Saturday, December 16, 2017

Timing the tide


January: Grand Tacarib, Trinidad - Lush forest vegetation meets quiet coves and massive rock formations on the rugged north coast, with some beaches accessible only by boat or hiking trail. —Photo: JONATHAN GOMEZ

Mark Fraser

The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) recently launched their 2014 tidal calendar which highlights the beauty and life on land and in the sea. The exercise, which was aimed at creating awareness of the many creatures in the ocean and on our shores, was spearheaded by community education officer, Lori Lelum. Twelve photos were shot to represent each month of the year. The calendar showcases the most interesting and unusual wildlife that exists around us.

Chief information officer (CIO), Institute of Marine Affairs, Beverly Foster-Hinds, said, “This was a collaborative effort by the entire staff. What we really wanted to do was to create an appreciation of the marine environment and encourage the preservation of it.”

“There are so many unique things that live among us that we probably take for granted. The calendar not only shows the beauty of these creatures but also gives the public, bits of information about these animals that some of us probably did not know even existed. All of the information for the calendar is generated by the IMA and shows all the work that we do,” she added.

One of the more interesting features on the IMA calendar is the listing of the tidal readings which gives the times for high tide and low. It can be read in two ways; the time of the tides is given using the 24-hour clock system. Method one, read the values given below the tidal graph for each day, there are generally two high tides and two low tides daily. A minus sign indicates a low tide. In some instances a value for a fourth tide may not be given as that tide occurs after midnight and thus falls on the next day.

Below each day’s graph, the time for the first tide is given on the top left, followed by the tidal height. The time of the next tide is read off the top right, again followed by the tidal height.

The time of the third tide is read off the bottom left below the graph, and so on.

Method two, read the data from the tidal graph for each.