At 08:00 we were heading NE in the middle of the North Sea, more or less opposite the Humber Estuary, with a moderate swell and cloud that was clearing. At 09:15 the Captain announced, “that currently the temperature was 9.5 C with winds from the west at Force 6 and a 3 metre sea. We are expecting more wind and that it will get a little rougher during the day”.
By 14:00 we had clearly reduced speed as the waves were much higher, were hitting the cabin window and according to a person on Deck 8 were hitting the windows at the bow of the ship. This was clearly more of a storm than expected. At 18:30 the Captain announced that the winds were Force 9 – 10, that is severe gale to storm, and that in 6 metre high waves we had slowed to 7 knots. (A 6m wave is about the height of a house.) At dinner we met a sailor who had been through such a storm on a 700 ton coastal steamer who said, “it was more like being on a submarine than a ship”. The Captain continued by saying that the weather may improve during the night, but the slow speed may delay our arrival in Stavangar tomorrow. As we write it is not quite as bouncy!!