break. We were in one long line of breakers that just hadn't got shallow enough to break but were nasty as hell.

 

So I get back into the next inlet. The wife and the mil are a complete mess. I promise them I won't take them out in that crap again. My hope had been to get to St Augustine. I was willing to go all night but by the time I turned to go with the waves, the damage to the girls was done. They were done. They wanted calm water and that was that. We made it to the calm water. We lost basically about 5 hours and learned a valuable lesson. The mil will not be able to handle the Ocean. The wife was not happy either.

 

I anchored in a nice quiet place and got up early this morning. My mind was clicking. The mil and the wife can't handle the seas. WTF is the point. I gave up and resigned myself to the fact that I might just have to sell the boat.

 

I started the day with that on my mind. I was not in a good mood. Happy Thanksgiving. The day itself turned out good. It was warm. We crossed St Simons and St Andrews sounds with no effort at all. The wind was clam and the waves were flat. We crossed into Florida. I decided to pull up early and put out a line or two. I caught a crab but the thing got away. I swapped with the wife, she took the rod and I took the net. Slowly but surely, she pulled in 7 large blue crabs on a fishing line while I brought them in with a net. We all laughed and drank and I made a Croatian version of gumbo. We knocked off two bottles of sake between us. We still have a bottle of Scotch a friend from Colonial Beach gave us, with the condition that we can't open it till we pass the Panama Canal. Pretty sure you're proud of our dedication so far Kim. We haven't touched that bottle yet but it's singing some nice melodies to us regularly. lol

 

The girls are out for the night. I'm posting this as it's rare for me to get 4G internet and be anchored. Where we are right now is that we know the mil can't make an Ocean crossing without falling apart into a crying ball of mess. That's all I know 100% so far. We're working the rest out as we go.

 

As for me, I'm stubborn/dumb enough to take this damned boat to Oz single handed and getting more entrenched as I drink.