View Full Version : Irish sea really so rough?

04-12-2005, 01:07 AM
I had a patrol in the Irish sea (don't ever go there, ignore orders) The whole time I was there, there was a 15m/s wind and some of the nastiest seas I have encountered in the game. Was it really this nasty in the irish sea? From looking at the map I would guess it to be fairly protected and calm.

04-12-2005, 03:27 AM
Although the Irish sea looks as thoughit should be fairly sheltered between the two land masses, this is not the case. It's notorious for having some of the roughest seas around Britain. One of the ferry services that runs between Holyhead and Dunlaoghaire had two versions of a catamaran high speed ferry. The smaller one was quickly dubbed "The Vomit Comet" and was soon removed from that particular service. I think that type now run the Isle of Wight service but I'm not sure.

So yes, The Irish sea can be pretty nasty. I've had more rough crossings than calm.

04-12-2005, 06:13 AM
Ah the Irish sea, brings back memories,coming from Belfast i used to cross the Irish sea on a regular basis to Liverpool a 7 hour trip.What a bloody nightmare mountains either side howling gales and feeling helpless because theres nothing you can do about it.Someone told me that because its a narrow channel between the 2 land masses thats what makes it so bad a place,the storm fronts come rushing down the small gap causing it to bottle neck all its force in such a small area ,its not an uncommon occurrence for the sea crossings to be cancelled.Also i do know through paying attention in my history lessons in school that one of the Spanish Armadas was wrecked in storms around Britain and most ended up on the Irish coast line ,and if you ever come across an Irishman with black hair and blue eyes chances are he is a direct descendant of a Spanish sailor shipwrecked off Ireland who stayed met an Irish girl and well you can guess the rest.Just thought i would throw that last bit in ,yes the Irish sea is very bad

aboard "The Black Pig"
off the Spanish main

04-12-2005, 06:56 AM
The Spanish Armada ended up on the Atlantic coast of Ireland not the Irish Sea. They were unable to sail back through the channel due to the English fleet blockading east of Dover so the battered fleet decided to return to Spain the long way around Scotland.

The Armada didn't know about the the gulfstream, in fact no one did at that time and turned south too early assuming they were much farther west than they actually were.
The south west -> north east currents are so strong that their heavy ships could not sail against them (in fact they were sailing backwards) and they became trapped against a lee shore and subsequently wrecked.

04-13-2005, 12:18 AM
I never said they were wrecked in the Irish sea ,i said they were wrecked in storms round Britain.

04-13-2005, 06:26 AM
A friend from my college days works on ships which conduct sea bottom surveys, having sailed in most parts of the worlds oceans he dreads the Irish Sea and North Sea surveys.
Apparently they are both prone to snap gales, huge waves and generally lousy sailing conditions.

04-14-2005, 03:35 AM
Ah you did. My apologies Captain-Pugwash. Must have linked the topic to what you said and done 2+2=5 or something.

I've been on the "Vomit Comet" as BlitzPig has aptly named it. Its not good.
Why the Irish sea seems to be always like that I dont know, must be different currents acting on each other or something.

04-14-2005, 09:13 AM
I dont think the game models zonal weather. I think the weather is the same everywhere at the same time and it changes in a set time.

04-14-2005, 09:25 AM
Maybe, maybe not. It wouldnt be hard to implement weather models depending on the zone. Very easy in fact.

Either way, the Irish sea is bad. Only time i was ever sea sick was going between Wales and Ireland

04-14-2005, 02:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mightyduck100:
The Spanish Armada ended up on the Atlantic coast of Ireland not the Irish Sea. They were unable to sail back through the channel due to the English fleet blockading east of Dover so the battered fleet decided to return to Spain the long way around Scotland. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I believe the decision to sail 'the long way' was made based on wind more than anything the English did. The Armada had this little problem in that it couldn't, as a group, sail as close to the wind as the English could. Additionally, many of the Armada ships were made for coastal or Mediterranean waters. It simply wasn't feasible *at that time of year* given expected weather for them to sail back via the Channel. Other than that minor nitpick, I think yer exactly right about why so many of the ships ended up shipwrecked there.

I recently re-read David Howarth's "The Voyage of the Armada". For folks who enjoy this type of history (I suspect many folks here?), it is very much worth reading. Howarth is a former navy officer and has a fairly good understanding of both sailing technique and available technology in the late 16th century.

The book reads as much like an adventure story as it does a history book. His purpose in writing it was to present the Spanish side, since the event has historically been portrayed more as an English victory than a Spanish sailing story. He's obviously quite sympathetic to the leader of the expedition (The Duke of Medina Sidonia, Alonso de Guzman el Bueno). After reading Howarth's book, I am too. His arguments are quite convincing.

A few statistics from his book that stuck in my head (and thus may not be entirely accurate! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif):

The Armada: 130 ships
The survivors: ~65 ships
The dead: 20,000 Spanish soldiers (2/3rds of the original force)

The British: Can't remember how many ships; but *more* than the Armada (not less as is commonly stated)
The survivors: Virtually all
The dead: A few hundred (though thousands subsequently died in the months after due to disease)

It's quite a story.

04-14-2005, 06:19 PM
LoL man what a disgrace, Medina Sidionia was an incompetent, he seasicked and he didnt know a **** about the sea and war. Incompetent and coward, but he wasnt guilty, he tryed to avoid the nomination adducing his little competence and his bad health but "Felipe II" didnt listen to him. Both sides lost a good amount of ships but spanish get the worst part. I dont see it as a pure british victory but a victory from the earth.
Spanish sailors who arrived england after the shipwrecks were killed... u never wont read it about english sailors who landed in spain.
The key was that english had faster and better handling ships. Spanish ships were monsters with thounsands of soldiers in it. Remember that spanish doctrine was to get enough close to aboard with marines (this was the most feared thing for english crews) while the english doctrine was hit and run. And it worked very well.