2.24 Feet

Double-crested Cormorants (Nannopterum auritum)

For some time I have been trying to nail down the exact tide level when the sunken wreck in the North Basin appears. I’ve made a rough eyeball estimate of about 2.5 feet, but wasn’t able to be more precise. This day, my timing was lucky and the cormorants helped me out. They often roost on the wreck and spread their wings, as cormorants do. I happened to be there when the morning ebb tide dipped at 1.89 feet and was rising again. Without the birds, the protruding fin of the wreck, as it slowly vanished, would have been too small to locate and focus. The birds with their antics also kept me entertained as the tide crept higher. The bird on the highest peak of the wreck played King of the Mountain, and successfully defended every effort to dethrone it. Finally, as the tide rose, it stood by its lonely on a perch barely an inch or two above the water. When by my estimate the last visible tip of the wreck was about half submerged and half projecting in the ripples, I looked at my Tides app: 2.24 feet. Finally!

By way of background, tide levels are charted by NOAA, and there’s a cellphone app called simply Tides that tells the levels for your location at this time. The levels are not actual contemporaneous measurements. They’re predictions based on past behavior, so they’ll be off by a bit both as to level and as to time. But they’re consistent and they’re the best there is.

As for the sunken wreck, there’s a colorful story behind that, see “Bad Boy’s Goodbye,” Sept. 22 2020.

Double-crested Cormorants (Nannopterum auritum)

Translate »