Tidelines and Ocean Currents

Tidelines – it is spelled both ways but I prefer the one-word form.

A tideline, according to Wikipedia

refers to where two currents in the ocean converge (or meet). Driftwood, floating seaweed, foam, and other floating debris may accumulate, forming sinuous lines called tidelines.

Two-rivers-that-meets-but-do-not-mixThe topic of this article came about after I saw the photo above.The photo actually shows two oceans meeting, but is similar to what happens with the tides on the ocean further south, especially with reference to the Pacific Ocean on the Canadian British Columbia (BC) coast where the tides change (from high to low and back again) twice a day – sometimes rising and falling by as much as seven (7) meters (22 feet)! Continue reading

Incidents at Sisters & Ballenas Islands c. 1920s

– Elizabeth Kate (Stannard) Smithman (Wife of Henry Herbert Smithman who was Senior Keeper at Sisters Island 1927 – 1929). Story donated by her grandson Allen Smithman. 

Sisters Island c. 1927 - photo Allen Smithman

A Near Miss at Sisters Island c. 1928 

One evening while I was taking the night watch till 2:30 a.m. I was sitting writing a letter and all at once I heard a lot of noise like a big engine and lots of music playing. I jumped up and went outside and I was struck nearly speechless for there was a big Alaska liner so close to the lighthouse, just over the highest reef in the rocks that was there. 

The music and singing sounded so close. I stood there waiting every second to hear it crash. I thought of the Titanic instantly and I was afraid to even move. My first thought was of course was that the light had gone out but just then I saw a flash go over the liner and I knew the light was OK. It gave me such a scare, I was shaking all over and I went and called Bert to look at the big liner that had just gone right over the top of the reef. He said “My God”! If those people had only known just how close they had come to disaster they wouldn’t be singing like that – of course they would have sung “Nearer My God to Thee” like the people on the Titanic did. (Strange he should think of that disaster too). It was really a pretty sight. (The liner itself I mean) for it was all lit up and it looked like a big long tall Christmas tree.  Continue reading