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


Mon, Nov 30

2016—Trump spokesperson Scottie Nell Hughes—pro-gun despite her brother having been shot dead at eight by a 12-year-old—tells NPR’s Diane Rehm, “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore, of facts.” [sic] 1999—A WTO meeting in Seattle is called off due to anarchists. 1974—Rep. Wilbur Mills (D-Ark.) appears onstage at Boston’s Pilgrim Theater with stripper Fanne Foxe. 1972—Nixon…

Sun, Nov 29

2015—Professing concern about the lives of fetuses, Robert L. Dear murders three adults and wounds nine more as he shoots up a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. 2011—Ex-Arapahoe County (Colo.) Sheriff Patrick Sullivan, arrested for exchanging methamphetamine for sex with a male informant, is incarcerated in an eponymous jail. 1976—After Jerry Lee Lewis accidentally plugs…

Sat, Nov 28

2014—Cards Against Humanity, to express its disdain for consumerism on Black Friday, removes all products but one from its online store: a $6 box of “literal feces, from an actual bull.” 2008—At a Long Island Wal-Mart, shoppers literally bust doors and trample Jdimytai Damour, 34, to death. 2005—Ex-Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.) pleads guilty to…

Fri, Nov 27

2002—Donald Rumsfeld signs off on “Category III” interrogation techniques—namely, torture. 2001—Gen. Tommy Franks, working on catching Osama bin Laden, is told by Donald Rumsfeld to drop that and revise plans to attack Iraq. 1997—In New York, a lampost fatally stabs Macy’s Barney the Dinosaur balloon. Meanwhile, the Cat in the Hat knocks over a lampost,…

Thurs, Nov 26

2000—Katherine Harris, Florida’s Secretary of Stateand, coincidentally, the Bush campaign’s state co-chair, declares Dubya the winner. 1975—George Gainous, son of a heroin importer, climbs the White House fence to ask for his father’s pardon. Arrested 90 minutes later while chatting with President Ford’s daughter Susan, he later says, “If [Ford] can pardon Nixon he can…

Wed, Nov 25

1997—In Plymouth, Mass., police serve Native American demonstrators a generous helping of pepper-spray. 1986—As Ed “Meese is a Pig” Meese confesses that profits from illegal arms sales to Iran went to Nicaraguan contras, a reluctant Ronald Reagan fires Lt. Col. Oliver North. 1974—Britain outlaws the IRA after two bombs kill 21 and injure over 100…

Tues, Nov 24

2006—“The only way we can win [in Iraq],” says George W.[MD] Bush, “is to leave before the job is done.” 1979—The U.S. admits troops in ’Nam were hit by Agent Orange. 1976—Steven B. Williams rams a White House gate with his pickup truck at 25 mph. It doesn’t budge. 1971—Toting $200,000 in ransom cash, “D.B….

Mon, Nov 23

1986—Two men escape from a maximum-security prison in Rome in a hijacked helicopter. 1981—R. Reagan signs a secret directive creating the [illegal] Contras. 1976—Jerry Lee Lewis is arrested outside Graceland for waving a pistol and demanding to see Elvis. 1970—A Lithuanian radio operator jumps from a Russian trawler onto the deck of the Coast Guard…

Sun, Nov 22

2000—Two dozen well-dressed hooligans, many on the GOP’s payroll, intimidate Miami election officials into shutting down a Presidential recount. 1975—U.S.S. John F. Kennedy and U.S.S. Belknap collide in the night near Sicily. A two-hour fire aboard the Belknap stops 30 feet short of the nuclear weapons magazine. 1963—In Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy is…

Sat, Nov 21

2016—The Guardian reports that D. Trump’s grandfather was refused re-entry to Germany in 1905 because he had dodged military service. 2004—Donald Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City file for bankruptcy. 1986—Ollie North and Fawn Hall start shredding evidence of criminal arms-for-hostages deals. 1974—Somehow, George W.[MD] Bush is honorably discharged, instead of court martialed for being AWOL….

Fri, Nov 20

2008—Sarah Palin is interviewed on live TV while, in the background, turkeys are being slaughtered. 1980—In Louisiana, an oil rig drilling in the wrong spot hits a salt mine under Lake Peigneur. The rig, 11 barges, and a tugboat disappear. 1979—Fundamentalists seize Mecca’s Grand Mosque, full of hostages. The CIA blames guiltless Iran. 1975—Spanish dictator…

Thurs, Nov 19

2005—Marines in Haditha murder 24 unarmed Iraqi men, women, and children. One man is tried and convicted of dereliciton of duty. 1969—Congress cleverly undermines the opposition to the Vietnam War by introducing a draft lottery. 1967—A 500 lb. bomb from a U.S.M.C. F4 Phantom kills 45 paratroopers of the 173d Airborne Brigade and wounds 45 more…

Wed, Nov 18

2005—Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) apologizes to ’Nam combat vet Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.) on the House floor for implying he’s a coward. 1999—Texas A&M’s student-built Bonfire—a 59-foot stack of vertical logs—somehow collapses; 12 die. 1997—Operation Northwoods is exposed: the 1962 plan would have murdered U.S. citizens on the street to build support for an invasion…

Tues, Nov 17

2008—Citigroup announces it will sack 52,000 workers. 2006—“We’ll succeed [in Iraq] unless we quit,” says George W.[MD] Bush. 2003—An Austrian muscleman becomes Governator of California. 1995—Multitasking President Clinton speaks on the phone with a Congressman while violating his marriage vows with an intern. 1995—The Commander of the Pacific Fleet calls the rape of an Okinawan…

Mon, Nov 16

2000—Bill Clinton goes to Vietnam — finally, when it’s safe, as President. 1989—U.S.-backed pro-government “freedom fighters” in El Salvador murder six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and the housekeeper’s daughter. 1969—President Nixon’s Communications Director Herb Klein says he opposes government intervention in the news but the networks are asking for it if they don’t regulate themselves….


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.