It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera

Faithful: Maybe it is just me, but the images show a very placid ocean; like a large dark swimming pool. Are there no waves in this game?

Actually it depends on the weather. :) It may happen that the see is as smooth as velvet... Or it might be as the hell unleashed where your boat bounces on the waves like a ball on a football pitch. Add a fog to it and you'll have the Archangielsk convoy mission.
it is to my belief that these ideal weather screens were chosen because there is more light on them and so it's easier to distinguish things on thumbnails.