“Tide of the century” proves disappointing

The “tide of the century” leaves thousands of tourists disappointed in the seaside resort of Saint-Malo on France’s Brittany coast.

SAINT-MALO, FRANCE (MARCH 21, 2015) (REUTERS) – Tourists gathered in French north-western city of Saint-Malo were disappointed on Saturday (March 21) by the failed “tide of the century.”

Despite an exceptional coefficient of 119 on a scale that goes to 120, the calm weather with no wind did not bring the huge waves expected.

But tourists and locals woke up early anyway to attend the rare event, as the high tide was at 0645 GMT.

The high coefficient means the tide is higher and the sea recedes much further and also faster than with usual coefficients, but does not necessarily bring important waves.

Regular visitors to the coast said they had seen much more impressive waves recently, despite lower coefficients.

“For the “tide of the century” I am a bit disappointed because we saw much higher before. We came one year, we were staying at the hotel Ibis and we could not get out of the hotel because the street was flooded. But it’s true that it is impressive,” said Jean-Bernard Delamarche, who took the road at 4h30 (0330 GMT) on Saturday morning to be on time in Saint-Malo to see the tide at its height climax.

“Well, it’s a peaceful lake! I came mid-February, there was wind, rain, hail, we couldn’t walk here, it was impossible and even less on the Sillon, it reached the hotels, it was so high… And this morning well, it’s a shame, there is no wind,” said Renee Drouin, a resident of Saint-Malo.

Even though it is called “tide of the century” the event occurs roughly every 18 years.

The next exceptional tide is expected March 3, 2033. The previous one was on March 10, 1997.

Even if the show was not as spectacular as many expected, spectators still enjoyed the moment.

“Not really impressed because I’m a man of the sea so for me it’s normal. It’s quite a nice moment but I’m not impressed at all,” said tourist Nicolas Salloum who came to Saint-Malo with his family.

Tides result from gravitational forces exerted by the moon, sun and the earth’s rotation on seas and oceans.

If the maximum level is on Saturday, the important coefficients had already started on Friday (March 20) and will continue until Monday (March 23).