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].
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...
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