If you are kayaking in the ocean then it will be very helpful for you to figure out what effect the tides will have on your trip. Tides can vary depending on the area you are in and what time of year it is. Unless you pay attention to these changes and plan accordingly, you may find that the water depth is not what you would expect it to be. As you might imagine, this could make kayaking in certain areas far more dangerous than it would be otherwise.
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What Causes Tides?
Tides are caused due to the gravitational pull of the moon on the earth and take about 12.5 hours to change. For this reason, you get about two high tides and two low tides every day. Imagine the moon revolving around the earth. As the moon moves, it’s sheer mass pulls the ocean in the direction of the moon. On earth, this phenomenon makes the water rise and lower near the shoreline.
Since we can track where the moon will be we can track the tidal fluctuations of different areas. There are many different sites or guidebooks that exist to tell you what the tide will be like at a certain place and at a certain time. These guides can help you plan out your kayaking adventure days, weeks, or even months ahead of time.
Here is a tide chart website specifically aimed at fishermen that could help you plan your next kayak trip.
If you won’t have access to the internet wherever you are kayaking or just appreciate having a hard copy consider investing in a tide book. Every area has different tides so you’ll want to make sure that you get a book specifically for that area.
It’s important to note that tides do not always fluctuate between the same two values. Depending on the location of the moon and sun as well as other external forces you might get extremely high or extremely low tides. This is one reason why a tide book is important. It’s incorrect to assume that the high and low tides will be the same day after day.
Lastly, if you are planning a trip out in the ocean make sure that if you are going to be traveling over any areas that are relatively shallow that you do so at high tide. You should also plan ahead to check if there are areas that you can only cross during certain tides. If you do run into this problem make sure that you have a backup plan in case you miss the tide!
Tides are not the only thing you should be paying attention to if you are kayaking in the ocean. Many beaches have strong currents that change on a day to day basis that will affect your kayaking experience. It’s important to know how to navigate through rough water and take certain safety precautions.