sunrise : again

sunrise : october : loreto

stop
inhale the morning

listen
bird chatter and the tumble of beach stones
gull chatter and hammer of woodpecker on palm

feel
moist / dry
desert with a hint of breeze

watch
blue becomes orange becomes red becomes pink
yellow orioles, diving terns, rummaging godwits

night ending
day opening

yes
again

A “One Tide” Day

Tide Chart : Loreto, BCS : 23 October 2012

A one tide day? With the low tide last evening before midnight, and the subsequent low tide tomorrow at 12:07am, Loreto will on this day, have only one tide.

How is that possible?

As I’m not an expert on tides, I sourced Oceana, in an attempt to understand this conundrum.

Tides are regular rises and falls in sea level, accompanied by horizontal flows of water, that are caused by gravitational interactions between the Moon, Sun, and Earth. They occur all over the world’s oceans but are most noticeable near coasts. The basic daily pattern of high and low tides is caused by the Moon’s influence on Earth. Variations in the range between high and low tides over a monthly cycle are caused by the combined influence of the Sun and Moon.

Okay – That part is simple. Digging deeper :

High and Low Tides
Although the Moon is usually thought of as orbiting Earth, in fact both bodies orbit around a common center of mass—a point located inside Earth. As Earth and the Moon move around this point, two forces are created at Earth’s surface: a gravitational pull toward the Moon, and an inertial or centrifugal force directed away from the Moon. These forces combine to produce two tidal bulges in Earth’s oceans: one toward the Moon, and the other away from it. As Earth spins on its axis, these bulges sweep over the planet’s surface, producing high and low tides. The cycle repeats every 24 hours 50 minutes (one lunar day) rather than every 24 hours (one solar day), because during each cycle, the Moon moves around a little in its orbit.

Tidal Patterns
If no continents existed and the Moon orbited in Earth’s equatorial plane, the sweeping of the tidal bulges over the oceans would produce two equal daily rises and falls in sea level (a semidiurnal tide) everywhere on Earth. In practice, landmasses interfere with the movement of the tidal bulges, and the Moon’s orbit tilts to the equatorial plane.

Consequently, many parts of the world experience tides that differ from the semi-diurnal pattern. A few have just one high and one low tide per day (called diurnal tides), and many experience high and low tides of unequal size (known as mixed semidiurnal tides). In addition, the tidal range, or difference in sea level between high and low water, varies considerably across the globe.

Monthly Tidal Cycle
In addition to the daily cycle of high and low tides, there is a second, monthly, cycle. In this case, the Sun and Moon combine to drive the cycle. As with the Moon, the interaction between Earth and the Sun causes tidal bulges in Earth’s oceans, though these are smaller than those caused by the Moon. Twice a month, at the times of new and full moon, the Sun, Moon, and Earth are aligned, and the two sets of tidal bulges reinforce each other. The result is spring tides—high tides that are exceptionally high and low tides that are exceptionally low. By contrast, at the times of first- and last-quarter moon, the effects of the Sun and Moon partly cancel out, bringing tides with a smaller range, called neaps.

Okay, neap tide. Alas, the moon is not at it’s last quarter, but “waxing gibbous,” or a moon that is “appears high in the east at sunset. It’s more than half-lighted, but less than full.”

A further web search takes me to discussions of distant places, such as the Gulf of Carpentaria in Australia, where one-tide-per-day are not uncommon – something to do with narrow opening of the bay and water trapped.

Tides, it turns out, are more complex than the simple pull of the moon. A final note from abc.net.au,

Now this special one-tide-a-day thing happens in other places, for exactly the same reason – places like the Gulf of Thailand, the Persian Gulf, the South China Sea and even the Gulf of Mexico. It just so happens that all these places are some of the very best places on Earth for catching fish. I wonder if the once-a-day tides makes the fish all confused, and easier to catch?

It did seem that extra Pangeros headed from the Loreto Marina this morning before sunrise. Maybe there is something to more fish and one tide?

All I really KNOW at this point, is that today, there is one tide – a high of 1.64′ will occur at 8:27 AM, followed by a low of 0.09′ tomorrow morning at 12:07 AM.

When Friends Come to Visit

Cynthia and Cal Wagstaff rolled into Casa de Catalina late Saturday morning.  They’d been making their way down Mex 1 through missing asphalt, torn up roads, water filled arroyos, and detours in the wake of Hurricane Paul.  The drive from Hailey, Idaho is part of their annual re-migration their beautiful casa in San Juanico.  I’d worried about their drive – and was glad to see their smiling faces on arrival.  Chica Bonita and Pancho piled out of the car behind their owners.

Cal wasn’t as convinced that they should stay – he was pretty much about ‘let’s get home,’ but Cynthia prevailed.  We swam, SUPd, laughed, we played with dogs, ate and enjoyed cocktails in the patio.  Love my friends – and all the spontaneity that seems to be what Baja is about.

Morning SUP with Friends

Morning SUP in post-Hurricane Paul waters with Kama Dean and Samuel Young. Paddled down to the Kinninger’s Rancho Jaral to ‘pick them up’ and headed north up the Loreto coastline. Fun to be with friends on a crisp bright morning. Hard to imagine that a mere 36 hours earlier we’d been hunkered down to weather out the storm. The Sea of Cortez – tranquil, if not loaded with lots of floater palms, cactus parts and bits of broken tree trunks.

A small swimming eel-like creature was very attracted to my board – and I thought he might want to hitch-hike, but kept swimming along head up and searching. Identification anyone?

Heaven’s Palette

After the rain : and before the next. The sky breaks out her palette of colors beyond the brush and pigment. Hues and shades that catch in the throat with their beauty. A veritable cloak of golden light that beckons, woos, dances on the edges of the mind.

Under my feet, the sand, the desert – already paying hommage to the life gift of water from the earlier deluge. Everywhere the scent of moisture. Pools, small lakes of water. Arroyos that have found the sea after too many months of drought. The rushing waters sing with their ebb and flow …..

Beautiful Dreamer

Beautiful Dreamer

Sultry morning. Long slow paddle in mirror-like seas.

Undulating jellyfish lazily propel themselves along the surface of still water. “Common” Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), these are the most familiar of the species. Four gonad rings – usually purplish/pink – are visible through the translucent body. In the blue-green sea this morning, they appear more golden in color. Short numerous tentacles hang from the margin of the bell. The large quantity makes me reconsider an early swim. While the sting from these is considered mild, a sting is a sting is a sting ….

Besides the undulating jellyfish, artic terns, blue-footed boobies, Elegant frigate birds, and long-necked cormorants populate the morning count. I find myself in such awe of my surroundings that I cannot lift my camera. Rather, when a group of pelicans approaches, their wingtips mere inches from the surface of the sea, I simply hold my breath, listening to squished sound of the air between the water and their bodies.

Farther up the coast, three sea turtles lift their heads in curiosity. My board and paddle are stealth-like compared to the noisy engines of the pangas. The largest of the three lingers on the surface watching me, and I paddle toward him. I find that turtles are relatively shy, and this one is no different. As I approach, he lowers his head and dives beneath the surface. I see his broad green body as he glides underneath the shadow cast by my board. His tips his head once, and our turtle-human eye contact is complete.

I paddle farther, thinking of the turtle and the conservation efforts across the globe by groups like Grupo Torugero, or in Loreto, Eco Alianza, whose missions are to protect the natural world and those species that have become endangered or nearly extinct. Funny, this role of mankind on the planet. We seem to constantly push ourselves – and this planet that we love – to the brink – one way or another, before we can become conscious enough of our actions to change and alter our course.