Ambler Isle
V and S
Thu 3 Feb 2011 14:54
First thing we check each morning is the wind speed and direciton.  Second thing is the tide.  Is it high? low? rising? falling?  Fresh water boaters in our previous life, we knew nothing of tides.  In salt water tides affect everything.  If we don't know the tide status, we might try to go out a cut with the wind and tides going in opposite directions and find ourself in a "rage." (A rage is every bit as awful as it sounds.) We need tide information when we anchor so we don't swing into shallow water and go aground.  If we guess wrong when anchoring the dinghy for a beach walk, we may have to either swim out to fetch it later, or look for 6 strong men to help us get it off the beach.  At dock, we have seen boats hanging like condemned criminals from their lines when they are tied without regard to tides.  It affects our diving and our fishing success.
Amber Isle is equipped with a Tide Clock to help us sort out this problem.  Tides ebb and flow from high tide to low tide over a six hour period.  The first two hours, the current starts slowly.  The next two hours the currents are extremely strong.  The final two hours it gradually decreases. 
In many ways, we become more in turn with nature when cruising the Bahamas.  It makes life simpler, but also can add more confusion.