Taken aboard the SS Spray (ex-Gulf Spray) in about February of 1986
(best recollection), in the Gulf Stream, off of Charleston.
Circumstances: A substantial gale was moving across Long Island,
sending a very long swell down our way, meeting the Gulf Stream.
several rogue waves during the late morning on the horizon, but thought
they were whales jumping. It was actually a nice day with light breezes
and no significant sea. Only the very long swell, of about 15 feet
high and probably 600 to 1000 feet long. This one hit us at the change
of the watch at about noon. The photographer was an engineer (name
forgotten), and this was the last photo on his roll of film. We were
on the wing of the bridge, with a height of eye of 56 feet, and this wave
broke over our heads. This shot was taken as we were diving down
off the face of the second of a set of three waves, so the ship just kept
falling into the trough, which just kept opening up under us. It
bent the foremast (shown) back about 20 degrees, tore the foreword firefighting
station (also shown) off the deck (rails, monitor, platform
and all) and threw it against the face of the house. It also
bent all the catwalks back severely. Later that night, about 1930,
hit the after house, hitting the stack and sending solid water down
into the engine room through the forced draft blower intakes.
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