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pschoonveld 08-22-2009 10:13 PM

Tidal departures
I'm new to salt water and leaving NY Harbor for LI Sound tomorrow morning. The forecast is calling for "tidal departures around 1 ft above normal expected around the time of high tide."

What exactly does that mean?

My assumption would be that Hurricane Bill has resulted in higher than average tides. Hence, the exiting tide would be slightly faster and so forth. However, I'm confused by the use of the word departure in referring to high tide.


sailhog 08-22-2009 10:46 PM

I believe the "departure" is from the predicted high water tide, which is based upon the sun and moon's position relative to the earth. With Bill in the neighborhood, the departure from mhw is expected to be approximately a foot higher than it otherwise would. So if you look at a tide chart, which doesn't take into account atmospheric events, you can add a foot. Bear in mind that tides always change either a little or a lot from one cycle to the next even in the absence of massive storms because the positions of celestial worlds are always changing. So what I'm saying is that you're essentially right....

Have fun tomorrow.

labatt 08-23-2009 07:37 AM

Also, keep in mind that if the tide is bigger, Hell Gate is going to be affected. We usually leave about 30 minutes after the favorable current (going the same direction as us) starts and fly through the East River with anywhere from 3 to 8 kts of extra current. I wonder what this change in tide will do to it...

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