Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Vernal Equinox

Yesterday it looked rather like someone had pulled the plug on Swanage bay. This was because of the huge range of the spring tides due to the Vernal Equinox. Also known as the Spring Equinox this is when day and night are of equal duration. The two yearly equinoxes occur when the Sun crosses the celestial equator. The vernal (spring) equinox occurs on March 21; the autumnal equinox occurs on September 21.

On days like this launching can be a real problem. At low tide we can very literally run out of slipway. The boat does not slide very well on the concrete toe as you can imagine. Luckily the boat will generally have enough momentum at this point to carry it over. However, yesterday there was a very strong Northerly wind which actually could have slowed the boat down enough for it not to make it. How embarrassing would that be?!

Thanks to the ever hard working Dave for the photo....


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I have to ask...... what would you do?!? Get out and Push?! Lol. Would the boat get damaged hitting the base of the slip or would the momentum (hopefully) carry it over ok.

lifeboatjohn said...

Good question! We wouldn't push, but neither would the boat be damaged. It is designed to take pretty severe groundings and would cope witht his no problem at all. Most likely we would take a long line out to one of our mooring bouys using the ILB and winch ourselves off using the Capstan, we have done this before. It is, as you can imagine, not an ideal situation to end up in!