Tidal observations

Sailors in the central Solent can always tell the direction of the tide at Calshot by noting how the light float is lying. The authorities gave this vessel an anchor ball when they towed away the old lightship many years ago. The ball is on the side of the float nearest to its mooring, so its ‘up-tide’ position is as clear an indicator as the bows of the anchored lightship once were. Particularly useful around the turn of the tide, observations of this type can be made anywhere that the lie of a vessel can be observed. In some locations, buoys are actually sited on small boats. Reading these is a piece of cake. Elsewhere, only a distant anchored ship may help.