Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Low tide

One of the highpoints of a trip to the coast is low tide. For those who need a refresher, tides shift every six hours...more or less. When the tide is out quite a bit of the ocean floor in some areas becomes visible. Pacific City is one of the spots where what is not visible at high tide becomes so when it is low. Not all tides are as low as others. The tide charts that are published quote the tide as how much above or below Mean Low Tide. A not so low, low tide (here at PC) will be 2.5 (feet above MLT). While a really low, low tide will be -2.5 (feet below MLT). Today at noon it was .6. Not bad, but not as low as we have seen here.

What you can see are the lower portions of rocks that sit at water's edge along with pools of water that are left when the tide runs out. There are sea anemonae, several types of star fish, muscles, clams, barnicals, hermit crabs, sea urchins and little tiny fish called sculpins. There are other things, but I am not a marine biologist, so I will limit my comments to the above.

Lots of people come here to look at the rocks and tide pools, so they are always inhabited, if not crowded. People with kids, mostly, but there are old geezers like us who like to walk around and see the sights. We spent an hour there and came away shaking our heads at the beauty and wonder of the undersea side of nature.

The art is to walk on the rocks where you can without disturbing the marine life and keep your feet dry, but see all there is to see. The anemone are my favorites (right after the star fish) somce they are soft and very sensitive to their surroundings. They will close on anything that disturbs them. And they are oh, so squishy.

Next Tuesday, our last day here will be the lowest tide between now and then, and Tru will be with us. I would be willing to bet that we will visit the tide pools then, too.

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