When High Tides Work For Us

By , September 11, 2010

This week we have wonderfully high tides. In mid-winter that could be a scary thought…when the winds whip up and the power of the water can move large rocks around on the beach. But the weather this week has been fairly mild. Of the four days in a row that the high tides were 19.4 to 20.3 feet, only one had too much wind to use a canoe or kayak. To make the good fortune even better, the highs were in the mid-afternoon.

Hauling via canoe 2006.

Hauling via canoe in 2006. (photo: Mark Zeiger)

The lack of wind was not good news for Mark, Dave, and Anke who were in the process of sailing here from Juneau, but it was great news for the residents of our little peninsula. We all used the tides to transport heavy goods across the bay, and in our case, around the point to the house. On our beach we can pull a boat ashore at the boat ramp at about an 18 foot tide. Lower tides require dealing with large jagged boulders, barnacles, mussels and slippery black algae.

Each day, about an hour before the high, there was a flurry of activity in the neighborhood. Piles of building materials, garden supplies, bulk food orders, propane tanks, and new appliances appear on the road side of the bay. Trash and broken appliances appear on our roadless side of the bay. Boats of many descriptions are readied along the shore, loaded, then criss-cross the bay ferrying the goods in both directions. It was not uncommon to see boats stop in the middle to visit, checking in on each other’s projects. All of us thankful for how much it is saving our backs from carrying the heavy loads the same distances.

Aly and I used the high tides to bring propane, a huge bale of peat moss, garden lime (40 lbs!), cat litter (another 40 lbs!) and a tent that has been in the back of the car all summer around the point. We also spent some time fishing for crab bait and placing the crab trap on the bay. It was plenty of work to canoe around, taking a couple hours to make the round trip. But imagine how many back breaking trips that would have been across the trail! We love it when the tide works for us.

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