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Basic math vs High Water?

Irregardless of your views about global warming, I can assure you from a “water” or boating standpoint — that either one of two items are happening along the ICW:

a) either the folks who design and construct the bridges can’t do basic math or
b) the water levels are rising.

Let me ‘splain. FIXED bridges…that span over the intra coastal waterway (ICW) are supposted be 65 feet in height — as measured by MEAN HIGH TIDE. This means….on the average high tide….a boat with air draft of 63.5 feet (like ours)….should be able to get under the bridge without ripping off the mast. The math that I took back in high school….tells me I should have a 1.5 feet of clearance at the AVERAGE high tide.

But, something is VERY wrong here. On LOW tide….we find only 64 feet in bridge height — which gives us that breathtaking, heart palpitating – 6 full inches of clearance. So, maybe you can help me understand….whats up with that? Are all of the architects and construction workers using a different math these days? Or….are the water levels getting higher and higher. You decide. The next time I think it’s a good idea to travel along the ICW….please kick me.

We reach our final FIXED bridge to navigate under before nightfall. Unfortunately, the timing puts us at precisely high tide. Considering the lack of room our mast clears at LOW tide….we opt to anchor for the nite just north of this fixed bridge. Our next low daylight tide….is 11AM Tuesday. We drop anchor and collapse with exhaustion over the stress of these fixed bridges.

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