Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 57 - St. Andrews State Park. FL

I was startled to see only one high and one low tide yesterday. How can this be?

Here's how:

In general, there is one dominant high energy tide per day, at any location; this occurs typically 1 to several hours after the Moon sets at your location (this one has the greatest tide height).

A smaller energy tide (with lower tide height) occurs several hours after the Moon rises. The size of the tides and timing is dependent on the position of the Sun also.

East and west facing locations directly on the large oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, etc.) consistently experience two high and low tides per day because the path of the tide is not hindered.

If your location is within a bay with a narrow opening, such as is the case of St. Andrews Bay for Panama City, it takes a long time for the bay water level to respond to the high energy high tide in the Gulf of Mexico; note that the Aug 1 Panama City high tide occurs some 2 to 3 hours after the Panama City Beach high tide. St. Andrews Bay then starts emptying, working towards low tide, but, again, it is delayed in doing so by the narrow bay opening and so Panama City experiences low tide hours after Panama City Beach.

Only 5 hours later, on August 2 early morning, Panama City Beach has low energy high and low tide within a couple of hours of each other (2:47 and 4:44 respectively), which are hardly different in height. It's impossible for St. Andrews Bay to respond to these quick and small tide changes, so the low energy high and low tides simply do not occur at Panama City. In reality, the low energy high tide serves only to keep the water level in St. Andrews Bay higher overall between high energy high tides, than would occur if it could respond to the low energy tide.
It was windy the last few days and all the boats stayed home. Winds have died down and there is a lot more to see on our stretch of waterfront. I got up early this morning and was thrilled to see lots of birds fishing and a school of dolphins on parade. No need to pay $15 for the dolphin cruise AND I won't get seasick here. I inherited a propensity for mal de mer from my father. His all time low was 16 days in a troop transport to the South Pacific in WWII. My most humiliating was a flat calm day on a Casco Bay Lines ferry. And yet I keep returning to the water as if it will just go away. It doesn't.

We went out to pick up the bicycle this morning. It is all fixed up now and only cost $20. On the way we noticed a produce stand and decided to stop. This was almost 11am and the owner said he was just getting set up for the day but invited us on in. We did the requisite chat and then bought eggs, tomatoes, new potatoes and a jar of Tupelo honey. Omelets perhaps?

We've been meaning to get our flu shots since September but somehow never did. Today was finally the day. I was surprised when they said our insurance didn't cover them. Really !?!
They'll pay for the hospital visit if you get the flu but not the shot to prevent it.? So we paid out of pocket and I'm going to be writing to UHC.

It is 71 degrees this afternoon and very little wind. Seemed like just the right day for some lounging around. A camp site on the water, some shade, a book, a cup of coffee and a lounge chair sound perfect to me.

Brett is putting the seats on the bike. It must be time for some recreating. We pedaled all around the campground and then visited the interpretive center down by the ranger station.

 The art in the wild for today is titled "Al Fresco Sea Turtles".  I don't think I like that title.  It sounds like we will be eating the turtles.
 They have wonderful exhibits explaining the flora  fauna &of the area. There are also several exhibits with archaeological artifacts-arrowheads, potsherds and the like. It was well worth the visit.
  Then we made our way over to St. Andrews beach. This beach was named the most beautiful in America in 1995. It is still very beautiful. It certainly fits more with the Florida of my imagination. There are lovely dunes with sea grass, white sand, boardwalks and a sparkling sea with only a hint of high rises in the distance.

The wind was in full force Gulf side. The flags indicate medium hazard conditions due to wind or current and dangerous marine life. I think the marine life might have been jelly fish.  We may have seen a jellyfish next to the campsite or maybe it was a plastic bag...

 This boardwalk leads out to one of two gun emplacements that were built here to defend against German submarines during World War II.  The other one is buried in the sand dunes somewhere to the west of this one.  They were decommissioned after about a year with no shots being fired.

After our pedal we sat at our campsite, had a margarita and watched the world float by.
Very worthy day indeed.

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