Download Ebb and Flow: Tides and Life on Our Once and Future Planet by Tom Koppel PDF

By Tom Koppel

Ebb and circulate was once named certainly one of 2007's ''best technology books'' through Peter Calamai, technology editor of the Toronto big name [Dec. 30, 2007]. He calls it a ''wonderful source book…. Tom Koppel turns out to have visited or examine each position with strange tides and water currents, but he wears this scholarship lightly.''

Tides have formed our global. they've got carved out seashores, remodeled adolescence in the world, and changed the process human civilization. Tides annoyed Alexander the nice and Julius Caesar, and aided normal MacArthur. They govern the way in which our planet strikes, supply us with another resource of power, and will be tense international weather change.

Drawing on technology, heritage, and private thoughts, Koppel's attention-grabbing ebook engages and enlightens, demonstrating topic we take without any consideration impacts all our lives. He weaves jointly 3 grand narratives, exploring how tides effect coasts and marine lifestyles, how they've got altered human background and improvement, and the way technology has striven to appreciate the unusually complicated method during which tides truly work.

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Example text

It was something I simply had to accept. But it was a magical place to live. The bay, lined with tall firs and gnarly red arbutus trees, was totally secluded and private, without any neighbours within sight or earshot. I could put down a trap and catch a Dungeness crab right in front of my window, or jig a sole for dinner and grill it outdoors on a wood fire. I revelled in the wildlife on land and sea. Herons nested by the dozens in one wooded area on the island. Eagles perched in lofty snags overhanging the shore.

By evening, the sea would be just as high, and the waves would be churning around the boat again. She would pound up and down on the logs, this time perhaps for two or three hours while the tide was at its highest. Possibly worse, the waves and wind might well carry in some new, large driftwood logs that would bash against her Living by the Tides 39 sides* All I could do was to try and give her some protection against that horrid eventuality. I hiked across the island to the home of my elderly landlady Jean de Burgh, and her family to tell them what was happening and to recruit help.

First, I grabbed at the chance to be the winter-season caretaker of tiny Russell Island, just off the southern end of Salt Spring* The owner, a California dentist named John Rohrer, loved beachcombing. All sorts of interesting stuff drifted in on the tide there, much of it highly useful* For many years, Rohrer had been salvaging driftwood logs, squared-off heavy timbers, and creosoted wood pilings, using them to build things like heavy retaining walls for paths and gardens* And he had devised a clever system that took advantage of the tides to ease the burden of this task* Somehow Rohrer accumulated dozens of old, worn-out bicycle tire inner tubes, which he could tie and string together like a chain of huge rubber bands* When he found a valuable log or timber lying on the shore, it was often well out on the intertidal zone and too heavy to move up to the high tide line by hand* But if he left it there, the next high tide and breeze might carry it away again* The solution was to tie one end of a chain of inner tubes to the log, stretch it tight, attach a rope to the other end of the tubes, and tie the rope to a tree or boulder above the high tide line* Whenever a higher tide came in, the elasticity would ease the log farther up onto the intertidal zone* And the beauty was that it would do so automatically, without anyone having to be there, even if that tide came at night or in miserable weather* When Rohrer went away for the winter and I took over as caretaker, he assigned me the task of patrolling the shores for useful flotsam and applying his system* And it worked like a charm* By the time he came back the following summer, I had salvaged a dozen or more choice logs and timbers* All were lying securely at the highest tide line and lashed by ropes to trees, so they would not float away and could be further dealt with at leisure* Next I moved to a more long-term living situation on Prevost Island, a much larger privately owned agricultural island that was farther from Salt Spring* There was a sheltered bay on one side of the island, with a dock where the de Burghs could keep their boats and bring in a barge to deliver heavy supplies or to take their farm animals to market* But the cottage that I rented from them at Diver Bay was too exposed to the prevailing southeasterlies to build a pier and floating dock* Waves and huge, heaving driftwood logs would have destroyed any such fixed structure* I had no choice but to keep my boat out in the middle of the bay at a permanent mooring* Living by the Tides 43 Everything I did depended on the tides.

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