The sea can be as calm as a small pond on a hot summer day, or it violence can be beyond imagination. I have been told by more than one sea officer that they have experienced violent weather that make even seasoned seaman "sea sick".

As a freighter passenger the chances that you will experience weather such as pictured below are slim, but still you never know. Ship owners do everything possible to avoid really nasty weather, but not because any passengers happen to be aboard. Bad weather can damage both the ship and cargo. Ships will deviate from their planned route to avoid the havoc a storm can cause. Better to use a little more fuel and take a little longer to reach port safely than to tuff out a storm. While at sea ships continually receive telafaxed weather reports and may be directed to make course changes by the Captain or the company, via satellite radio.

The weather at sea is described in terms of the BEAUFORT WIND SCALE.Here is an excellent page that describes the Beaufort Scale. I have experienced force 7 conditions (waves of 13.5 to 19 feet, with winds of 28 to 33 knots).

Below are pictures of the high end of the scale, force 8-11, left to right. Be patient, it will take a few seconds for the file to load. What you see initially is a compressed picture that can't be viewed "full screen" until completely loaded

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