My best picture of OI is in my mind. I've seen it flat calm and so rough that you get seasick watching inlet from the bridge.
My last memory (prior to selling my offshore boat in 2004) was clearing the inlet at 6AM with 2-3' swells, and returning at 4PM with a northeast 15-20kt wind and an ebb tide. What a difference!!! 6-10 foot waves were breaking across the entire inlet. It was nothing but foam. I had to time my run through and ran just enough power to keep the aft swell from crashing the stern, but not too much to run over the swell in front and plug the nose. I remember the look on my father-in laws face (and I am sure he remembers mine) as we were half way through, when he looked back. Nothing by white. The horizion was gone and all you could see were the tops of the cresting waves. The GPS guided me in the entire way as I could only see the channel bouys as I rode high on a swell. That was the worst run through that inlet in 7 years of fishing OI.
Once I made it through, and the color returned to my knuckles, I realized that it probably would have been safer to wait out the tide and run in a slack tide. However, sometines you may not have a choice.
Treat that inlet with respect, or it will eat you up!!!!
it was pretty today---10 foot breaking wave all the way across--listened to a trawel boat crossing and he told the other trawlers behind him not to try and come in. The commerical drop net fleet turned around and went home. Getting worse tomorrow