The tides at Coxsackie
August 26, 2010: Recently, somebody fastened a tide marker onto the channeling barrier at the old ferry terminal directly across from Coxsackie. It looks pretty official, a board with a sprayed stencil marking on it. A couple of weeks ago when I put in, the tide was almost all the way out so I hung around, waited till the tide had stopped flowing and took a picture of the marker. The low tide that day was just at the bottom of the panel marked "1". Then when I got to the river a couple of days ago, I noticed the tide was flowing out, but was still pretty high, so I rowed across and took another picture. The difference was four and a half feet, pretty surprising. The tide had been going out for a good while, so it had been even higher.
That day I measured the flow of the tide at 1.6 mph which is unusual. Usually it's 1.3 mph at the most. I think it was because the river narrows at Coxsackie, especially near the ferry terminal. If the river narrows, the tide will pick up speed at that point. The tide charts are here if you're interested, I never pay attention to them. I like to take the river like I find it, usually rowing against the tide unless it's just about to change. Sometimes you can get a ride both ways.
My friend Ned told me that if you put a styrofoam cup into the Hudson at Albany, it will get to NYC in about 30 days. The river at Albany is only two feet above sea level so there's not a lot of flow. But during that month the cup would travel a thousand miles up and down with the tides. The Mahican Indian name for the Hudson was "The river that flows both ways."
I went north against the tide until I was above Rattlesnake Island, rowed across and cruised through the water chestnuts that almost block the passage between the island and the shore. I saw a mother and baby Great Blue Heron! I drifted with the tide past the marina by Coxsackie Middle Ground island and shot a pic of this lovely little Menger Cat. Probably a dozen bald Eagles sighted today.