First off you need to know where you can find tide tables. There are loads of sites that offer them but we really like the clean interface offered by the BBC site
This is pretty straightforward, the tide will be at it’s highest at 0320 and then again at 1505. Note, although it might appear that tides work it in a 6 hour cycle this is not actually the case.
The height of the tide also varies and this is to do with the stage of the moon and it’s gravitational pull. When we have a new moon or full moon we will experience higher high tides and lower low tides. See next diagram
Another important thing to know is that for a period of time at high tide and low tide there is very little gravitational pull and therefore the sea will be relatively still. These slack tides can last 1-3 hours split on either side of the actual low or high tide time.
It must be remembered that there are many other factors that determine whether it is safe to go in the sea. Local knowledge is a huge factor and one which should never be overlooked.
We will be adding some more information on “understanding the sea” over the coming weeks but if you have a question please get in touch.