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  1. #1

    Flat - Full Moon?

    Eh, i know this might be really wrong, but does anyone remember the waves actually being good when there's a full moon? All it does is turn everything into a shore break and make the tides more extreme.<br /><br />The bad thing is, it's not just the one day of the full moon, it's the whole week around it. <br />Could be the cause? Because there were some 2-3ft waves yesterday, just unridable.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Inland, near DC
    Posts
    152
    Quote Originally Posted by apbb View Post
    Eh, i know this might be really wrong
    Yup.

    Wind makes waves, wind kills waves, waves dissipate over time and distance.

    The moon phase influences tides, but not enough to make or break a swell.

    If your break is only good at a certain depth of water, the tide still passes through that depth on its way to the extreme high/low.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Wilmington
    Posts
    2,340
    There could be an exception when the swell is shorter period wind swell: We don't bottom fish much around full moons because how they affect the current. Usually on a mean-tide day out 30 or so miles in 90-120' of water the current runs at about 1-2 knots unless there is a prevailing wind in the same direction, then maybe 3.5 knots at most. During the full moon and a couple days on either side, the current in these areas will be ripping between 6 and 9 knots with no wind. So, if the current is moving that fast and it is going against the swell direction or at a decent sheer, it can have a noticeable affect on the swell height, period and power.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Inland, near DC
    Posts
    152
    OK, so it can happen, but not as a general rule. I've surfed many a good swell during a full moon phase, including one ill-advised night surfing adventure in your area, Erock if your Wilmington is NC.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lewes, DE
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    I agree that there can be an influence from the tidal changes on to currents and the tidal currents can have influence on swells in the nearshore zone... This is why the incoming versus outgoing tides can be quite different. I think this is seen the greatest in coastal areas with inland bay areas, where you see a significant current coming in/out of large bays, such as the Delaware Bay, Chesapeake, New York sound, etc... or small local influences around inlets and river mouths. Other areas, seem to do just as well on a medium tide at outgoing or incoming.

    So, with a full moon, you will see a larger tide change and thus greater incoming and outgoing currents. But, if you have very little open ocean swell, its not going to do make much of a difference anyway.