View Full Version : High Seas

22 Degree Halo
4th Feb 2013, 16:57
The biggest seas currently on the planet are going to be west of Orkney over the next 60 hours. They will be monstrous.




World - Surf Charts - Magicseaweed.com (http://magicseaweed.com/World-Surf-Chart/64/)

4th Feb 2013, 17:17
I'm at home as our whole Island is shut down for a blizzard. The storm causing this one seems worse than the last one which is now causing those waves.

Atlantic pressure chart here

They are forecasting this one will deepen a lot still, but disappear up the Davis Strait rather that head East.

4th Feb 2013, 17:23

Island? As in Prince Edward?

4th Feb 2013, 18:34
I have read the history of the building of the Stevenson lighthouses during the nineteenth century in the north of Scotland. After the northernmost light was manned, the keepers occasionally reported green water completely enveloping their lighthouse, which was over 100 feet high. Of course, nobody believed them . . .

22 Degree Halo
4th Feb 2013, 18:52
Northern Lighthouse Board - Flannan Isles (http://www.nlb.org.uk/historical/flannans.htm)

I was there for 3 nights in 2010 - pretty unwelcoming place when calm. God knows what it's like right now going by those swell charts posted.

4th Feb 2013, 19:03
They are forecasting this one will deepen a lot still, but disappear up the Davis Strait rather that head East.

Looks that way, it's moving straight north. The center is now between Deer Lake and Stephenville. DF altimeter is 28:32 and JT 28:29.

During WW2 the Queen Elizabeth was steaming eastbound, south of Iceland, in a winter storm. Her port bridge wing was damaged and some wheelhouse windows were broken by a heavy sea. The bridge wing was ninety feet above her waterline.

4th Feb 2013, 20:00
Is it true that the higher the sea the wider the peaks and valleys between waves

With a sea like this should one try to land a large jet in the trough or on the top of a swell?

4th Feb 2013, 20:02
With a sea like this should one try to land a large jet in the trough or on the top of a swell?

One would prefer to try to land on tarmac! ;)

4th Feb 2013, 20:03
"With a sea like this should one try to land a large jet in the trough or on the top of a swell?"

It wouldn't matter because the plane is on a set line whereas the waves
are moving so you might aim for a trough but even if you hit a trough,
it soon becomes a peak :O

"Is it true that the higher the sea the wider the peaks and valleys between waves"

Never taken much notice, always been holding onto the outboard motor tiller
and watching where the boat is in relation to the peak :O

22 Degree Halo
4th Feb 2013, 20:06
Still a bit to go reach these monsters:

In February 2000 those onboard a British oceanographic research vessel near Rockall, west of Scotland experienced the largest waves ever recorded by scientific instruments in the open ocean. Under severe gale force conditions with wind speeds averaging 21 ms−1 a shipborne wave recorder measured individual waves up to 29.1 m from crest to trough, and a maximum significant wave height of 18.5 m. The fully formed sea developed in unusual conditions as westerly winds blew across the North Atlantic for two days, during which time a frontal system propagated at a speed close to the group velocity of the peak waves.

Were extreme waves in the Rockall Trough the largest ever recorded? - ePrints Soton (http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/41391/)

22 Degree Halo
4th Feb 2013, 20:51
Butt of Lewis Lighthouse during 70 - 80+mph storm. 4th Feb 2013. | Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2869095502716)

Ancient Mariner
4th Feb 2013, 20:55
Iomapaseo, try surfing the wave, you absolutely would like to stay on top.
As for the truth, it depends on.

22 Degree Halo
4th Feb 2013, 20:58
Scientists at Lews Castle College UHI have been measuring what they described as "extreme" wave heights in the sea off west Lewis.

Arne Vogler, a senior research engineer and principle investigator at the Hebridean Marine Energy Futures project, said hurricane force gusts had also been recorded.

He said extreme wave heights with averages of 14m (45ft) and maximum waves of 23m (75.5ft) had been recorded.

BBC News - Warning of high winds and snow forecast for Scotland (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-21320364)

4th Feb 2013, 21:08
I've heard a likely tale about a Shackleton crew submitting a shot of a fishing boat perched atop a giant wave to an RAF photography competion - the boat was above the aircraft.

4th Feb 2013, 23:33
In the late 70's was on a Nimrod SAR mission W of Ireland looking for a container vessel - the "Munster" istr. Everyone was strapped in with shoulder harnesses, there was a large amount of coffee dripping from the roof, and everyone had stopped trying to write anything down. I recall the radalt needle moving up and down about a 100ft ... Never found her, they reckon the containers shifted and she probably turned turtle in a few seconds - some wreckage found on the Irish coast months later.

5th Feb 2013, 07:27
Anyone up there who can give us a sitrep on the weather this morning ?

5th Feb 2013, 07:59
Wave heights are measured from the bottom of the trough to the tip.

tony draper
5th Feb 2013, 09:54
Seen waves wi snow on top of them.:rolleyes:

5th Feb 2013, 09:58
Sunday we had a force 10-plus tramontana blowing across the Bay of Roses. The surface of the water looked like boiling milk, white. With wind-devils progressing across the water from N to S. Three freighters moored up. Wind and ships gone Monday morning. Wind forecast to return tomorrow and Thursday.

5th Feb 2013, 10:09
I blame the government for this. Apparently they can control the climate but not the weather! :suspect:

Lightning Mate
5th Feb 2013, 10:19
I remember some time around 82/83 seeing the Jaguar radalt moving 80 ft. across swell.

The QFE at Lossiemouth was 947mb !!

5th Feb 2013, 10:22
OFSO said Anyone up there who can give us a sitrep on the weather this morning ?
Last was very windy with a considerable amount of rain. When I dropped a friend off at the pier to catch the 7am boat from Stronsay to Kirkwall this morning it was still quite windy and raining heavily. I went back to bed afterwards (the joys of retirement!) and when I eventually got up at 9am the sun was shining, the rain had stopped and the wind had died down. Today's forecast from the Orcadian website is "Brighter with some sunshine and further wintry showers during the morning. Winds will be light at first, then strengthening F6-7 N’ly later in the day, with wintry showers becoming more frequent, possibly resulting in a thin covering of lying snow overnight.
Sea State: Possibly high or very high, with a 6 to 9 metre W or NW’ly wind-swell. Highest in the west. Later perhaps rough to high, with a 4 to 6 metre N’ly wind-swell. Highest in the north and west."

5th Feb 2013, 12:00

Would that not have been the Hapag-Lloyd Lash vessel "Munchen", which disappeared on 12 December 1978? The Wikipedia entry mentions a 22m swell.

MS München - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_München)

Would not have envied you being out there.

22 Degree Halo
5th Feb 2013, 18:35
Fair Isle, not very fair at the moment: http://fair-isle.********.co.uk/

*b-l-o-g-s-p-o-t :rolleyes:

Milo Minderbinder
5th Feb 2013, 21:26
The Munchen is discussed in this BBC Horizon program

Freak Waves - BBC-Learning - part 1/5 - YouTube

Good example of the kind of factual program the BBC used to do so well, and rarely does now. This is the kind of thing that should be permanently available on iPlayer

5th Feb 2013, 22:01
During an Arctic convoy in heavy weather in the Barents Sea, the cruiser HMS Sheffield took a wave that carried away the top of "A"
turret. That's an armour plated 6" gun turret we're talking about. :eek:

5th Feb 2013, 23:05
Good link Milo :ok: PS. To see the next part of the program, simply click on the "upper-most left" video-link at the end of each part to view the next part...

So, as mariners already long knew, but perhaps were never able to properly explain before (being considered as amateur fishermen describing the fish that got away as being "this big <-----+++++----->"), there are 3 types of waves (excluding tsunamis etc.):

1) the traditional "linear model" based on wind speed, duration and fetch.
2) "freak or rogues" generated by strong localised currents running in opposition to prevailing winds.
3) "freak or rogues" almost anywhere, generated by 1 wave "robbing" its' neighbours of their energy, hence becoming so much bigger.

So instead of the "1 in 10,000 year wave" that the engineers and scientists originally predicted as recently as 1995 and upon which most of mankind's existing ships and offshore superstructures are designed and based, these "freak or rogues" are in fact much more frequent (10 identified by the EU satellite study in just a 3 week period).

What's quite beautiful about it all IMHO, is that these "freak or rogues" are so ephemeral - in the sense that they can only realistically exist for just a few minutes, before disappearing (if ever having existed at all) Ie. they're so big and dangerous that they're destined to collapse, it's not like these waves continue on for days or 100s of miles somehow seeking a victim etc. So any vessel encountering one today would have to be very unlucky - presumably due to a transgression of sailors' superstitions, someone did something they should not have immediately before or during the voyage before disater struck...

Whatever, in a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed, in the maritime sailors' cathedral (substitute Detroit for Bremerhaven for those of the München)... :sad:

Gordon Lightfoot - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - YouTube

6th Feb 2013, 00:55
Milo, thank you for the link to the BBC "Freak Wave" clip series; I hadn't seen that.

The Munchen disaster was a bit close to the bone for me as the news came as I was on board a similar Lash vessel of Delta Line. Shore staff, not seafaring. All the Lash vessels had the superstructure right up forward and very fine bows. Delta's bridge decks were of a slightly different design from the Hapag-Lloyd ones, a bit more rounded as opposed to the square HL ones. Although, in circumstances similar to the Munchen's, bridge shape would probably not have made a blind bit of difference.

6th Feb 2013, 01:12
Blacksheep wrote: During an Arctic convoy in heavy weather in the Barents Sea, the cruiser HMS Sheffield took a wave that carried away the top of "A" turret. That's an armour plated 6" gun turret we're talking about.

That's very impressive. I recall seeing a documentary about the wreck of the Bismarck or Tirpitz (or perhaps another German battleship of WWII era) being found on the sea-bed, the gun turrets were found some distance away from the main vessel. Apparently, the main gun turrets each of 2 x 15" cannons or more) were all simply installed and "held in place by gravity" on their bearings (Ie. not physically secured / attached to their bases), presumably because of their considerable weight. So that when the vessel eventually sank / capsized, the gun turrets themselves went into "free-fall".

Lon More
6th Feb 2013, 01:38
Several years ago I saw a documentary about a freak wave in a bay in Canada. It had stripped the trees above the bay up to about 50 metres above sea level.

6th Feb 2013, 01:51
Lon More

Wasn't that the one cased by a big land slide at the end of the bay,
either a cliff falling or a glacier breaking off ?

Either way, it was damn impressive photos.

I read an article once from two of the people on a boat
near the entrance that got swamped.

6th Feb 2013, 01:54
It was Lituya_Bay

Lituya Bay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lituya_Bay)

Tsunami mountain, denuded of vegetation
to a height of 1,720 feet (524 meters) in 1958

02. Lituya Bay (http://arachnoid.com/alaska2012/lituya_bay.html)

Lon More
6th Feb 2013, 01:59
That was the place, thanks.
I couldn't remember how high the waves were; 50 metres seemed reasonable, not wishing to exagerate, but 500 .....
Wonder how high up the wall it'll go when the Canary Isles slide off their perch?

6th Feb 2013, 03:01
there might be some good waves around the pacific this afternoon :rolleyes:

6th Feb 2013, 04:22
BoeingA320Prop -- Where was that photo taken?

:ooh: :eek:

Solid Rust Twotter
6th Feb 2013, 06:34
Vis3miles, in Ricardian's back yard I believe.:}

6th Feb 2013, 23:59
Would that not have been the Hapag-Lloyd Lash vessel "Munchen",
That's the one, br - 'twas a very dark & stormy night. ISTR we were the first crew scrambled, and we had trouble sorting out the best height to fly for the radar, due to the sea returns. It was lower than we would have liked :uhoh: . It was, without doubt, the bumpiest Nimrod ride I ever had - my shoulders had bruises from the straps the next day ....:ouch:

7th Feb 2013, 13:14
Milo, thanks for the BBC clips. Very interesting. In the days when I regularly drove back to the UK I used to take the ferry from le Havre to S'hampton. On a couple of occasions on stormy nights I remember the boat hitting a large wave and stopping dead, at least, that was the feeling.

And thinking 'if a normal wave can do that to a boat this size.....'

flying lid
7th Feb 2013, 14:21
Daily Mail (I know !!), but scroll down for the video.

UK weather: Britain battered by gale-force winds and ferocious seas as forecasters warn of a cold and icy weekend | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2274394/UK-weather-Britain-battered-gale-force-winds-ferocious-seas-forecasters-warn-cold-icy-weekend.html#axzz2KDTp7b7s)


El Grifo
7th Feb 2013, 15:28
Pretty sure that's Drapsey car :eek:

7th Feb 2013, 18:21
A cheap but very exciting car wash.

Not with all that sea water............