(May 15, 2020) The exceptionally low tides over the weekend couldn’t be missed in the bay and the inlet after Mother Nature dished out several days of blustery winds following the full “Flower Moon” last Thursday.
Morning Star charter boat proprietor Capt. Monty Hawkins said prolonged gusty conditions often have a negative impact on tide levels.
“The main thing is just a hard, hearty northwest wind or westerly gale,” he said. “You get three days of it and, boy, will the water disappear.”
Hawkins also noted the full moon days earlier also exacerbated the situation.
“If there was something going on with the moon … and if you had a wind whipping out … then you would get a double whammy,” he said.
Hawkins said westerly winds typically push water away from shore.
“They drive the water out and we get really low tides,” he said. “Some of the marinas were just flat mud across.”
Hawkins said it’s likely been at least a year since tide levels dipped that significantly.
“It’s been over a year since I’ve seen one that low,” he said. “Usually, they’re in the heart of winter [and] we don’t usually get them this time of year.”
Hawkins said ever changing nautical conditions can alter work procedures.
“Sometimes the tide will be so low we’ll have to go up into the commercial harbor to unload our people,” he said. “It’s part of the game [and] you’ve got to have plan B.”
For his part, Hawkins used the less-than-ideal water conditions to perform seasonal boat maintenance.
“I’m sure glad I wasn’t trying to fish,” he said. “I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.”