I've been in bigger seas than the story I'll tell, but never in such a small boat.
One day years ago on the Hudson River I was out with two other people in a 14' sailboat in 6-8' seas with very little distance between waves. When you were in the trough you might as well have been in the center of the ocean since you couldn't see any land. We were at the widest point of the Hudson at Half Moon Bay. All three of us were on one side of the sailboat, we had only the mainsail up, and I was hanging off the rigging over the water as far as I could just to keep the boat from flipping. It was 3 miles each way from where we launched to the beach on the other side (Black Beach). There was a gale warning out for part of that day too...
My passion for catching fish is eclipsed only by the fish's passion not to be caught.