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Thread: Cruise Ship of Yesterday.....Michaelangelo & Freak Wave

  1. #11
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    The 100 fathom line off the Cape is notorious for the "hole in the sea"
    A Ben Ship was almost torn in half after going down one and had to be towed stern first to Durban
    The warm Aghulas Current comes down from the NE and meets the cold Benguela current coming up from the SW with a Westerly wind the two meet, the Aghulas current takes a dive over the 100 fathom line and the Benguela current reares up over the top and creates a huge wall of water and a long run down to the base . A ship runs down the `hill with no chance of getting out and then hits the wall of water which then folds up over the ship. the weight of water then takes it down or at least wrecks it. as in the case of the Ben Boat around 1978 ish

    When I was on the VLCCs with ESSO we had warnings on them and diagrams explaining the situation when approaching the Cape area. Many ships were badly damaged at the time with those kind of seas.

    I joined the QE2 the voyage after she had hit the Wave in October 1995 on the way to New York.
    Captain Warwick at the time said it was like the white cliffs of Dover approaching.
    The wave was estimated at 95 feet high, a large dent was left on the foredeck.She was very strongly constructed, built for the Western ocean, some of the newer cruise vessels would have folded up in that.
    The Queen Mary hit a 95 footer beam on and went over 52 degrees, doing quite a bit of damage to the accommodation.

  2. Thanks Rodney Mills thanked for this post
  3. #12
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    Once again a great article Gulliver, many thanks. It brought back many memories some pleasant many not so. Back in the late seventies I was Managing Director of the Iranian subsidiary of an U.S. International catering company and I won the contract to convert both the Michelangelo and the Raffaello into hotels in Ports in Iran, then managing them both as military hotels in Bushhier and Bandar Abbas. Thus I sailed on the last voyage of the Michelangelo from Genoa to Bandar Abbas via Suez.

    regards Rodney.

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    Default Re: Cruise Ship of Yesterday.....Michaelangelo & Freak Wave

    images of the incident - including one of her being broken up
    Attached Images Attached Images

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