HOME OF THE WORLDS LARGEST WAVES
about 106 miles from Point Loma.
Cortes Bank is an island that just didn’t quite make it above the surface of the sea. The bank is about 18 miles long, like Santa Catalina. The Bishop Rock knoll is only 3 to 6 feet below the surface. There is a buoy that marks the area. It is a dangerously shallow chain of underwater mountains in the Pacific Ocean.
The rock is named for the ship "Stillwell S. Bishop" which ran into the rock in 1855. The Bishop didn't sink there; her crew patched her hull and sailed her safely to San Francisco; but the name stuck. It is also located well into the southerly trade winds that generally lurk off the southern California Coast.
On 2 November 1985 the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) struck the Cortes Bank reef about one mile east of Bishop Rock during exercises, putting a 40-foot gash in her outer hull on the port side, and damaged 3 of 4 propellers. She continued operations, then went into dry dock at Hunter's Point Shipyard in San Francisco for repairs.
Ocean waves can be 1000 ft deep but as they move slowly up over the bank the water is pushed up maybe 40 ft. into the air. The waves are really crazy. USS Enterprise CVN-65 Encounter
DIAGRAM OF WAVES PUSHING OVER CORTES BANK
THERE ARE THREE POINT WHERE THE WAVES RISE HIGH
THEN THE WATER SPREADS OUT OVER THE BANK
MAGES ARE FROM THE "HOW IT WORKS" VIDEO.