Like almost everything else, the ocean is different here in San Clemente, Ecuador. The attached web-site shows the tides near Manta, Ecuador (only about thirty miles south of here) – http://tides.mobilegeographics.com/locations/3576.html. The times for the tides in Manta are the same for us here in San Clemente.
Just under six hours after peak high tide, low tide comes in and then just under six hours later high tide arrives again. So, twice in any twenty-four hour period there are high tides and twice a day there are low tides. And since the timing between the two tides is just under six hours, the time of day for low tide and high tide changes day to day.
I think that is pretty much the same everywhere in the world. What makes San Clemente, Ecuador different is that we are so close to the equator that the waves, tide, and current action is relatively calm as the prevailing currents sweep away from the equator and moderate the ocean movements.
Another unique thing about San Clemente is that the beach is so flat that, although there is only about a two meter difference in depth between high tide and low tide, the slow sloping beach makes for a beach about 100 feet or more wide at low tide and little or no exposed beach at high tide.
This is a picture of my beauty walking southward on the beach near our friends Jan and Wayne’s house at low tide. The beach is wide and open and the compacted sand makes long walks easy and enjoyable. We regularly check the tide chart to see when low tide is scheduled so that we can plan our day’s activities around a leisurely stroll down our beautiful beach.
High tide is another story!
If one does not time his or her walk to coincide with low tide, one might find the passage around the rocks in front of Jan and Wayne’s house blocked by waves like this.
An open beach like this
can close off to a forbidding wall of waves like this.
In addition, there are times when the moon aligns just right and other tidal factors combine to make the tides more dramatic – increasing to almost 3 meters difference between low and high tide over the usual two meter difference. So that a usual high tide like this
where fishermen still have room to carry their bags of fish to the waiting trucks becomes something like this where the ocean threatens to spill over into the Palmazul Hotel swimming pool.
In the year that we have lived here, we have witnessed two extremely high tides. Here are some pictures of the highest tide we saw where even the fishermen’s boats were only barely high enough up on the beach to avoid the waves.
So, if you plan to walk the tranquil beaches of San Clemente, Ecuador with Mary and me, check the tide charts and plan your timing accordingly!
Life is good in Ecuador!