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I don't fully understand the relationship between high and low tides and crissy and slack and max floods/ebbs.
I have asked different people and in general it is my understanding that when it hits high tide there continues to be a flood for a period of time before the slack/ebb begins. I have also been told that near shore the tide is different than in the middle.
More details would be greatly appreciated.
The Crissy tides are pretty impprtant to learn and yes they do vary a lot across the channel and near the shore.
Check out this USGS research website that plots the tide flow of San Francisco Bay. The animation sometimes is blurry, but its an excellent tool to plan your sailing activity. Once you get there, click on Forecast/Animations on the left hand side and then choose view the 24 hr animation for that days prediction.
A few times I've looked at the ikite tide and current forecast ahead of time and been surprised to see the water doing totally different things than I expected.
According to these animations, it looks like the flood is most strong to the north of the gate while the ebb is most strong near Crissy. It looks like the flood is always pretty weak near Crissy. This probably explains the discrepancies I've seen (and also makes sense when you think of the geography of the gate). Do the Crissy experts agree with this? Is kiting Crissy on weak floods ok?
Crissy was a moderate flood today and it wasnt bad. It subtracts from the windspeed a bit but itsnt always a bad thing if you can stay up wind without a problem. Its not as easy to get out to the bridge area but it can still be fun.
I would agree with the tide charts being a bit off sometimes.
I simply use ikitesurf and focus on the speed of the currents, rather the timing of eb/flood. E.g. today (Sun 3/2) low tide is at 211pm, but the current will take you west (or into the Pacific) until about 430pm. I think this may answer your question in the sense that the time of low/high tide doesn't match up with slack or zero current. I am sure other people have more sophisticated rationals and approaches, but focusing on the speed of the currents has worked really well for me to date. The only 'weird' thing I often sense is that near the beach, it feels more like flooding all the time (but that's really a subjective experience).
To me the tide at Crissy like counting cards.
It is a + or - thing with a tiny bit of chance.
Knowing the timing of the flood or ebb is important. But you also need to facture that how big of a tide it is as well.
In a 3 or 4 knot flood unless you have kited Crissy a lot you will get a tour of Alcatraz or find out what last chance beach is. On the opposite site donít go too far out the Bridge on a big ebb.
There are many other tricks to reading the tides at Crissy, but the easiest way is to see what the locals are doing and follow their lead.
It would be great if you Crissy regulars would give a little heads up in the coming weeks when you are heading out. I've kited Crissy a dozen or so times, but am always a little nervous, as I don't know if two or three other kites out there really means its worthwhile. I've found its hard to judge kite size too.
I live in SF and besides Waddell and OB, its where I want to spend the most time.
Britt, we're out there anytime it's reading 14 or better and not too bad of a flood. At this time of year you get a lot of sessions that can be made or broken by the ebb/flood. That is because the wind is light (yet steady) and on 12/14m kites totally doable on an ebb but not so much on a flood.
Afternoon ebb all this week...
sometimes Gary Bronson...
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