Wind tides (Seiche – pronounced “saysh”) were new to me but today we had a lesson in them. We woke up this morning and readied the boat to go. Pendragon, our neighboring boat was doing the same. Both Mr. B and the captain of Pendragon (a hired captain not familiar with the channel here) decided to take a run up to the office to talk to Tom, the marina/boatyard manager of Wayfarers.
Mr B was going up to say goodbye and thank Tom for the great service that we received. The hired captain for Pendragon came in late last night and was quite surprised to see the way out of this marina and wanted to know anything special that he needed to know to get his boat out of the channel and into the river. Anyhow, they both ended up in the office at the same time where Tom explained that because of the wind tides, the channel was a good two feet low with shoaling and he recommended that neither of us leave until either the wind changed or after the contractor that he hired had come in and dug the channel out. The contractor was due in at about two this afternoon so Mr B & I decided that we would wait until tomorrow. The Pendragon crew was hoping to perhaps get a few hours in before dark but by the time the contractor was done, it was too late for them to leave.
So what are these wind tides you are wondering. The easiest description that I could find that made sense to me was on the Ohio.gov site where it talks about the seiche on Lake Erie. It says “A seiche is a phenomenon whereby winds on the lake cause the water level to rise at one end and drop at the other. This rise in water level is sometimes called a wind tide, wind set-up, or storm surge.
When storm winds subside, water levels try to return to equilibrium, leading to the most interesting aspect of a seiche—the “sloshing” effect as the surge at one end of the lake rolls to the other end. Soon, the end that previously had the highest water now has the lowest and vice versa. It typically takes from 6 to 12 hours for the wave to travel from one end of the lake to the other, and the back-and-forth rolling usually continues for more than a day. Each time the wave rolls across the lake, it becomes attenuated; so assuming the wind doesn’t pick up strength again, the effect is never as intense at the initial wind set-up. Eventually, to the eye, the wave is indistinguishable from the many small waves that stir the lake surface.”
So there was my lesson for the day. Captain Pete that will be taking Pendragon and its owner to the Hudson river said that in his forty years of moving boats, this was the first time that he couldn’t get OUT of a marina. Mr B and I were lucky because we still have a vehicle here so we took a drive to Morehead City and had a shrimp sandwich at El’s and then to Walmart for a few supplies that we wanted.
I leave you with a few photo’s of the excavator digging out the channel that will take us out to the river in the morning…at least that is the plan – BUT – anyone that travels by boat knows that you need to be flexible. We will see what tomorrow brings.;-)