Roughest waters

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#1
661 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
I'm working on a story about bodies of water that are typically rough, either all the time or during certain seasons. Places that come to mind include Drakes Passage and the Gulf of Alaska after Labor Day.

What other places can you think of? Where have you cruised where the waters were rough -- and not just because of a fluke storm? I'd love to know (as well as hear your best surviving choppy seas stories)!
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Erica Silverstein
Senior Editor, Features
Cruise Critic
#2
North Carolina Coast!, USA
6,011 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Go to cruisejunkie.com and see what they have about this. They have all kinds of lists from people overboard to sinking ships to daily serious news and when ships hit each other, etc., etc., etc.
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#3
Melbourne, FL
8,198 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
think about it

cruise ships avoid ruff waters . . .

I've worked the Bearing Sea in the winter ... days on end of 50 plus knots of wind and 40 plus seas . . . cruise ships avoid this and a cruise ship in the inland passage of AK will never see this . . .

if you want stories along this line, find a better source....
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Capt BJ

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#4
Moon Township, Pa
23,174 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
The Tasman Sea, between New Zealand and Australia. Another place was the South China Sea. Both were terribly rough each time I sailed there. Another really rough area is the area where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean on the coast of South Africa. On that cruise, I would say at least 90% of the passengers and crew were seasick.
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Darcie
#5
Jersey Shore
371 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
i am no expert, but i slept at a holiday inn express last nite...
and im gonna say that any cruise with my mother in law would bring on the roughest of waters.
thank you, thank you; i am available for weddings, bvar mitzvahs, and cruises. you've been a great audience. really, take my wife... please. g'nite.
#7
17,581 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by luddite
Tasman Sea.
Whatever in hell the Cape off the bottom of South America is.
That would be Cape Horn. After years of hearing how rough the waters were there, when we finally cruised around the cape, the ocean was as smooth as a pane of glass.
#8
Pennsylvania
13,986 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by Capt_BJ
think about it

cruise ships avoid ruff waters . . .

I've worked the Bearing Sea in the winter ... days on end of 50 plus knots of wind and 40 plus seas . . . cruise ships avoid this and a cruise ship in the inland passage of AK will never see this . . .

if you want stories along this line, find a better source....
Ummmmm, she didn't just ask where are the roughest waters, she asked where people have cruised where it was rough.
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#9
In the Valley, CA
23,027 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
From the west coast going toward Hawaii.
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#10
Melbn, 'Straya
1,985 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
It's often just good/bad luck and the season. Even the notorious Cape Horn can be like a millpond as posted above. I agree that the odds of rough seas in the Tasman are pretty high, also the Bass Strait between the Australian mainland and Tasmanina where a combination of a comparatively shallow ocean floor and the convergence of the Indian and Pacific Oceans can create some very lumpy conditions. The Bay of Biscay on the west coast of France/Spain is often rough too.

Edit: I can't delete this post for some reason. Mods please fix?
#11
Melbn, 'Straya
1,985 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
It's often just good/bad luck and the season. Even the notorious Cape Horn can be like a millpond as posted above. I agree that the odds of rough seas in the Tasman are pretty high, also the Bass Strait between the Australian mainland and Tasmania where a combination of a comparatively shallow ocean floor and the convergence of the Indian and Pacific Oceans can create some very lumpy conditions. The Bay of Biscay on the west coast of France/Spain is often rough too.
#12
North Jersey
10,226 Posts
Joined May 2004
I'm working on a story about bodies of water that are typically rough, either all the time or during certain seasons. Places that come to mind include Drakes Passage and the Gulf of Alaska after Labor Day.

What other places can you think of? Where have you cruised where the waters were rough -- and not just because of a fluke storm? I'd love to know (as well as hear your best surviving choppy seas stories)!
Definitely the Bay of Biscay.
#13
Wirral, England
1,804 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
We lived through two typoons in the South China Sea in November - not nice, even though we had an inside, central cabin!!!

The view of staff was that the sea settles down there after Christmas, but that November is a 'no no' for anyone who is not a good sailor. The Doctor had also suggested that it was not a good idea to do the Med in winter - it was a Costa ship, so he was talking about the Med rather than the Notorius Bay of Biscay that the British ships navigate!

The view of past sailors we know is that seas around Britain (including Biscay) settle down in summer.
#14
Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
5,729 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Yes, we've had it rough in the Bay of Biscay- and also smooth- we've also had some pretty hairy moments on ferries across the North Sea to the Continent.
Last Oct, we had gales in the Northern Med, and the captain explained that the winds are funnelled down the Gap de Lyon, which is pretty obvious when you look at the map of France.
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20 cruises; 11 ships; 8 lines; 94 ports
#15
Raleigh, N.C.
12,194 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
We had gale force 10 winds off the coast of the Carolinas when returning to Norfolk on a cruise. Off the coast of North Carolina is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic--where the cold waters of the Labrador Current hit the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.
#16
661 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Thanks everyone, for sharing your thoughts! I'll check back, in case people have more ideas.

And, yes, I'm referring to bodies of water where cruise ships go -- which aren't always calm as many of you have indicated.
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Erica Silverstein
Senior Editor, Features
Cruise Critic
#17
5,517 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by Capt_BJ
think about it

cruise ships avoid ruff waters . . .

I've worked the Bearing Sea in the winter ... days on end of 50 plus knots of wind and 40 plus seas . . . cruise ships avoid this and a cruise ship in the inland passage of AK will never see this . . .

if you want stories along this line, find a better source....
I think that would be the BERING SEA, and yes, you are right. What cruise line would ever include the BERING SEA in their itinerary?
#18
5,517 Posts
Joined May 2004
My "Worst-Cruise-Ever' (if there is such a thing) was on the RCI Viking Serenade 4-night in August, 1995. LA - Catalina - Ensenada - LA. Really rough Pacific seas!!!

Now, here's something else I've heard, and I was scheduled on a Carnival cruise (Sensation) from Tampa on 9-15-2001. Obviously, the cruise was cancelled. I've heard that Tampa is a very deep-water port with rough seas going in and out, which is why most cruise lines don't sail from there on a regular basis.












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#19
1,987 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Our roughest was definitely the Tasman Sea. I have a couple of blog posts I did for my kids when we were on the trip about rough seas. You might have to scroll backwards for the other one--it's called 'Crossings' and includes a photo of one of the benches lashed to the railing. I think this was the last one as the seas were pretty calm after that.

http://heuersadventuredownunder.blog...em-cowboy.html

Robin
#20
North Jersey
10,226 Posts
Joined May 2004
We experienced rough seas in the North Atlantic especially off the coast of Nova Scotia. One of the worst storms we've ever experienced (and we've been in many) was in that vicinity.