Homer, Alaska is located on Kachemak Bay, which has some of the most extreme tides in the world. This week, we had one of our highest “high” and lowest “low” tides of the year. The tidal swing was 26 feet on July 14 when we headed down to the harbor.
We arrived at low tide. Ted needed to fetch something from our boat, so he was willing to walk down the steep ramp to get to the water level.
The harbor’s system of floats and walkways, anchored by a series of tall pilings, rises and falls with the tide. Here, the tide was at an extreme low point of -5.4 feet. Ted is standing just above the level of the water.
For the folks who dock their boats in the harbor’s transient moorage area, there may have been a few surprises yesterday morning. These boats weren’t going anywhere.
When the tide came in approximately six hours later, the transient area channel was once again wide and deep enough for safe passage.
We know it’s a high tide when we can touch the letters at the top of the pilings. This high tide had a height of 20.6 feet.
It makes sense to time one’s fishing expeditions so as to return to the harbor at high tide or within a couple of hours before or after the high tide. A successful fisherperson (don’t we wish we were always successful?) has a much easier time hauling halibut, rockfish, or salmon up to the cleaning tables when the ramp has a gentle slope.