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Thread: Camel estuary tides

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Default Camel estuary tides

    hi all, will be in the area and thinking thurs looks acceptable for a paddle on the camel.

    Low tide is at 16.15 , neap-y

    If i set off from wadebridge to get down to padstow for about 16.00, will there be enough water flow to get back up to wadebridge before 20.00 (sunset)? Would involve setting off at about 18.00

    When does the main flood tide surge occur?

    The other option would be a morning paddle from padstow


    thanks in advance for any local knowledge

  2. #2
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    Dec 2008
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    Nr Hampton Court, West London
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    I don't know, and haven't looked, but the web (or the Almanac) will often show the tidal curve for an estuary. the "norm" is a sinusoidal type curve which will have maximum flows around half tide. But the flooding of bars or sandbanks can change this.

    So no help really!!!

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impcanoe View Post
    I don't know, and haven't looked, but the web (or the Almanac) will often show the tidal curve for an estuary. the "norm" is a sinusoidal type curve which will have maximum flows around half tide. But the flooding of bars or sandbanks can change this.

    So no help really!!!
    Well in combination with Quercus links it is a help!

    Note that due to the flow of the river, the curve for wadebridge is highly skewed, whilst Padstow is normal. You only have about 2 hours of flood tide at Wadebridge from 1900 to 2100.

    Assuming the reversal is fairly linear, there is a 3 hour period where LW progresses upstream, so by 1700 it is probably about 1/3 of the way up, by 1800 2/3 and by 1900 LW will have reached your final destination. Setting off at 1800 you will have some assistance from the flood all the way even if it is only a 2 hour paddle. When you start it will probably be a comparatively weak surge but the further upstream you go, the more the flood part of the curve will tend to a traight line so the surge will be quite constant throughout the shortened flood cycle, i.e. from about 1915 to 2045 the flood stream will be roughly the same speed at Wadebridge, and you will probably find a similar effect lower down, diminishing towards Padstow.

    Based on the tide graphs (I have no local knowledge - it can sometimes disagree!) I would think your timing is about optimal, you may not have full flood when you start, but should arrive in the middle of it, although the actual speed of the tide stream will dictate how long the trip actually takes you, 2 hours, or more, or less... At least if you have understimated the time a little, the tide will be with you for another hour.

    How hard can it be?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    N.B.
    Spate conditions can change these curves dramatically.
    This post may vanish at any moment.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Devon
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    thanks for the replies the tidal curves are very interesting, but as you say no substitute for local knowledge/observation/experience!

    we ended up launching at rock in the morning, having some fun in the lumpy water avoiding the ferry and paddling in the calm up to cant hill, then back past rock to the dunes, where the ebb created a fast flow past the narrows opposite st georges cove, the camel is a beautiful estuary and I can't wait to get back to explore and observe the tidal patterns some more, the amount of beautiful sand there is pretty incredible

    only downside is the powerboats! the place must be madness in the summer!

    Having watched the flow just now, I think my original plan would have just worked out, but for a first visit i would have felt more comfortable with an extra hour in reserve, it felt a bit tight with the light potentially going and running out of water!

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