Low Tide, Gotts Island, Maine — photograph by author

Years ago, I lived on a small island off the coast of Maine. My life was ruled by wind and tide. In that part of Maine the tide can rise or fall up to 14 feet, over 4 meters. A huge amount of water flows through the channels and between the islands with that amount of tidal change.

I knew the ebb and flow at a glance. I had to. Shorelines that are easy to navigate at high tide become a maze of ledges at low water. Every year…