Naples Beach

tidal

Mystery of the “high-high”
And why I love the low-lows

Tides are highly predictable …

But also confusing on Naples Beach, Florida.

A glimpse into the tidal mayhem

The reason: Blame the moon and sun and the position of the shoreline. The tidal cycle is semi diurnal – giving us 2 high tides and two low tides per day. But sometimes the highs are really high (i.e. high-highs) and the lows are really low (i.e. low-lows) and other times the lows and highs are in between (i.e. low-highs and high-lows) which look like a camel’s back (see above). In a nutshell, I still can’t figure it out other than tides are higher and lower during full and new moons. Even more confusing than the tides is the longshore current. Unlike where I grew up in Maryland where the longshore current always flowed south, on Naples Beach it reverses from one day to the next.

My personal favorite: A low-low. I love walking in the tidal pools and the hard flat sand feels good on my feet.

Long walk off short pier
It wasn't always a dead end

It’s a short walk on Naples Pier before you have to turn around.

But did you know it used to be the only road out of town?

Brief history of Naples Pier

That was before south Florida had roads.

Residents, tourists and supplies all traveled to Naples by boat.

What we know today as Old Naples was the entire town.

All the rest of modern-day Naples was swamp.

Most recent closure

Today the closest remnant of the swamp is twenty miles away.

Now that is a long walk!

End of the road?
Long walk off a short pier

Naples pier seems like a short enough walk:

Just a thousand feet more and it comes to an end.

Naples Pier is a historical landmark

But, in the time before roads, that’s where the journey just began.

The only way in and out of Naples was by boat.

That made Naples Pier more a beginning than an end.

tidal waters

Line in sand

When do the gulf waters end and the Florida landmass begin?

According to this arrangement of seashells, the answer seems to lie somewhere between low and high tide.

Florida stakes its claim midway up the beach face

Or for better precision …

We may need a licensed surveyor.