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With a background in aerospace engineering I took up blue water sailing, many years ago. This was the first time I was confronted with the reality of the ocean tides. Up until that time I had no reason to doubt the popular explanation of the ocean tides, as had been offered to me in school books, by science teachers and in many sources of popular science.
But I soon noticed that my observations clashed with what I'd been taught. When I questioned those who claimed they understood the tides I soon came across a flood of ill-conceived explanations. I decided to look into it myself, not suspecting that I would discover that this is one of the generally-worst-explained phenomena I've ever come across.
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