Hello. Visiting Waldport next week. Wondering how affected the bay is by tidal currents. Any advice on when the best time to paddle during the tide cycle ? Was not planning on ever going below the bridge. Am an intermediate paddler.
I don’t know the specifics of the area, so here are some generalizations from looking at map and tide chart.
6-7’ tidal swing twice a day on average, which would lead to likely significant currents to cause that much water to come in and out. If you are on a full moon or new moon, one of the daily tidal swings would be in the 8-9’ range, while the other will be 5-6’.
You can get a tide height estimate by going to https://www.bask.org/trip_planner/4.14/ and then moving the map to Waldport. Click either green pin to see the info for that location. Only tide height estimates for there - no current estimates.
Currents generally trail tide height. My guess is that if high tide is at 12, the high slack tide (when the current stops to change directions) would be at 12:30. The hour before and after each slack has weakest currents, and it builds until half way between the high and low slack is when currents are strongest.
A way to make it easy would be to time your paddle to be around the slack tides. Next Wednesday (June 23), high tide is at 1, so high slack is probably at 1:30 or so. If you launch near bridge before then and ride current upstream and then at 1:30 you turn around and paddle back downstream, you will get a push from the current both ways and not be padding during the highest current times.
Numbers are for Wednesday. Each day earlier, move times one hour earlier. Each day later, move tide one hour later. Or look at the link above for specifics of specific days.
West coast areas often have lighter winds in morning, building to stronger winds in afternoon. Winds usually from west, so going up stream. An afternoon paddle toward mouth could be difficult, so keep this in mind. The tides would help you back on Wednesday, but the winds will likely slow you some.
Peter. Thank You! This is the exact information I was looking for! I really appreciate you taking the time to type all of that for me. This helps me immensely so I can plan our paddles so we don’t fight the currents so much. You are a kind man