About three waves like the one on the stamp and this crew would be in real trouble. Ask any small boat skipper and they will confirm what I say.
Judging by the seas that critical point would occur in about two more minutes but what I am really concerned about are 'sisters' of that 6 meter tall rogue wave which you can see in the distance to left of the Viking ship's bow which would probably end it all in a second.
This picture is a fantasy by a non sailor. You will notice that sail is filled by wind blowing from right to left but those waves are chopped and blustered by wind blowing from left to right and foreground left to foreground right which only happens in a fantasy. (See the details below*)
Like I said it's a fantasy and I only deal with facts. Though they may not yet be proven they are facts. Furthermore I can tell you that almost everything else in that picture is one hundred percent accurate. I should know what I am talking about, I have the memories of having commanded a Viking merchant ship almost identical to that one for 25 years.
Viking ships survived thirty foot seas, hurricanes (I survived two mammoth ones) and weather that has sank every class of modern ship except tankers. Yet nobody knows how they survived.**
Maybe we tied large inner tubes from trucks on the sides for extra buoyancy?
I was planning to explain how Viking ships were able to weather those storms.
Also, there are about two hundred settlements that I can recall which could be excavated. Not just Viking settlements. Those that Vikings visited south to Spain, east to Russia and three or four that are yet undiscovered in America.
This information took me 1000 years to come by though, it's not an inspired thought, I earned it fair and square. Read the top of this page and you will be able to understand what I went through for just that information alone.
This information will increase knowledge tremendously. Interest in this culture will soar and 100's of jobs will the result along with the publishing of thousands of papers. A researchers paradise will be only part of the results.
however, why should I give this information to thieves who take all the credit while I just get called names and the only thing I reap is denial, anger and pain? Without the proper owner being recognized none of this will happen.
As for the waves. A 6-7 meter rogue wave is exiting the trough of the 4 meter swell (8 meter as measured peak to trough) whose crest you can easily see to it's left so it appears to only be a 4 meter wave. If I rotate the picture so the wave is horizontal and bracket it (on the right) you see the wave easier. It's identical to a wave breaking on shore except it is 'breaking' on the top of the swell. Waves and swells move differently and in different directions so the wave actually acts like a soft sand an causes the wave to break. The artist is great but he combined several waves of different sizes.
Swells can change in bad weather and in this case the rogue wave is actually pushing down and distorting the shape and size of the swell. So the height of the swell is best determined using the period between the peaks (the next peak is behind the ship) and dividing it to get the real height of the swells. Then you compare that swell to the wave and that is how you get the size of a wave in the far distance (or in a 2D picture where you can't tell the actual distance). However this wave is breaking like smaller waves break, not like a 6 meter wave like the artist drew so It's got me completely baffeled and confused.
OK, lets cut it in half and say it only a 3 meter wave. That's high enough to hit the sail, probably knock mast over, and also fill up the ship with water. Then it would be all over for this Viking ship and it's unlucky crew.
Even if this viking ship were able to point fore or aft directly into a wave like that, it would run into it and not over it. That would be the end of this unlucky crew and their ship. If you wish to explore the wave dynamics that are memorized (apparently for 1000 years) in the first three weeks of a seven years apprenticeship as a Viking captain then you can read what the U.S. Navy, in probably four months, teaches it's sailors here. However, if you were to show that stamp to a postgraduate in Oceanography he/she would probably not provide as much information as I just did in fifteen minutes and my memories of that life are not even up to snuff. Due to the need to interpret satellite photographs for weather prediction there are lots of those graduates out there which you can find. Furthermore I doubt one in ten of those postgraduates will realize the wind is going in opposite directions simultaneously. I'll even bet you not any of them could tell you how a Viking ship could ever survive a hurricaine.
**I've gone sailing less than a dozen times in my life and it was always with a University sailing club on weekends and I was always just a passenger so my knowledge of sailing and viking ship can't be accounted for unless at least one life as a Viking captain is taken into account.
© 2005 John Pinil