Sunday, February 3, 2013

King tides hit California coast this week

High tide near Asilomar Beach, Monterey, after storm surge last November
“Time and tide wait for no man,” wrote Geoffrey Chaucer, and so it is for Northern California kayakers. This week, we’ll see the last “king tide” of 2013 on the Californian coast. It’s a phenomenon that occurs when the Earth, moon and sun line up and accentuate the gravitational forces that create tides and primo paddling opportunities. 
You may recall some news reports of unusually high tides in December and January. Yup, king tides. But Feb. 7-9 will be the last such uplifting event in California for a while. (Low tides will also be lower than usual.) Find more specific info on king tides with this Google map. Check on your favorite coastal launch spot with this tide table. Or charge up that camera battery and take part in the California King Tide Initiative, which explores tidal activity and the effects of global warming.

(Update, 2/9/13: A trip to Tomales Bay on the "king tide" gave us a free ride into the marshes at up to 3.5 mph. Video below.)