My first time sailing out on the ocean, and we ran into a tropical storm with 30 foot waves and 25 to 30 knot winds. In the Alinuihaha Channel, between Maui and the big island, Hawaii, we got rolled over by 30 foot rogue waves. They came in at a 90 degree angle to the prevailing pattern and were as tall as the mast. I am lucky to be here to tell the tale! More
My first time sailing out on the ocean, my friend invited me to sail to the Big Island, Hawaii, with him on a 32 foot sail boat he just bought. It was a sloop (Meaning it had one mast) that had been set up for racing, so it was a fast, responsive boat. My friend had sailed on this boat before, because it had belonged to a friend of his, but he figured this little cruise over to the Big Island would teach him a lot about the boat. We started off on a sunny afternoon, sailing out from Kihei first to Molokini, then we headed across the channel to the Big Island. Just as we hit the Alinuihaha Channel, right at sunset, we ran into a tropical storm with 30 foot waves and 25 to 30 knot winds; that's where we got rolled over by 30 foot rogue waves. We had been plowing through the oncoming seas at about a 45 degree angle, climbing up the face of the 30 foot waves, then falling down the trough. The rogues came in at a 90 degree angle to us, and were as tall as the mast. I hung on to the stanchion as the boat rolled over, putting me 3 feet or so under water for a few moments before the boat righted itself.