Biggest seas you ever experienced?
For me it was on a crossing from Swiftsure Bank back to Neah Bay. The dawn crossing in growing seas from an oceanic storm that had been raging and we suspected high seas but nothing like what ensued.
It always scares me when the sky gets so dark that the water looks brighter, and mid-day to boot. The waves were as high as telephone poles, luckily about as far apart too. Each crest made the motor labor to the peak where we might or might not see the other three boats in the party depending on whether they were in a trough or peak. Each downhill slide brought the risk of pitch-poling us into the trough, as these waves were big enough to have turbulence between crests which had those Hawaii-5-0 white trails blowing off the tips.
The boat was a 23ft hardtop and the bulkhead was completely under waves manytimes. I never thought I would see the inside of a huge wave with a panoramic view of the thousand foot depths of the Strait of Juan De Fuca from a boat chair, but I did. I would look at the Clint Eastwood face of my mentor Ken Morgan and as long as he didn't flinch or show fear I was OK with it. Each time we would pitch a curtain of water weighing several hundred pounds would pour over the bulkhead mostly onto the deck and drain out the transom as we would climb. The bilge was working doubletime and the motor straining to combat the forces.
We eventually came inside the breakwater at Neah and I swear I almost kissed the slimy gut-covered gull-splatted deckboards at the cleaning station on all fours when the ropes were out.
And then there was the tsunami alert...
IFFF Certified THCI @ 2005
Capeflyfisher Guide Service
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