Friday, September 24, 2010

Being Otis Redding

One of the great things about living next to a big river (The Merrimack) that empties into a big ocean (the Atlantic) is being able to watch the tides.
 I get glimpses of the changing tides as I go about my day, and I always try to see how closely I can predict the time of the next high (or low) tide by watching the water and the boats. 
Here's what I saw as I  walked by my favorite kayak put-in this morning around 11:00.

Not "full" yet.  See the high-water mark?

The boats were kind of wishy-washy on their moorings, but still being pulled mostly upstream with the bows (attached to the moorings) pointed out to the ocean. (The current, which of course runs constantly out to the ocean, wants to pull the boats downstream all the time.  When the tide is coming in, it is even stronger than the current going out, so it swings the boats around on their moorings.)

The water looked pretty slack (not in a hurry going either way,) and I know that the water runs the fastest when it is about halfway (3 hours ) between low and high tides.

So I guessed it was about an hour this side of high tide.  When I got home I checked the tide table and saw that I was pretty close.  The next high tide today is at 12:30.

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