TURNAGAIN ARM OF COOK INLET .. A TIDAL ‘ BORE TIDE ‘ ..

It is my hope that once-in-awhile .. on my humble web site here .. I will be able to share with some-of-you .. something totally new-to-you that you can enjoy. 

Below is your beginning class on ‘Bore Tides’!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Here in the United States .. South of the City of Anchorage located in the State of Alaska .. there is a body-of-water called Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. 

The vertical tidal fluctuations in Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet are among the highest in the world.  The vertical tidal fluctuations in the Bay of Fundy in Eastern Canada between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on the Atlantic Coast are generally considered to be the most severe and the most well-known.  The Bay of Fundy has had vertical tidal fluctuations of fifty five (55) feet as measured from high tide to low tide!

When the out-going tide collides with the in-coming tide .. once in awhile .. from time-to-time .. a phenomenon called a ‘Bore Tide’ occurs.  A ‘Bore Tide’ will often occur during an especially high vertical tidal fluctuation often at the time of a full moon.

This phenomenon is also called a ‘Tidal Bore’. 

‘Bore Tide’ followers consult their ‘Tide Tables’ and try to predict when they will be able to see an especially good ‘Bore Tide’.  From time-to-time local newspapers will actually advise us of a possibly significant upcoming ‘Bore Tide’.

Really significant ‘Bore Tides’ tend to be very rare and difficult to witness.  Patti has been watching for them for fifty years as she has driven along Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet.

Yesterday .. Friday the 4th of October .. 100% ABSOLUTELY AND TOTALLY UNEXPECTEDLY .. Patti and I saw the most magnificent ‘Bore Tide’ that we have ever seen!

Yesterday we had a ‘new moon’ NOT a ‘full moon’. The vertical tidal fluctuation was approximately thirty (30) feet.  ‘Technically speaking’ these were NOT OPTIMAL conditions for a phenomenal ‘Bore Tide’ !  However !  There was a very significant wind blowing in the direction of the out-going tide and this is indeed a factor when the wind is blowing against the in-coming tide !

Patti and I were stopped at a vehicle turn-out along the Seward Highway at milepost 95.3 and I very ‘idly’ snapped the below two photographs to show the ‘Termination Dust’ on the far distant mountains.  I was NOT looking for nor expecting a ‘Bore Tide’ !!

AUTUMN2, BORE TIDE 033

I mean is this one beautiful place-on-earth ??

AUTUMN2, BORE TIDE 031

I tend to ‘fuss and fiddle around’ with my camera light readings and so I snapped the two below photographs of ‘Termination Dust’ on the distant mountains.

AUTUMN2, BORE TIDE 034

When I saw the above and the below photographs I fairly ‘screamed’ at Patti ..

“Look Patti! There is a ‘Bore Tide’ right-in-front of us!”

AUTUMN2, BORE TIDE 035

The ‘Bore Tide’ is the white-line-wave in the above two photos.  It results from the outgoing tide colliding with a larger-than-normal significant incoming tide.

LET’S DRIVE SOUTH PATTI AND CATCH-UP WITH THE ‘BORE TIDE’! 

And out and off we two drove South in ‘hot pursuit’ of the above ‘Bore Tide’.  Into the Seward Highway vehicle turn-out at milepost 94.1 we raced to ‘join-a-crowd’ of other cars in ‘hot pursuit’ of the ‘Bore Tide’!  There were absolutely NO parking places so we just ‘double parked’ our car and dashed to photograph the ‘Bore Tide’ as it was coming quickly upon us!  And in-a-blink it quickly passed by us!

AUTUMN2, BORE TIDE 036

CAN YOU .. DO YOU see the ‘surfboarders’ in the above and below photographs ‘surfing’ the ‘Bore Tide’?!

AUTUMN2, BORE TIDE 037

LET’S DRIVE FURTHER SOUTH PATTI AND AGAIN CATCH-UP WITH THE ‘BORE TIDE’!

And out and off we two drove South down the Seward Highway again in ‘hot pursuit’ of the above ‘Bore Tide’.  Into the Seward Highway vehicle turn-out at milepost 93.4 we raced to ‘join-ANOTHER-crowd’ of cars and people themselves in ‘hot pursuit’ of the ‘Bore Tide’!  OH YES again there were NO parking places so we just ‘double parked’ and dashed to the waters-edge to again photograph the ‘Bore Tide’ as it approached us!  The almost elbow-to-elbow crowd made it a ‘combat photography’ effort!

Yes it is a ‘very dark’ photograph but into-the-sun I had to close down my camera lens!  You can see the ‘Bore Tide’ rapidly coming right-at-us!

AUTUMN2, BORE TIDE 038

And it was upon-us!

AUTUMN2, BORE TIDE 039

And it was past-us!

AUTUMN2, BORE TIDE 040

AND THEN .. IN A ‘TWINKLING’ .. IT WAS GONE FOREVER IN THIS LIFETIME!

What an absolutely beautiful photograph it left with us!

AUTUMN2, BORE TIDE 042

We hope you have enjoyed ‘re-living’ our ‘Bore Tide’ adventure along Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet South of Anchorage Alaska on Friday the 4th of October 2013.

MUCH JOY .. Cap and Patti !


  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

August 2008 View complete archive page

September 2011 View complete archive page

October 2011 View complete archive page

March 2013 View complete archive page

April 2013 View complete archive page

May 2013 View complete archive page

December 2013 View complete archive page

May 2015 View complete archive page

March 2016 View complete archive page

October 2016 View complete archive page

November 2016 View complete archive page