A wild day at sea

David Sidbury, owner of the second Nordhavn 68, just sent me an email about a cruise he took yesterday. I’m reposting it here, which is hopefully ok with David…


We made the short 13 hour run from Charleston to Savannah Friday. There was a cold front that was to move thru late Friday night and conditions during the day were supposed to deteriorate from early 1-3 with winds of 10-15 to 3-5 by night fall with winds up to 25 knots. A good friend couple, who we have cruised with over the years, were our guests, so I felt good about the crew. We elected to leave at 0400 in the dark since I am intimately familiar with Charleston Harbor so we could arrive before nightfall in Savannah. I had everything set up and dialed in the night before so all I had to do was start the generator, retract the shore cord, fire engines, untie and leave. I was up at about 3:35 and when I went outside after firing the gen to retract the shore cord there was a slight breeze blowing that had been absent at bedtime, but he harbor was flat and until we got out past the jetties no sea state whatsoever.


Long story short by 0800 the wind was a steady 25-27 with gusts to 32 and as such the sea started to become confused. By noon we had sustained winds of over 50 knots – I saw a gust to 56 but we had 51-53 for a full 2 hours. The ocean was like a washing machine and the waves were quartering off our starboard bow and overwashing our front deck and down the starboard side walkway such that the freeing ports were continuously getting huge flow. We saw waves as big as 10-13 feet before it laid back down to 2-4 with “only” 30-35 knot winds and air temps of about 42-43. Not weather you wanted to be outside in for very long.


Inside the boat it was toasty and if you had not been watching the wind indicator and seeing the huge spray you would have thought it was a 25-35 day but no biggie.


The boat ran perfectly and when the big wind and gusts would hit the stabilizers would move lots, but kept us standing tall. The boat ran like it was nothing unusual. The guy of the couple with us was amazed at the ride considering the washing machine sea state and could not get over how nice the ride was.


Gave me confidence in the boat even more so as it was blowing its rear end off and we did not miss a beat. It took me 2 hours today to rinse off all of the salt.


I had estimated a 500 pm arrival and we got to the only bridge in the trip 3 minutes past opening and had to idle and tread water for a full hour making us arrive in the dark as we had left. I can not emphasize how well the boat took the big waves, We had countless waves coming over the front deck with the wipers and washers running non stop to keep the salt off the windshield. There was even substantial salt on the fly bridge which I had never seen before,


What a great trip to test the boat – I heard the stabilizers slam a few times.


Got to get some sleep – take care,




5 Responses

  1. Good question Ron. I’ll ask him and post what he says here. I’ve never experienced anything like that… as far as I know. I assume that it is when the stabilizer has to react quickly to a sudden change in the attitude of the boat, but am not sure.

    -Ken W

  2. I hear the message loud and clear. This is going to be a “no-fun” trip. That said, we are allowing nearly two months to move only 2,500 miles (from Dutch Harbor to Petrapovlosk, from June 15 to August 15. This means we can sit still over half the time. Our plan is to pick the “good days” and move as fast as we can, whenever the weather is good. We’re hoping this strategy gives us the best, and safest, ride possible. -Ken W

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