Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 52

I know I've been bleeting on for the last week about it, but we've just come back from Fiji, where we stayed at Musket Cove which was just the perfect place for our family holiday.  As you know I can't even think of staying somewhere that my travel bible TripAdvisor doesn't recommend, and one of the negative comments about this resort was how tidal it is, and it is seriously tidal.  As you can see from the photos above, at high tide, the beach is gorgeous, white powder sand, turquoise water type of perfect, but at low tide (and as the tide is going out or coming in), we're talking grey, ugly tidal flats.  Hmm, not painting a rosy picture am I.  Suprisingly, it's blimmin brilliant for the kids.  They'd build mud creations, go looking for crabs, dig pools in the mud and basically keep themselves occupied until the tide turned and it started coming in again.  They liked the variation and the different high tide vs low tide options.

So one day with late afternoon cocktails on the beach, reclining in our loungers while the kids played and we watched the sun go down, the Husband asked " what makes the tide go in and out?", "I think it's got something to do with the moon, tell you what, I'll find out for us..." I replied thoughtfully, supping on my pina colada.

So here I am.

What makes the tides change?

Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun and the rotation of the Earth. The gravitational attraction of the moon causes the oceans to bulge out in the direction of the moon. Another bulge occurs on the opposite side, since the Earth is also being pulled toward the moon (and away from the water on the far side). Since the earth is rotating while this is happening, two tides occur each day.

Spring tides are especially strong tides (they do not have anything to do with the season Spring). They occur when the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon are in a line. The gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun both contribute to the tides. Spring tides occur during the full moon and the new moon.

There you go.  And I'd be back at that beach in a shot - regardless of tide.

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