Adriatic Ups and Downs

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DSC_0684We had always dismissed the effect of the tide in the Mediterranean Sea. Considering 12m tides in St Malo or 11m ones near Weston-Super-Mare, and considering the Mediterranean Sea in comparison, let alone the Adriatic Sea in particular, let alone a relatively small bay on the Croatian coast, let alone a relatively small bay on the Croatian coast which opens to the North. Surely, considering all this, there can be no tide worth mentioning in the Mediterranean Sea.

However, if you imagine yourself in a small sit-on-top plastic kayak in the middle of a relatively small bay on the Croatian coast (which opens to the North) while the practically non-existent tide comes in, and if you consider the fact that this bay is approximately 60km long and 5km wide, even an inch or two of tidal difference amount to a lot of water, particularly so if you paddle against the incoming tide and strong winds.

T’was good fun. We crossed from Starigrad-Paklenica over to the island of Pag on a dead calm sea (a ~3.5km distance, an “open sea” paddle of ~45 minutes for us), and enjoyed a secluded empty beach with grains of sand the size of a newborn’s head, our picnic lunch and a swim in absolutely stunningly clear waters. Our return was at the time of the aforementioned tidal currents, so we worked ourselves against the elements for a while, then made a tack and rode the currents back home, taking the waves at a 30..45 degree angle – just as much as we dared before the boat would tip over.

Even though the distance travelled on the return must have been longer (on account of the tacking), I don’t think the return crossing took any longer than the outbound paddle.

On other occasions, we observed up to 0.3m of tidal difference (it reaches almost 0.4m in Split). I never knew, or realized.

 

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