JOYCE — Some of the best things are found in shallow places.
Friday’s minus 2.6 tide — one of the lowest of the year — drew out scores of people to Tongue Point at the Salt Creek Recreation Area north of Joyce for a chance to peer into cracks and crevasses that would normally be submerged by the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The location has always proven popular with tidepool enthusiasts who are drawn to acres of rocks encrusted by mussels and barnacles and surrounded by seaweed and ellgrass. A look into tidepools often reveals marine life that would otherwise be hidden, including urchins and anemones, hermit crabs and the occasional sea star.
The low tides of June, known as a perigean spring tide, occur when the moon is either full or new and in alignment with the sun, combined with when the moon’s elliptical orbit brings it to its closest approach to Earth.
The effect is often amplified when the Earth is at its farthest from the sun, typically around the solstice which happens at 3:07 a.m. Thursday. This year, the sun is at its most distant on July 6.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the ebb on Friday was minus 3.1 in Port Angeles, minus 2.8 at Neah Bay, minus 3.0 at Dungeness Bay, minus 3.3 at Port Townsend and minus 2.9 at La Push.
For those who missed Friday’s marine spectacle, a similar but incrementally less minus 2.6 tide will occur at Tongue Point at 8:38 a.m. on Friday, July 13. That same day Port Angeles is expected to be at minus 3.1 at 9:49 a.m., and Port Townsend is to be at minus 3.3 at 10:40 a.m. La Push will hit minus 3.1 at 8:14 a.m. on July 14.