Tides at Abel Tasman

11.22.10 | Comment?

After the ice, the beach. Justin and I decided to do a classic Kiwi great walk, but nothing too strenuous. We chose the 51km Abel Tasman Coast Track and took our sweet time (6 days instead of 4) to complete it. While Justin provided an in-depth account of our journey on foot, I just want to share what I thought was the most amazing phenomenon. The tides.

Living in San Francisco and being close to the Pacific Ocean, we of course are familiar with the concept of tides. But here, we could witness them in a major way. A whole inlet could be either completely full of water or completely empty in a few hours.

Here’s an example: Bark Bay. This is the view from the hut towards the bay (or inlet) at high tide around 2pm.

The same bay at around 4pm… half drained.

And the same bay at around 6pm, at low tide.

This full retraction and full flood of water happens twice a day. Locals say that the water rises between 1 and 2 meters every time, but can reach 4 to 5 meters at certain times of the year, depending on the moon position.

It blows my mind that the moon does this. Being mostly made of water, no wonder we sometimes feel agitated on a full moon!


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