Low_tideBeach_FogThe weather in Maine changes rapidly. Sunny then fog or rainy then clearing. As much of coastal Maine was reformed by the last glacier retreat, our Southwesterly winds tend to come up by 10:00am and drop by 5:00pm. Our warmest ocean temperatures hit the low 600 F in mid August.

Plan ahead for our unpredictable weather  by checking the local radio or TV broadcasts but the National Weather Service forecast through NOAA or Weather Underground. Marine weather forecasts are very important and should be checked if going on coastal waters. Turn your head around and look at the weather throughout your trip and adjust your plans accordingly. If you hear a thunder boom or see lightning - Get Off The Water ASAP!. There is no time to play. Land at the first place you can find shore and then get out of your boats, pull them up, tie them and turn them over if possible, and seek shelter. Avoid single tall trees, orange colored rocks, and tree roots running to the shore and water. Do spread out or get inside a building.

Our tides have between an 8' and 12' vertical rise and fall. That means in shallow beach or mudflat areas the high tide you launched in may force a 1/2 mile walk through sucking mud upon your return if you miss your tide. Sometimes you were planning correctly but you took too much time exploring an island or taking photographs. Perhaps you couldn't paddle as fast as you expected against the wind or the waves. There are many reasons why you might miss your ideal return time. There are many true stories of how boaters forget to tie up their boat or SUP and while exploring an island returned to their landing spot to find it missing (the tide took it). All-tide boat launches are rare. Maine Harbors gives local tidal information for the launch area you will be using. Check it or any reliable tide chart before heading out and know the next two tide cycles as well.

Below  is a tide chart sample. It gives high and low tide times, the average height or fall, the sunrise and set time and the moon phase. The moon affects our tides as do weather patterns or storms. Take a personalized class or workshop to learn how to use all these tools to your best advantage. If you don't, you might be setting off a flare like this harbormaster during a demonstration to summon help.

Flare_demo_1

DATE   HIGH   LOW   sun moon
AM ft PM ft AM ft PM ft RISE SET MOON
1 Sun  
11:00
8.6
11:07
9.4
 
4:48
0.5
4:55
1.1
  5:29 7:44
2 Mon  
11:38
8.6
11:41
9.6
 
5:26
0.3
5:29
1.1
  5:28 7:45
3 Tue      
12:14
8.6
 
6:01
0.2
6:03
1.1
  5:27 7:46
4 Wed  
12:15
9.6
12:50
8.6
 
6:36
0.1
6:37
1.1
  5:25 7:47
5 Thu  
12:49
9.7
1:27
8.5
 
7:12
0.1
7:14
1.2
  5:24 7:49
6 Fri  
1:26
9.7
2:05
8.5
 
7:50
0.1
7:54
1.2
  5:23 7:50
7 Sat  
2:06
9.7
2:47
8.4
 
8:31
0.1
8:37
1.3
  5:21 7:51
8 Sun  
2:50
9.6
3:34
8.5
 
9:16
0.2
9:26
1.3
  5:20 7:52
9 Mon  
3:39
9.5
4:24
8.6
 
10:05
0.2
10:21
1.2
  5:19 7:53
10 Tue  
4:34
9.4
5:19
8.8
 
10:59
0.2
11:21
1.1
  5:18 7:54
11 Wed  
5:34
9.4
6:17
9.1
 
11:56
0.2
      5:16 7:56