Saturday, April 03, 2010

Teen sailor Mike Perham heard freaque wave roar!

In the News of the World today, an article by the young sailor Mike Perham retold the story of his encounter with a freaque wave on March 29, 2009 near the western tip of Australia during his solo sail around the world:
IT was a freak wave - and it came thundering through the black from the port side. I was in the cabin so didn't see it coming but I had a one-second warning - its deafening roar.

It scooped the boat up and slammed it flat on its starboard side in an instant. All I could do was hold my breath and somersault with the boat as my world was flipped upside down.

The fear was instant, the noise ridiculous. The boat creaked, groaned, rattled and screamed. As it tipped, there was stuff flying around the cabin.

This was about as bad as it could get. A wave could sweep in from behind at any moment, flipping the boat fully, ripping the carbon-fibre mast from the deck like matchwood.

The four-metre keel was out of the water, the 70-foot mast pointing down. My feet were now on the roof. I thought to myself: "Is this it? Is this how I'm going to die?"

I felt the boat dip as the back of the rogue wave passed underneath. Then the boat strained to right herself.

Gravity gradually took hold of the keel and I felt enormous relief as the boat flipped back up with another tremendous crash. I couldn't believe it when I looked outside to see the mast and sails undamaged.

It's an amazing story. I guess any sailor sails long enough, sooner or later, will probably encounter something which may or may not be similar. I think Mike's story telling has provided us a new characterization of freaque waves: a deafening roar! That's definitely something new for the freaque wave community to contemplate about!

I have been using the forest tree fall metaphor to make connection with freaque waves. Now it's really -- A freaque wave roaring through in the ocean or lakes, if no one around to hear it, was the sound for real? Of course! I don't know if there's anyone ever heard tree fall in the forest, but now we know at least Young Mike Perham had really heard a freaque wave roar.!

No comments: