The Cushmaker

The Cushmaker paid us multiple visits last night.

The waves had laid down a good bit, and the wind was still pushing along at good speed, consistently at 7 knots or more. The smaller seas had the boat more stable than it has been in many days.

Apparently the Cushmaker hides in the smaller waves. As we are racing along, suddenly there is a loud THUMP, and 13 tons of boat jumps 3 inches sideways. Now wait for it…. 3… 2… 1… CUSH! As 1000 pounds of water that were thrown in the air by the collision do what they have to do and come crashing down on deck like a ton of bricks. (Can a half ton of water crash like a ton of bricks? That’s one for the philosophers.). If you are in the cockpit you are going to get very wet. If there is a hatch open, the cabin is going to get very wet. This process repeats about once an hour.

Waves in the open ocean aren’t a regular row of symmetrical bumps on the water. Here we have local wind waves coming from the northeast, waves coming from huge gales in the Gulf of Alaska from the northwest, and waves from a distant typhoon from the southeast. Add them all together and you get lumpy chaos. In such a random system every once in a while a bigger fast wave appears and disappears almost as quickly. If the boat happens to be at the right spot at the right time, CUSH!

We are now west of 150 degrees of longitude, so I am now working on a much larger scale chart, #19007, Hawai’i to French Frigate Shoals.

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One Response to The Cushmaker

  1. jdkinney08853 says:

    Your description of wave action makes me very glad I am standing on solid ground, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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