Coastal living in Alaska—and especially Kachemak Bay—is strongly guided by the incredible force of the tides. Yes, there are tides everywhere that there is ocean. But in Kachemak Bay, we experience the incredible power of the 2nd biggest tide differentials in the world.
So what does that mean? It means that there is almost a 30-foot vertical tide difference between the lowest low tide and the highest high tide. And just to make that clear—that's a vertical difference. The beach you stand on near the water's edge at low tide is nearly 30 feet under water at the highest. So, if you have a gradual slope to the ground, the difference from where the water touches land can be dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of feet.
And the tide changes approximately every six hours. Literally millions and millions of cubic feet of ocean gushes into and out of the bay. And it does this twice a day. Every day. Not every tide is the lowest, nor the highest, but the sheer power of ocean water moving in and out is an endless adventure of being in Homer. And because of the moon and, well, science you can always know exactly when the tide is going to change, and what it's going to be.
Factor that into your planning. If you are dying to do some amazing beachcombing, check the tides and plan your trip when the tides are negative—the bigger the negative, the better the beachcombing.
If, on the other hand, you're an angler with an obsession with fishing, come when the tides are the least extreme (higher low tides, lower high tides) and the fishing will be easier. And better. Fighting a strong tide makes fishing a lot more difficult—on both you and the fish.
Whatever wild Alaska dreams you've been dreaming, though, you will probably need to take the tides into account. Oh...and are you wondering where the biggest tide differentials in the world are?
The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada.