May’s full moon is known as the Flower Moon, though it has many other nicknames by different cultures.And this Friday and Saturday, Island Camps will hold our monthly full moon paddle tours.
These popular tours, sell out quickly. Our Saturday tour is already full, but you can still join us as we paddle around Deerfield Island park Friday night. All levels are welcome as our tour guides run you through ground school before getting into the water.
Participants will paddle into our beautiful sunset and then enjoy the spectacular moonrise. This month we will experience a blue moon.
According to Space.com.
“The moon shows its full face to Earth about once a month. Well, sort of. Most of the time, the full moon isn’t perfectly full. We always see the same side of the moon, but part of it is in shadow. Only when the moon, Earth and the sun are perfectly aligned is the moon 100% full, and that alignment produces a lunar eclipse.
And sometimes — once in a blue moon — the moon is full twice in a month (or four times in a season, depending on which definition you prefer).
The full moon of May occurs on Saturday, May 18, at 5:11 p.m. EDT (21:11 GMT) – but will appear full the night before and after its peak to the casual stargazer.”
More About the Full Moon
The moon is a sphere that travels once around Earth every 27.3 days. Did you know that it also takes about 27 days for the moon to rotate on its axis? That means that the moon always shows us the same face! According to Space.com, there is no single “dark side” of the moon (sorry, Pink Floyd).
On average, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day, which means sometimes it rises during daylight and other times at night.
Moon’s Ocean Tug
Most of us know that the tides on Earth are caused mostly by the moon.
Here’s how it works:
First…The moon’s gravity pulls on Earth’s oceans. High tide aligns with the Moon as Earth spins underneath. High tides occurs on the opposite side of the planet. This is because gravity pulls Earth toward the moon more than it pulls the water.
At full moon and new moon, the Sun, Earth and moon are lined up. This produces the higher than normal tides. These higher tides are called “spring tides”, for the way they spring up.
When the moon is at first or last quarter, smaller “neap tides” form.
Also, the Moon’s 29.5-day orbit around Earth is not quite circular. Therefore, when the moon is closest to Earth, spring tides are even higher than usual..
Tides and Surf
And these tides can also affect our surf. Since the tide is produced by the attraction of the moon and sun. The tide also has a sinusoidal~ pattern between levels of maximum high tides and a minimum low tides every day. Every break has it’s favored tides, which is mainly due to the bathymetry (or the contours of the ocean bottom) of that specific break.
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Most spots favor a ‘low going high’ or when the tide is on the rise, since the “tidal push” helps the forward momentum of waves. The tide is pushing in as the waves move in, toward a common direction. This also would explain that an outgoing tide may counter the the incoming momentum of waves.
To explain it more…On incoming tides, the deeper water enables the raw swell energy to to move a little closer to shore with less of a friction factor from the bottom.
But, too high of a tide for most spots will swamp the surf out, creating fat, slow and mushy surf. The high tide can cause the waves to break more onto themselves rather than top to bottom.
So when the wind and the moon cooperate, we can get those perfect groundswells we love.