Determine which direction the current goes? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-26-2011 Thread Starter
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Determine which direction the current goes?

How does one ensure which direction the current goes from the tide table.

NOAA/CO-OPS ODIN

For examples:

1. Hell Gate in NYC
I assume in the flood stage, the current goes into LIS

2. Cape May (at Ocean side or River side),
I am not sure about this one

3. Chesapeake City, MD
I assume when floods, it will go from Delaware river to Bay side

4. Knapps Narrow, MD
No current ?


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post #2 of 12 Old 07-26-2011
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I do not know about the area you are in, but here in Puget Sound, San juans and north, there a books that show the general tide flow at different times of the flodd/ebb flows. Sometimes you would think something would go one way, reality is, it goes the opposite!

maybe someone has the name of said book for your area. Very handy frankly!!

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-26-2011
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Dawg,

Eldridge has the times and directions of the current changes. It tells you the direction, time of change and maximum velocity of flood and ebb for a particular day. ( not factoring in rainfall or other weather events)

Currents directions are always given in True.

Hell's gate ( east river) floods East or toward LIS and Ebbs West toward the Battery and out through the Verazzano. ( The Narrows)

Cape May inlet ..would Flood West...and Ebb east. The times are listed in the front of the eldridge book and are based on the Delaware Bay entrance. either + or - time..

Chesapeake City...would flood toward the Chesapeake bay. and ebb toward the mouth of the Delaware bay....The C and D Canal has it's own tables in eldridge.

etc etc.

So you would go to the particular spot you're interested in knowing the time of the current changes...see what major point the timing is based on and either add or subtract the time given in the current stations.

Eldridge will give you time of current turn, and the maximum velocity of flood and ebb for that day.

Eldridge is essential equipment on my vessel on the east coast. I know that there are many ways of obtaining this information, but I like having the book in my hand even if it's to check what my Plotter and handheld is telling me.

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Last edited by Tempest; 07-26-2011 at 07:32 PM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-26-2011
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Dawg,

Sorry, I just noticed your link to noaa's tide tables. That link only has tides..not currents.
you need the current tables....here for east river, for example.

Current Station Locations and Ranges

and here:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/get...50&ebbavgd=230

Also, you need to verify if the times are given in EST or DST ..Eldridge gives time in daylight savings time...not sure what noaa is doing here.

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Last edited by Tempest; 07-26-2011 at 07:54 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-26-2011
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Many people mistakenly believe that all the time between low tide and high tide is a flood current and all the time between High tide and low tide is the ebb current. NOT TRUE! Leave the tide tables and check the current tables.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-27-2011
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Where a narrow gut passes water between two larger bodies of water, the current seldom changes with the tide. Particularly if the tide range differs on each side.

From personal experience, the Cape Cod Canal comes to mind. So does the Rigolets in Louisiana. In both, the current shifts around half-tide on the rise, same on the fall.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-27-2011
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Fave fun on your trip.

My experience like SV Auspicious is that Annapolis to the Canal is no more than 7-8 hours.
From where we are its about 6. We usually do not like stoppping in Chesapeake City because, 1- the yahoo in their 17 ft boats anchored with no scope and 2 the shoaling althoough they have dredeged somewhat. We usually go straight through an anchor behind Reedy Island for the "EXPRESS" (tide change). You can catch a few hours of rest rather than fight it most of the way down the Delaware till it opens up into Delaware Bay where the current run is not as strong.

You should have no trouble making it through the canal as it is 55 ft a mean high water. It is a savings of 2 hours from the slog around the corner. Right after the last bridge (Parkway) through the canal is a nice family owned marina called Utschs. We have stayed there many times to where they know us by name. It is within walking distances to to good seafood restaurants ( Not the Lobster House unless you go to their takeout or fresh fish market).

You will motor a lot until maybe you get down the Delaware bay some and catch the onshore ocean breeze past Egg Island usually. Do not stay near the channel and feel free to cut across to the canal entrance, just watch the depths on the chartplotter and the fish traps. The only area I actually do the channel or even close to it is Cross ledge.

Have fun trip and oh yeah two things work against the NJ state insect (the dreaded green head fly). Avon Skin So Soft and a fly swatter. By the time we usually reach cape may we have massacured over 100 of them in our cockpit.

Have fun.

Dave


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post #8 of 12 Old 07-28-2011
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Note that NOAA's online current tables explicitly define the direction of ebb and flood at the top of each monthly page. As in:

Flood Direction, 097 True. Ebb (-)Direction, 278 True.

This is especially important for places that connect two bodies of water, like the C&D Canal, where ebb and flood are not intuitively obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
3. Chesapeake City, MD
I assume when floods, it will go from Delaware river to Bay side
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
Chesapeake City...would flood toward the Chesapeake bay. and ebb toward the mouth of the Delaware bay....The C and D Canal has it's own tables in eldridge.
I'd ask you both to re-check the NOAA tables. They say that flood is 097 true, which according to my compass rose is from Chesapeake to Delaware.

If you're interested in classroom instruction, ASA105 covers this type of thing.


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Last edited by TakeFive; 07-28-2011 at 09:21 AM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-28-2011
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I just look out at which direction the waves/crest/water is moving in relation to my boat. Add the tassels and I have a good idea of wind and current.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborless View Post
I just look out at which direction the waves/crest/water is moving in relation to my boat. Add the tassels and I have a good idea of wind and current.
Fine for a daysail. Not so good if you're planning a cruise.


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