Hello, a water question here (not Fluid Sim)

I have about a new project i’m working on, and I don’t know if this is even possible in blender…

I want to have spacecraft flying low over water, and making wakes behind them as they go. Does anyone know how this could be done, preferabbly in a not-very CPU-intensive way?

Also, how would I do things like a ship crashing into the water? How do i make the water effects?

For the wake, you could make the sea a softbody and then have a light, downward- or backward-pointing wind with the ship.

animated normal map mapped to an empty following ship? Not very CPU intensive at all.

You could make the normal map by rendering a subdivided plane with the waves modifier or somesuch.

any details availible on how to render out normal maps?

http://blender.org/cms/Normal_Maps.491.0.html

I wasn’t neccisarilly thinking of animating this, just a still image, but now animating sounds like a great idea.

I’ve never used softbodies, how do they work? If the interface is fairly simple to do, then I would love to use them.

By the way, any thoughts on how to do the ‘misty’ spray coming off of the water (like the mist on a waterfall)?

I don’t know what would be best, I haven’t experimented with normal maps.
Softbodies are fairly easy to use, look for tutorials, there are quite a lot.
The mist I’d do with particles.