Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Highs & Lows

Before we moved on to a boat, a friend gave me this piece of advice to chew on, "The highs are very, very high and the lows are very, very low." Little did I know she was also referring to the tidal range. The Chesapeake Bay is not known for its tides, a just few inches up and down. Unless you live on the water like we do and observe the change each day, you probably wouldn't even notice it.

But once in a while the magic combination happens and we're living at the extremes. A nearly full moon + 24 inches of snow rapidly melting with a sudden warming + a steady 24 hour rain + a southerly wind pushing the Atlantic waters up into the Chesapeake Bay = flooding and insanely high tides.

This is what we woke up to.

Yeah, that's a long way down. And the stinger was that a wheel from our boarding ladder fell into the briny deep the day before, so getting on and off the boat was a wobbly endeavor at best.

With the water lapping over the planks, the marina turned off our shore side dock electricity for the day for safety. Normally no big deal as we run primarily on solar power. But we were socked in with fog ALL day (and it was a short day at that) and trying to run our winter heaters, without success. In other words, a long, cold, dark day counting the minutes until low tide.

The funny thing is, these extreme high tides usually happen in summer (when we don't care if we lose power and the sunshine goes on forever.) This time of year we have the opposite... with north winds emptying the Bay and we often wake up down low looking UP at the dock.

I love being able to feel the music of the tides as the sun and moon and earth do their cosmic dance. Perfectly in step, the earth eternally steadfast in holding tight to all things terrestrial. But ocean has a mind of her own, lured in every time, twice a day, reaching, swelling, yearning for the moon.  They tease and flirt. And we mere specks of flesh and blood can do nothing to change that. We just watch in awe of what the power of pure attraction can do. It's true this life has a lot of highs and lows. But if you can feel that universal rhythm, you realize that you just need to adjust the lines, check on your loved ones, and carry on.

Weeks like this always have me humming that Bob Marley song (so sweetly covered by Jack Johnson and Ben Harper)

In high seas or in low seas
I'm gonna be your friend,
I'm gonna be your friend.
In high tide or in low tide,
I'll be by your side,
I'll be by your side.


Anonymous said...

still I find your life completely amazing... and me, such a wimp for needing to turn up the thermostat here... I really love love love reading your blog! Thanks for being on here... :)

Shanda said...

Thanks for giving us land dwellers some glimpse into your world, amazing! Oh, I love Jack Johnson's songs. A big hit here is the songs he did for the Curious George soundtrack!

kherbert said...

That is so neat. I love your blog. May I use the 2 ladder pictures in a lesson about tides for my 4th graders? They have a hard time visualizing tides. If your answer is yes, how would you like your credit.


5orangepotatoes said...

Oh my goodness, I feel a little wishy washy after this post (and cold). I have the worst fear of water, my first memory is my first dip in the pool, screaming my head off and strangling my mother.

However, I am in awe of you and your family for living your dream. What a super cool way to live a childhood! BTW, we would love to be pen pals, I'm so sorry I'm just getting back to you on this. We'll have to exchange addresses.....

LOVE that little spaniel!

boatbaby said...

Kimberly- of course you can use the photos and no need to credit, it's all in the name of science! Also you may want to show your 4th graders this amazing clip from the Bay of Fundy. Makes us look wimpy indeed!

Little Lovables said...

Lovely post, I wonder, if there are nights you are tempted to pack up and stay at a hotel?

gardenmama said...

I really enjoyed this post Cindy. It feels like way too long ago now, but over the summer when we stayed on a tiny island for a week I felt like our days and nights were in tune with the tides and the sun and moon. We all felt such an incredible connection to the dance of the ocean during that time and it brought forth such creativity for all of us. That time is still carried very close to my heart. It is an amazing thing to "feel" nature so closely in this way. I do wish you and your family lots of warmth and sunshine : )

boatbaby said...

Lisa - only if the hotel is in the tropics ;) We get offers from kind hearted friends all the time to crash if we need to. So far haven't needed to take the offer. We like to stay with the boat through thick & thin. She is part of the family afterall!

Gardenmama, thank you for sharing your memories! It sounds like that was a very special time. It's amazing the way experiences in nature can impact you! Living in tune with the tides & sun is a fabulous rhythm to follow.

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