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


Sat, Jan 16

2018—White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson claims Donald Trump a) passed a cognitive test, and b) might live to be 200 if he had a healthier diet. 2014—Unable to acquire their usual poison, Ohio tries a new drug combo. A witness called watching Dennis McGuire gasp and snort for 15 minutes “ghastly.” 1986—The Department of…

Fri, Jan 15

1992—George H.[H.]W. Bush, in N.H. for votes, says “[W]e are blessed. So don’t feel sorry for … don’t cry for me, Argentina.” 1989—On “Larry King Live,” guest Donald Trump asks his host, “Do you mind if I sit back a little bit? Because your breath is very bad.” 1989—The Gipper, on MLK Day, says some…

Thurs, Jan 14

2000—“This is still a dangerous world…of madmen and uncertainty and potential mental losses,” warns George W.[MD] Bush. 1969—After warnings from enlisted men aboard the nuke-powered U.S.S. Enterprise go unheeded, the exhaust of a flight deck tractor cooks off a Zuni rocket. It hits an F-4’s fuel tank, causing a fire which detonates 4.5 tons of…

Wed, Jan 13

2018—Hawaiian authorities issue an alert: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND … SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” A retraction comes 38 minutes later. 2017—N.H. State Rep. Carolyn Halstead [R-Milford] drops a loaded handgun on the floor during a packed public hearing at the State House. 1987—Lee Atwater admits the Reagan anti-drug campaign was “the…

Tues, Jan 12

1991—Congress authorizes the first Bush vs. Hussein War. 1984—Reagan Deputy Secretary of Defense W. Paul Thayer resigns after being charged with insider trading. He ends up in the can. 1971—Rev. Philip Berrigan is indicted for conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger and bomb federal buildings. 1968—Lima Site 85, a tiny USAF navigational facility on a remote…

Mon, Jan 11

2018—Trump’s flunkies say they’ll deny Medicaid to the unemployed. 2008—“There will be a signed peace treaty [between Israel and the Palestinians] by the time I leave office,” says George W.[MD] Bush. 2003—“You can count on this,” Donald Rumsfeld tells Saudi Prince Bandar, showing plans for the Iraq War. “This is going to happen.” 2002—Joe Foss,…

Sun, Jan 10

2017—CNN reports on the Steele dossier; Buzzfeed publishes it. 2002—George W.[MD] Bush denies ever meeting Enron CEO Ken Lay, his largest campaign donor. 1992—A busted shipping container releases 28,000 floating toy animals in the mid-Pacific, which are then tracked by oceanographers; the gripping tale is told in Moby Duck. 1984—Responders to a false alarm about…

Sat, Jan 9

2002—Future A.G. Al Gonzales writes that parts of the Geneva Conventions are “obsolete” and “quaint.” 1980—Sixty-three participants in the 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque at Mecca are beheaded with swords in the public squares of eight Saudi cities. 1967—Calculations show ARVN desertions at 5.7 x the rate of the NVA. 1964—Panama suspends relations with…

Fri, Jan 8

2020—Reacting to the U.S. drone-strike assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iran fires missiles at bases in Iraq; 64 U.S. troops suffer traumatic brain injuries. Trump denies any were injured. 2007—The U.S.S. Newport News, submerged, collides with a Japanese oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz. 2005—The U.S.S. San Francisco, submerged, collides…

Thurs, Jan 7

2015—Two brothers, Wahhabi extremists, kill 12 and wound 11 at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris. 1999—The Senate tries Bill Clinton for lying about canoodling with a young intern. His prosecutor: Rep. (and adulterer) Henry Hyde [R-Ill]. 1998—The Washington Post reports that George Herbert [Hoover] Walker Bush lied: he did attend meetings about arms sales to…

Wed, Jan 6

2018—Pres. Donald J. Trump asserts that he is a “very stable genius.” 2006—George W.[MD] Bush OKs $20 million for a celebration of “success” in Iraq and Afghanistan. 2005—A switching error causes a 2:40 a.m. train wreck in Graniteville, S.C.; 60 tons of chlorine gas escape, killing nine immediately and one months later. 1986—One person dies…

Tues, Jan 5

2011—Shortly after he’s sworn in, Rep. Frank Guinta [R-N.H.] assures David Koch that he’ll attend a party being held for new employees Republican Congressmen. 1970—With no word from them since Xmas, Kenneth Yablonski goes to Clarkesville, Pa. and finds his dad, UMW presidential challenger Joseph “Jock” Yablonski, his mom, and his sister, murdered in their…

Mon, Jan 4

1971—George Mellendorf, in Vietnam, mails a letter to the White House complaining of slow mail delivery. His answer arrives in 1978. 1965—Having forced UC Berkeley Regents to drop their ban on political speech, the Free Speech Movement holds a rally that’s legal for a change. 1960—During a Minimum Interval Takeoff at Pease AFB, the second…

Sun, Jan 3

2006—Hotshot Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleads guilty to three felony counts for defrauding Indian tribes and bribing officials. 1967—Jack Ruby conveniently dies in prison while awaiting retrial. 1966—Ronald Reagan announces for Governorship of California, claiming it leads in bankruptcies and has 40% higher unemployment than the rest of the country, neither of which is true….

Sat, Jan 2

1996—At Bill Clinton’s invitation, Monica Lewinsky drops by the Oval Office. Sequestered in the bathroom, they violate his marriage vows. 1972—During a one-hour interview on CBS, Richard Nixon tells Dan Rather that the bombing in Southeast Asia had been“very, very effective.” Next day in a note to Hank Kissinger, he tells the truth: “The result…


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.