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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay > tidal flow, do you ignore or use it??
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Thread: tidal flow, do you ignore or use it?? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-16-2009 05:38 PM
MJBrown You can also pick them up on NOAA's web site. It also helps to understand the rules of thirds in 2x tides a day regions. If you know the H/L tide times you can do a quick calcualtion on when the current will be at max ebb or flow.

NOAA Tides and Currents - Home
06-16-2009 05:03 PM
tweitz Terminology

Lots of people get confused: tides are the height of the water; currents are the flow of water, largely due to the tides when on the ocean, but with other factors mixed in.

Tide tables tell you almost nothing about currents, and you really need to use current charts to figure things out. I just completed a three day trip where we did Plum Gut one way and the Race (between Fisher and Plum Islands) the other. If you do that without a current chart you will go nowhere. In a normal tide cycle at the Race currents can hit 4 knots. If you are making good progress at 5.5 knots through the water, then your speed over ground will be 1.5 knots if you time it wrong, 9.5 knots if you time it right. You had better think of things like that if you want to get somewhere.

I second the comment on Eldridge's, the current charts are indispensable.
06-16-2009 02:16 PM
deniseO30 Last time I was on the C&D when we left in the wee hrs to ride the tide down to the Delaware on the way home. I nearly ran into a barge! Ye Gods! My mind was not very alert and my eyes saw but it didn't register in my brain fast enough. Never again will I do the night time thing on the canal.
thanks!
06-16-2009 02:12 PM
MJBrown Denise I've made the run down from your area and back a number of times. Definately time your departures so you can ride the tide south. When you get into the C&D the tide does split. You'll likely be able to see it and surely be able to feel it as the helm will feel a bit squirrely on you. Currents in the C&D can run in the 3-5 kt range so be carfeful if you're going to enter either Summit North or Chesapeake City. Before entering watch for other boats entering or leaving and you'll get a good idea of the current. I've seen boats get swept past Chesapeake City because of it. Once you're out of the C&D and into the Elk you'll still have to deal with the current but it won't be as bad. More along the lines of 2 kts. Keep an eye out for tugs pulling or pushing barges through the canal and in the Elk River. There's plenty of room for everyone but they can be on you faster than you think. It's a nice trip, enjoy it.
Mike
06-15-2009 12:27 PM
deniseO30 thanks everyone this thread had been very informative!
06-15-2009 12:15 PM
CharlieCobra Up here it's imperative all of the time as the currents can top 7 knots in some places. I've done some sailing backwards with the knotmeter reading 5 knots of forward progress. Kinda strange to be doing 5-6 knots as you tack up the bay only to keep reaching the same point of land while watching the anchored crab pots outrun ya to windward.
06-15-2009 09:24 AM
WouldaShoulda Paying attention to tidal flow at and through the canal is imperitive.

Otherwise, not so much.
06-14-2009 10:59 AM
T37SOLARE
Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
the only time the currents really matter in mid Chesapeake is at Kent Narrows. There can be a pretty strong current there and you need to watch it doesnt put you on the drawbridge before it opens - nothing that cant be overcome but it is good to be aware of which way it is going
Same is true at Knapps Narrows, Smith and Tangier Islands.
06-14-2009 07:41 AM
sck5 the only time the currents really matter in mid Chesapeake is at Kent Narrows. There can be a pretty strong current there and you need to watch it doesnt put you on the drawbridge before it opens - nothing that cant be overcome but it is good to be aware of which way it is going
06-14-2009 12:53 AM
Danny33 Up here in SE Alaska ..tides are big ,sometimes twenty footers .
Minus four foot some times .
The fishermen tought me to ride the tide where you are going .
If it take s another few days to ride ..it saves time in the long run ..And fuel.

This time of year it doesnt matter what time of day ,you can see seventeen hours in the twenty four clearly. the rest is the gray dawn before day light .
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