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Admiral Fowle’s Piscataqua River Tidal Guide
(Not for Navigational Purposes)


Sun, July 25

2019—President Trump makes a phone call to Ukraine President Vladimir Zelenskey. It’s “perfect.” 2000—In a touching display of naiveté, George W.[MD] Bush announces that he has picked Dick “Dick” Cheney as running mate. 1990—Ambassador April Glaspie tells Saddam the U.S. won’t take sides in an Iraq-Kuwait border dispute. 1975—Chester Plummer, Jr., a Black ’Nam vet…

Sat, July 24

2017—“Who the hell wants to talk about politics…in front of the Boy Scouts?,” asks Donald Trump, who then talks politics at the Jamboree. 2008—A tornado hits nine towns in N.H., killing a Deerfield woman. 2003—Congress says the FBI and the CIA blew off warnings of a possible al-Qaeda attack on the U.S. 2003—In Iraq, the…

Fri, July 23

2014—Arizona authorities experimenting with new poisons find Joseph Wood’s execution takes 12 times longer than the expected 10 minutes. 2001—Bank robber Gary Sampson calls the FBI to turn himself in, but a clerk disconnects him. Over the next week he murders three people, including a man in New Hampshire. 1970—The last clash between the U.S….

Thurs, July 22

2003—Ratted out by a cousin for a $30 million reward, Uday and Qusay Hussein are shot dead by the 101st. 2001—“I know what I believe,” says G.W.[MD] Bush. “I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe—I believe what I believe is right.” 1991—Milwaukee police arrest Jeffrey Dahmer, infamous cannibal. 1975—Owen J….

Wed, July 21

2007—George W.[MD] Bush invokes the 25th Amendment, making Dick “Dick” Cheney President while Bush gets his colon inspected. 2000—Long-time Texas voter Dick “Dick” Cheney registers in Wyoming to skirt a Constitutional proviso. 2000—The FBI and ATF are exonerated for killing 80 religious fanatics during a 1993 siege in Waco, Texas. 1954—As the Geneva Accords free…

Tues, July 20

2017—Secretary of State Tillerson states the obvious to other Administration officials: Trump is “a moron.” 2002—The FBI arrests three former NASA interns for stealing a 600 lb. safe holding moon rocks. 1984—Famed runner and fitness fanatic Jim Fixx, 52, dies of a heart attack while jogging. 1973—Martial artist and fitness fanatic Bruce Lee, 32, drops…

Mon, July 19

2020—“I’ll be right eventually,” says Dolt #45. “I’ll say it again. It’s going to disappear, and I’ll be right.” 2011—As her husband Rupert is being grilled before Parliament about phone-hacking, his wife Wendi deflects a flying pie aimed at his head. 2010—Terrified by a malignly-edited YouTube clip, Sec. of Ag. Tom Vilsack has USDA employee…

Sun, July 18

1985—Doped up after cancer surgery five days earlier, Ronald Reagan OKs an arms-for-hostages deal with Iran. 1984—James O. Huberty tells his wife he’s “going to hunt humans,” then kills 21 and wounds 19 at a San Diego McDonald’s. A sniper gets him. His widow sues Mickey D’s for poisoning his mind with MSG, but to…

Sat, July 17

2020—Asked if he’ll concede if he loses, #45 says “I’ll have to see.” 2015—Portsmouth cops grill Mike Thiel at his office about a letter in which he complains about helicopters. 2014—Detained for selling loose cigarettes, Eric Garner, 43, suffocates as he tells NYPD cops, “I can’t breathe.” 1979—Anastasio Somoza flees Nicaragua for Miami, bringing family…

Fri, July 16

1991—The Trump Taj Mahal files for bankruptcy 467 days after opening. 1979—A dam, badly built on shaky ground, collapses in Church Rock, N.M. It spills 1,100 tons of radioactive mill waste, 93 million gallons of effluent, releasing as much radioactivity as the Three Mile Island meltdown. 1973—Nixon aide Al Butterfield reveals he’s been bugging the…

Thurs, July 15

1995—A derecho sends hurricane force winds through New York and New England, toppling thousands of trees and killing three people. 1979—President Carter delivers his infamous “malaise” speech, which does not include the word “malaise.” 1974—In Florida, on live TV, newsreader Christine Chubbuck pulls a loaded pistol from a shopping bag and shoots herself dead. 1971—Nixon…

Wed, July 14

2004—The GOP tries to ban gay marriage but can’t rise to the occasion. 2000—Five tobacco companies are ordered to pay $145 billion in damages, but they wiggle off the hook. 1989—Alabama tries twice, 19 minutes apart, to electrocute Horace F. Dunkins, who’s Black and developmentally-disabled. The first try fails because the chair is wired wrong….

Tues, July 13

1999—Senator Bob Smith [R-N.H.] drops out of the Republican Presidential primary race—and the Party, to boot. Delusional, he’ll run for President as an Independent. 1987—Senator Warren B. Rudman [R-N.H] sets Ollie North straight during the Iran-Contra hearings: “The American people have the constitutional right to be wrong.” 1977—During a heat wave and a financial crisis,…

Mon, July 12

1982—FEMA pledges that the mail will get through, even in a nuclear war. 1979—The White Sox are forced to forfeit on Disco Demolition Night: the field was damaged by explosives.  1973—A fire in St. Louis, Mo. destroys the service records of 16 to 18 million Army and Air Force veterans. 1917—After 30 hours in cattle…

Sun, July 11

2003—Condi Rice lies about White House knowledge of Joe Wilson’s Niger investigation; Ari Fleischer outs Valerie Plame as a CIA officer; Karl Rove lies to Time about Wilson’s wife, Plame; and CIA head George Tenet takes the rap for the White House’s lies about Iraq buying uranium. 1991—A defective heater sets a loaded ammunition carrier…


Portsmouth, arguably the first town in this country not founded by religious extremists, is bounded on the north and east by the Piscataqua River, the second, third, or fourth fastest-flowing navigable river in the country, depending on whom you choose to believe.

The Piscataqua’s ferocious current is caused by the tide, which, in turn, is caused by the moon. The other player is a vast sunken valley — Great Bay — about ten miles upriver. Twice a day, the moon drags about seventeen billion gallons of seawater — enough to fill 2,125,000 tanker trucks — up the river and into Great Bay. This creates a roving hydraulic conflict, as incoming sea and the outgoing river collide. The skirmish line moves from the mouth of the river, up past New Castle, around the bend by the old Naval Prison, under Memorial Bridge, past the tugboats, and on into Great Bay. This can best be seen when the tide is rising.

Twice a day, too, the moon lets all that water go. All the seawater that just fought its way upstream goes back home to the ocean. This is when the Piscataqua earns its title for xth fastest current. Look for the red buoy, at the upstream end of Badger’s Island, bobbing around in the current. It weighs several tons, and it bobs and bounces in the current like a cork.

The river also has its placid moments, around high and low tides. When the river rests, its tugboats and bridges work their hardest. Ships coming in laden with coal, oil, and salt do so at high tide, for more clearance under their keels. They leave empty, riding high in the water, at low tide, to squeeze under Memorial Bridge.