Keep On Keepin' On
Sure, rough head seas are unpredictable, but you can sometimes anticipate waves in a set. Always choose the path of least resistance. Use the Mountain Pass Theorem, which states that the pass lies along the lowest point of elevation through the mountains-a saddle point. Look for the same thing in waves. Forgive the sailboat jargon, but tacking is often the best bet. Work your way over each wave and vary your speed and angle of approach to account for differences among them. In the conditions we were in, an approach of 10 to 25 degrees was best-instead of straight ahead-then a hard bank to port to keep the hull connected to the water. And each time, we increased speed on the way up the face, then immediately reduced speed to avoid a hard impact. If you find yourself approaching a wave straight ahead, use a slight angle when coming off it to avoid falling off the cliff.