Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tidal Zone

When we passed the new moon the tides started doing their spring thing, which is running hard and fast. Sailors divide ties into Spring and Neap. Spring tides coincide with the full and new moons and Neap tides which are the weakest and show least height changes are at the phases in between when the crescent is growing (waxing) and shrinking (waning). Spring tides produce strange effects in the Keys especially in the gaps between the islands where Gulf of Mexico tides meet Atlantic Ocean tides.Gulf of Mexico tides are completely weird, unpredictable and irrational. Some days there will be one tide and others there will four tides in a twenty four hour cycle. On the other hand the tides in the Atlantic on the south side of the islands is regular and predictable and on a four tide cycle every 24 hours. So there are times when the Gulf and the Atlantic collide or flow together and create great rushing streams of water. Endlessly amusing for a passer by with nothing more urgent to do......than stand and watch the great flow of the river of salt water.

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