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Safe at Sea: How much do you know about the tide?

By Staff | Mar 10, 2020


Before you run aground – or after you’ve run aground – you should learn as much about “the tide” as possible. First, determine just how much or how little you already know. Take the “Captain’s Test.”

– First off, “tide” describes water’s ___ movement.

A: Vertical

B: Horizontal

C: A and B

– This is caused primarily by ___.

A: The sun

B: The moon

C: Centrifugal force

D: The Corrolis Effect

– Tidal current can be incoming even though the tide is falling.

A: True

B: False

– You say the “tide is falling,” but where is the water really going?

A: It moves from the equator to the poles

B: It compresses

C: It heads east

– Compared to a normal tidal range, a spring’s tide range is ___.

A: Average

B: Greater than average

C: Less than average

– Spring tides occur when the ___ and the ___ are aligned with the earth.

A: Sun and moon

B: Moon and stars

C: Moon and planets

– In which phases are the moon during spring tides?

A: Full and new

B: First half and second half

C: First quarter and last quarter

– Compared to a normal tidal range, a neap tide’s range is ___.

A: Average

B: Greater than average

C: Less than average

– Neap tides occur when the moon and the sun are at right angles to the earth. This results in a ___.

A: Lunar eclipse

B: Quarter moon

C: Silvery moon

D: Solar eclipse

– What causes the tidal day to be 24 hours and 50 minutes long?

A: Inertia

B: Friction

C: A and B

D: A tidal day is only 24 hours

– Diurnal tides (one high and one low) occur only in certain locations, such as the Java Sea, Tonkin Gulf and ___.

A: Arabian Sea

B: English Channel

C: Gulf of Mexico

D: Puget Sound

– A region experiencing semidiurnal tides has ___ per day.

A: Two high tides and one low tide

B: Two high tides and two low tides

C: One low tide and no high tide

D: No low tide and one high tide

– BONUS: What type of tide occurs during a solar eclipse?

A: Neap

B: Mixed

C: Spring

D: None of these

The answers are as follows:

– A

– B

– A

– A

– B

– A

– A

– C

– B

– C

– C

– B

– Bonus: C

So, are you the “prince of tides” or are you in “tidal trouble”? Regardless, stay afloat out there!

Pat Schmidt is a member of America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva. For more about the chapter and the courses it offers, visit www.sancapboating.club or contact education@sanibelcaptivasps.org or 612-987-2125.