Here’s an email I received today…
My name is Garrett W. I am 22 and live in Texas. I grew up
Sailing Lake Michigan but plan to get into long-distance cruising in
the future (when I earn lots of money and can afford a Nordhavn!!!) I
am really interested in all types of cruising and really anything that
has to do with the water. My question to you is about Rogue Waves. I
have been reading about them a lot but am looking to hear your
thoughts. As a captain who has crossed the Atlantic and hopes to
cross the Pacific do you worry about them? When you are going out to
sea do you think about the possibility or is it something that is rare
in your mind so you don’t put much thought into? Please let me know.
Thanks. I love reading you blogs.
Your guess is as good as mine. We’ve crossed the Atlantic, spent years in the Med, run a big chunk of the Caribbean, and all of the western coast of the North America, from Canada to the panama canal, and never noticed a rogue wave. Or, if we did cross one, it must not have been very impressive. Usually, we have multiple laptops spread out on the table in the pilot house, and we’ve never even knocked a laptop off a table.
Sooner or later, I’m sure we’ll get hit by a huge wave, and perhaps the risk is greater than it feels, but my current feeling is that it is like getting clobbered by an earthquake. We know there’ll be an earthquake sooner or later, but there really isn’t much you can do about it. When the planet decides to mess with you, it will do what it wants to do. Sans Souci is one of the safest boats made in its size range, but if an 80 foot rogue wave were to strike, there’s a good chance we’d be swimming. That said, my guess is that the odds of being struck by a drunk driver, while running around Seattle at night, are higher than being hit by a huge rogue wave while crossing the Pacific. None of it is good .. but, what choice is there? We could stay home with the doors locked all the time .. but, then an earthquake could still strike. My guess is that sooner or later something will get me, but until that day, I want to have as much fun as possible!