Tide Graph: Life's a Beach

Tide Graph: Life’s a Beach The ocean is something that has mesmerized me since I was young. I used to sit in the car at our local beach and stare into the open water and watch the waves roll by. My dad would patiently explain the dynamics of the ocean, making sure to warn me of the many hazards involved.

Then I would watch as my father and all the “uncles” fish and surf. Although I spent a lot of time on my own, I enjoyed waiting, watching and observing. So when my brother mentioned that he found a tide graph app for the iPhone, I was ecstatic. Thesis] The Tide Graph application (by Brainware Navigation) is a great app for anyone to use, whether you are always at the beach (like me) or just on occasion[Thesis].

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As I have learned from all my time hanging at the water’s edge, the tide affects many things. Waves break differently and the ocean shifts between high tide and low tide and can affect the strength and even the direction of currents. Many biological functions in marine organisms have evolved to live in accord to the tides as well.For example, given a popular area of turtle grazing, one can easily tell the relative tide to how much algae is still above the water line. Turtles tend to feed on the high tides, where they are able to reach their food without climbing out of the water and stumbling over the rocks. The tides also affect what fishing and gathering methods we use. During times of extreme low tides, limpets and other eatable invertebrates are best harvested.

This is also a good time to “throw-net”, an Asian-introduced fishing method. The shallow waters allow for easier capture, shortening the time for fish to escape.In deeper waters, fish can easily swim down and out from under the net’s grasp. On the flip-side, it’s good to go pole or spear fishing when the tide is high. Like the turtles, much of the fish feed on algae that cannot be reached during low tide. Also, with more water over a reef, you’ll be less likely to snag a rock, and more likely to snag dinner.

So how do you download the Tide Graph app? You can simply download the app from the iPhone iTunes Apple App Store. There are also versions available for android that you can download from the Google Play App Store. Once ownloaded, you have immediate access to pre-programmed tides for many of the major harbors in America. It also calculates the specific rate of the rise and fall (ft/hr) at the present time, representing the intensity of tidal change. Important for planting, harvesting, fishing and navigation, this application even has the moon phases as well. The application has proved to be accurate and is described as the “Best Selling Tide App since 2009? by iTunes Preview. It also allows you to navigate back and forth between days and times.

And did I mention that it was 100% free?In a Cnet review, Bryan Aamot summarizes the app as “…very inexpensive and gives you predictions for any date you like. It even stores the graphs so you can use it later when you no longer have an internet connection…” One of my classmates Daylan mentioned; “Sometimes I hate looking at those confusing tide charts that they sell at many stores…” I too find myself fussing with those charts; the constant flipping back and forth between the displayed tides and the conversion charts. Then you have to painfully calculate the tide for your specified region by both adding or subtracting time and tide differences.Another classmate Lyle Timpson stated; “I wish I had it when I went surfing out kohanaikis this weekend so that I could have predicted the wave type that was out that day. ” Perhaps one of the most important features of this application is the promotion of ocean awareness and safety. Knowing the ocean environment we live in can make a difference between life and death. All in all, I find this app to be one of the most used electronic tools.

Since we live on an island, I’m sure most of us will be able to use this app at some point.Whether going surfing, fishing, camping, diving, or having a family outing at the beach, it’s good to know what the tide is doing in advanced so you know where to set your things down if you are within a tidal zone! Tides greatly influence the lives of fishermen, surfers, vacationers, marine life and many coastal communities! If someone were to ask me what the tides looked like for the day, I can respond; “The tide is rising at a rate of 0. 4’/hr and peaking at 4:01pm at 1. 7, but you better leave now because the sun sets at 5:56pm”.

It may be more of an answer than they may have been expecting.