Super tide on the Skeena

Robin Rowland 
"Super" low tide on the Skeena River at Telegraph Point, Sept. 28, 2015 (Robin Rowland)
“Super” low tide on the Skeena River at Telegraph Point, Sept. 28, 2015 (Robin Rowland)

I had great plans for shooting the super moon and the eclipse blood moon on Sunday night, September 27. Unfortunately the ideal shot of the moon rising over our iconic Mt. Elizabeth (which I have captured in the past) was impossible, there was a storm blowing in, and the overcast was so heavy that dark moon wasn’t even visible.

But today, I captured the related super tide –at low tide–which is the shot, I am sure, no one was looking for. To be honest, I was trying to shoot fall colours on a gloomy day where the Skeena lives up its original in name in the language of the Tsimshian First Nation, K-shian, “water that falls from the clouds,” also translated as “river of mists” and now is colloquially called “the Misty River.”

I was amazed at the Skeena was so flat, and so low at a time when it had been raining for the past couple of days and should have been much higher.

A few hours later when I was driving  back from Prince Rupert, in a pounding rain and wind storm, the river was actually higher than I had ever seen it before.

I didn’t realize what I had until I was watching  the weather segment on the CBC National, and the Weather Network presenter mentioned there was a super tide.  Google checks confirmed that a super tide accompanies a super moon.



Telegraph Point, on the Skeena, taken at 1135 hrs on September 28.

Telegraph Point is about 44 kilometres (27 miles) inland from where the Skeena reaches the Pacific Ocean, and the tides do reach even further inland than that.   Low tide at Prince Rupert  was at 0811 on Monday. There aren’t tide tables this far inland (not needed for sailors)

As I arrived for an  appointment in Prince Rupert, it started to rain. By the time I had completed my appointment and had had lunch, I drove back in a wind driver rain storm. I stopped briefly at Telegraph Point and grabbed some quick shots.

This shot, roughly the same angle as the first low tide shot,  was taken at 1457, just after high tide at Prince Rupert at 1426.  You can’t see it in a still image, but  in the river the water was moving rapidly upstream.


This was taken at 1512 from the same spot as the first low tide shot.


Another angle from Telegraph Point taken during the storm at 1512.

(All images above taken with Sony Alpha 55)


This was one of my first shots of the day, taken about 25 kilometres further upstream at 1101. (taken with Sony Alpha 6000)


Shots of fall colors along the Skeena, October 16, 2014.

Tide tables for two closest points on the Skeena

Current tide for Kwinitsa Creek

Current tide for Khyex Point 

Supermoon means supertides

Supermoon 2015 to cause highest ‘super tides’ for 19 years (Independent UK)


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