Tide tables are all very well, but they are only predictions. On the day, you can’t beat something you personally have observed to be the truth. If the stick to the right of the beacon is showing at its base, the yacht can cross her local bar. Further up-river, three boards dry on the scrubbing grid means 6 foot draught can just float on. The possibilities for private tide markers are endless, and they breed well-found confidence. All it takes is careful observation and perhaps a note pad, lest we forget.