Not only an excuse for a party.
Yesterday, with uncertainty about today’s weather still hanging in the air, Rebecca and I took advantage of the “calm before the storm” to lay down to sleep on our boat’s trampoline under a bright full moon. That is, until the rain drove us back inside of course. August 2012 is a unique month in that there will be two full moons, the second one, what is called a blue moon, will take place on August 31st. As I understand it there will not be another blue moon until 2015!
In addition to the increased visibility that a full moon in a clear sky affords us, it has another significant effect for boaters. That being, it alters the height of the tides.
Even most non-boaters are familiar with the concept of high and low tides. The range of these tides is not constant though, nor is the time that they occur each day. When the moon is full, as it was yesterday, the high tide is at its highest point for the month and the likewise, the low tide will be at its lowest. This larger spread is referred to as a Spring Tide. Conversely, when the moon is half way between full and new, what is referred to as a Neap Tide occurs, and the spread between high and low tides will be its smallest in that particular month.
In areas where there is a large tidal swing, many boaters need to pay close attention to this, especially when attempting to navigate shallow channels or entrances. In Grenada, where there is only a foot or so difference between high and low tides, this isn’t super significant but even with those small values, we can still see the affect that the moon has on the water.
Taken this morning. Calm before the storm?