Even if you feel you have made all the preparations you need to make for your next deep sea adventure, consider this: as prepared as you’ll ever be, your boat is just a tiny dot on a massive ocean subject to powerful tides. These tides are so powerful that you could get taken far out into the ocean before you know it if you don’t understand the way they work. If you do get to know the tides, you can use them to your advantage. You can save gas and move quickly from one place to another in your Canadian vessel.
What are Tides
Tides are like waves that take a while to roll across the whole planet as the ocean is pulled back and forth. This pulling is done by the moon and sun as they interact with planet Earth in their annual and monthly orbits.
In most areas of the world, tide differences are around 3 to 4 meters and are easy to predict. However, in a few areas such as off the coasts of Alaska and China, the phenomenon of bore tides takes place. A bore tide happens when the foremost part of an incoming tide forms a wave or more than one wave. It travels up a bay or river in the opposite direction to that of the bay or river and can range in size from a few feet to over 30 feet. Boaters are urged to be very careful of bore tides.
When the Earth, moon, and sun are almost in alignment, which is during full or new moons, tides are affected so that low tides are a bit lower than average, and high tides are a bit higher. This phenomenon is known as a spring tide. Spring tides take place twice every lunar month, regardless of the season. Boating enthusiasts are urged to know the tides for where you’ll be on the ocean and plan accordingly.
Seven days after a spring tide, we experience what is known as a neap tide. This is much like the opposite of a spring tide in that the high tides are a little lower than average, and the low tides are a little higher. In other words, there is not much difference between high and low tide levels. Neap tides take place when the moon looks as if it’s half full, in the first and third quarter moon.
A Handy Rule of Twelfths
You can work out the likely height of tide and its flow into an area with diurnal tides. If you know the time of low or high tide, you can work out how it will move in and out as follows: 1/12,2/12/,3/12,3/12,2/12,1/12.
Ask the Locals
If you’re boating in an unfamiliar area, do some research into the area’s tides and talk to the locals for advice.
For more information about your Canadian vessel call at +1 (800) 419-9569 (Canada)