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


Tues, May 11

2012—The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission finds George W.[MD] Bush, Dick “Dick” Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair and others guilty of war crimes. 2009—Ex-Gov. J. Ventura says, “You give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.” 2006—USA Today reports that the NSA is…

Mon, May 10

2017—President Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. He divulges classified info, exposes a foreign agent, and says firing the FBI Director relieved “great pressure” from him. 1945—New Hampshire adopts the Stark motto, “Live Free or Die.” 1919—In Charleston, S.C., white sailors foment the first…

Sun, May 9

2017—D. Trump fires J. Comey. 1999—At the University of Chicago, two students competing in a scavenger hunt build a plutonium-producing reactor. They come in second. 1991—White House Chief of Staff John Henry Sununu is told to quit using military planes for visits to his Boston dentist and ski trips to N.H. 1989—“What a waste it…

Sat, May 8

1979—Salvadoran police maintain order in a cathedral; 23 KIA, 70 WIA. 1970—With flags at half mast for Kent State kids shot by National Guardsmen, students protesting in NYC at Wall and Broad streets are attacked by 200 “hardhats” organized by AFL-CIO leader Peter Brennan. Nixon will make him Sec. of Labor. 1970—At the University of…

Fri, May 7

1999—A U.S. B-2 drops five “smart” bombs on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade: three dead, 27 wounded. 1998—Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan successfully quash an effort to regulate credit default swaps. 1992—Reporters reveal Ross Perot’s “concern” over U.S. POWs was mostly about Richard Nixon’s presidency. 1985—New York throws a ticker…

Thurs, May 6

2010—An imaginary bus bomb inspires panic in Portsmouth, N.H. 2010—A Londoner scamming from his parents’ basement gives The Invisible Hand of the Market™ jitters: the Dow drops nine pct. in five minutes. 1996—Missing for nine days, ex-CIA Director William Colby turns up in Chesapeake Bay, dead but remarkably fresh-looking, 20 feet from where searchers found…

Wed, May 5

1985—In Bitburg, Germany, Republican President Ronald Reagan lays a wreath at a cemetery full of Nazis. 1981—Bobby Sands dies of hunger in Maze Prison, defiant to the last. 1970—Jerry Rubin speaks at UNH. 1961—New Hampshire’s own Alan Shepard prays, “Please, dear God, don’t let me f__k up.” Prayer answered, he’s 1st American in space. 1960—Gary…

Tues, May 4

1990—Six-inch flames shoot from Jesse Joseph Tafero’s head as Florida’s “Old Sparky” takes three jolts and seven minutes to kill him. 1989—U.S.M.C. Lieut. Col. Oliver North is convicted of four felonies in the Iran-Contra scandal, but a Congressional screw-up lets him skate. 1970—In Haymarket Square, Chicago, a new cop statue replaces one destroyed by a…

Mon, May 3

2020—Dolt #45 desecrates the Lincoln Memorial with a campaign event. 2016—Lindsey Graham tweets, “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…and we will deserve it.” 2016—After accusing Ted Cruz’s father of being tied to the JFK assassination, Donald Trump wins Indiana and clinches the GOP nomination. 2003—The Old Man of the Mountain is busted by…

Sun, May 2

2011—After outliving the Administration of G.W.[MD] Bush, Osama bin Laden is whacked by its successor. 2006—With stereotypical inefficiency, state workers in Lucasville, Ohio jab Joseph Clark 19 times over 86 minutes to kill him by lethal injection[s]. 2003—Richard Perle, its architect, writes that the Iraq War “ended without the Arab world rising up against us,…

Sat, May 1

2003—G.W.[MD] Bush says “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” U.S. death toll so far: 140. 1999—The New Hampshire Gazette resumes regular (fortnightly) publication in Portsmouth. 1989—“Bill” Gardner, Secretary of State for Life, assigns rights to the trade name New Hampshire Gazette to a collateral descendant of the founder. 1977—Seabrook: 1,414 Clams busted. 1975—Tom Polgar…

Fri, April 30

1993—The first website goes online. 1977—The Clamshell Alliance assembles at Seabrook to fight the nuke. 1975—Saigon falls. 1973—Rabid Nixon supporter Rev. Sun Myung Moon gets a green card. 1973—Announcing their resignations, Richard Nixon calls felons-to-be John D. Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman “two of the finest public servants I have ever known.” 1971—Medal of Honor recipient…

Thurs, April 29

2014—Despite nine tries, Okla. prison officials miss Clayton Lockett’s veins; the poison goes into muscle. Without enough left to kill, they discuss options as he writhes. He ends their debate by dying of a heart attack. 2006—During the Correspondents Dinner, Stephen Colbert performs the first autopsy of a sitting President. 2004—The Commission “investigat­ing” 9/11 allows…

Wed, April 28

2011—During a speech in Las Vegas, Donald Trump drops about seven f-bombs, promising to tell the Chinese, “listen you mother______s, we’re going to tax you 25 percent.” 2006—Rush Limbaugh’s lawyers announce that their fine work will keep their dope-addled client out of prison. 2004—The SEC says banks can risk more money and keep less on…

Tues, April 27

2017—“This is more work than my previous life,” whines Dolt #45. “I thought it would be easier.” 2016—Calling Sen. Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh,” former Speaker John Boehner tells Stanford students he “never worked with a more miserable son-of-a-bitch in my life.” 2011—On the worst day of the largest tornado outbreak in history, 324…


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.