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The Sea State Code
1999 Kawika Sands

Contrary to what you may think, the Sea State Code has nothing to do with law (concerted sigh of relief ensues!). It is actually a recognized classification of sea conditions. Here, I have inserted the corresponding Hawaiian terms and definitions along with what I think are reasonable qualifications for those conditions.

It may be interesting to see if, at some future time, something like this is used in establishing a system of ranking steersmen and crews. Perhaps even matching them with the prevailing conditions at practice (and perhaps races?). Otherwise, I thought some may find it interesting.

NOTE: The sea conditions listed here are a comparison of the sea states with its' Hawaiian equivalent and a suggested level of Steersman competency.

Beginning Steersman:
#0 0ft. Flat seas, like a mirror -Kai malolo: Quiet sea, as in a calm cove #1 0-0.3 Smooth seas; ripples, no foam -Kai olohia: Calm tranquil sea [lit] peace of mind

Novice Steersman:
#2 0.3-1.7 Slight seas; small wavelets -Kai wahine: Calm, gentle seas [lit] feminine sea

Intermediate Steersmen:
#3 1.7-4 Moderate seas; large wavelets, crests begin breaking -Kai kane: Strong seas [lit] male sea

Advanced Steersmen:
#4 4-8 Rough seas; moderate waves, many crests break, white caps -Kai `upoho: Breakers, whitecaps [lit] resounding sea

Expert Steersmen:
#5 8-13 Very rough seas, waves heap up, forming foam streaks -Kai ma `oki`oki: [lit] streaked sea, ref. to Kona seas

Master Steersman:
#6 13-20 High seas, definite foam streaks and considerable spray -Kai pili `oaiku: A churning, gasping sea

#7 20-30 Very high seas,steep waves,wind-driven overhanging crests -Kai pupule: Crazy, restless, wild, agitated sea #8 30-45 Mountainous seas; very high breaking waves, foam-covered -Kai mauna: Mountainous sea #9 45+ft. Very mountainous seas; air filled with spray, foam-covered -Kai akua: Raging sea too dangerous for man to survive [lit] supernatural sea

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Last Modified: Saturday - 19991113.12:36 EST
Copyright 1999 Kawika Sands
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