Ships in Horrible Storms

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Ships in Horrible Storms

I spent a month crossing the Pacific on a thousand footer with several ports of call along the way.  Most days were very smooth sailing but there were two stormy periods during that month.  The first three days at sea were very rough with another stormy period in about the third week.  You may not think a ship of that size would move around much but it does.   My cabin was toward the bow (unfortunately) and some of those days and nights were like riding a roller coaster, constantly up and down with a lot of creaking.  When we dipped into a trough and the bow crashed into the next oncoming wave it was like we ran into something solid.  There was a jolt with a loud "BANG!" and the resulting bow wave would sometimes crash over my cabin window all the way up on deck five.  One particularly rough night was constant up and down with a lot of creaking, banging, and waves crashing over the window, and I woke up about 3 am with my only bout of motion sickness on the trip.   That wasn't much fun, but overall the voyage was an amazing experience.  Worked on oil platforms, tankers, and supply ships, and I've seen some big and dangerous seas. It taught me respect for the big and briney. My old man served on HMS Glorious in the Indian Ocean and in the Med in the 1930s. The ship once went through a Typhoon and the waves were breaking over the flight deck (around 60 feet). He also took me to France on a hovercraft in the early 70s in a force 9. A 30 minute 'flight' took over 3 times longer and the thing was getting battered as well as running out of fuel. Cars were breaking loose and passengers were screaming in terror. Those who disregard the power of the sea, please think again for your own safety and spare a thought for those who put to sea because they have no choice.  As an ex-sailor of 50 odd years ago, plus now living near one of the locations where fishing boats were being videoed crossing a very treacherous bar, I was thoroughly captivated and mindful of some storm related experiences. It was unfortunate a touch of Hollywood was bought in; with one of the final scenes from "The Perfect Storm" spliced in - for what It's a wonder credits acknowledging George Clooney etc., didn't roll at the end!
Reality at sea can be absolutely terrifying if things go wrong. CGI does nothing more than add some spice to a movie, and really has no place in the context of ships - and the crew - being in a real-life horrible storm.  These were pretty intense! It doesn't matter how big a ship looks at dock, when it gets to the middle of the ocean it's just as tiny & insignificant of a speck as anything else out there! That one scene though made my stomach drop! The one where the guys in the sailboat were thrown at the dock by the wave. I thought one guy was gonna smack right into the decking!

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