The Awesome Ocean

March 26, 2012

Wow! We are currently rushing, racing, charging across the pacific at a sustained 7 knots with statistically significant periods of 8 knots. This speed, it seems, comes at a price. We have really enormous swell. If my estimation is correct (and it’s really tough when you are in it) we are looking aft at 3-4 meter seas.

If you haven’t been out in huge, short period swell before you may not appreciate how high a 4 meter wall of water is. I sure didn’t. It is awesome! Really in both the modern and archaic meaning of the word. Water like this (though it won’t likely be the largest we will see) inspires awe, and is freaking cool.

Yesterday we were moving along at a pretty good clip and the sea was (comparably) flat. Small 1-2m swell was rolling under us with a long period. The sky was mostly sunny and the water color was rich blue. Today the clouds have obscured the sun for most of the day, the sea is a deep navy blue and the wind is licking the tops of the waves off and knocking them across our transom. All this and more is within the scope of our planet’s power, and it is humbling.

It’s freaking cool too. Did I mention that? Convivia, it is clear, is very buoyant! These monster waves roll up behind us and up up up she goes. We hang for a moment at the crest, propelled to even greater speed, and then gently descend down the backside. Every once in a while an opposing swell will approach at just the right moment and attempt to knock Convivia to her rails as she prepares to descend. No problem, she just heels a bit, dumps a little velocity and lifts over it to carry on with what she was doing. We have put the toe rail under a number of times but whatever water we take on sheds off her like she’s got a duck’s back.

So it is that I have spent the last several hours. Just staring out at this remarkable ocean, humbled and simultaneously grateful to be able to experience this gift of perspective.


  1. Comment by Barfoolian

    Barfoolian March 26, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    I am sitting here feeling jealous of you guys being tossed around like a feather in the wind (must be in the blood)! I’m glad you’ve got a trig rig to carry you onward. Hi to all and thanks for the vicarious thrills! jb

  2. Comment by Belinda Del Pesco

    Belinda Del Pesco April 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I love the thrill in your description, and your gift of visual language. I think I might be a little anxious on such high swells, but your post is so inspiring – to be wholly and completely fascinated and humbled by it all instead. Thanks for that.

  3. Comment by The Laurens

    The Laurens April 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Hi Convivia,

    We haven’t met, but we share great mutual friends – Amanda and Krister. We wish you a safe and amazing crossing, and hope to meet you somewhere in the South Pacific!

  4. Comment by cindy

    cindy April 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Fantastic! I love following along with your crossing… what a sweet escape.

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