Periodic strong wave action
on the Pacific coast affects all water sports activities. Typically,
there is a period of high seas lasting 2 to 3 days that begins about 3 to 4 days following a full moon. Another period of lesser intensity may begin 2 or 3 days after a new moon. This phenomenon is known as Rebalses (when the sea "rebels"). These periods tend to be stronger and occur more frequently in April, May, and June. They seldom occur in the months of November, December, and January. Weather conditions will also sometimes cause periods of high seas. During periods of rough seas you may not be able to enter the water for either swimming or boating.
A big wave rolls in to the beach at the Hotel Zaashila in Huatulco, Oaxaca.
Photo sent in by Ellen Garland.
This repetitive churning of the seas limits the development of large coral reefs. Small colonies of coral are plentiful and reef fish are abundant. The periods of rebalses are usually brief and the seas are normally calm enough to permit swimming (cautiously) at all beaches.
Another phenomenon to be aware of is the system of currents that affects some beaches which front directly onto the sea rather than a bay. See Dangerous Waters of Zipolite.
Link to lunar phases dates.
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The Pacific Coast of Mexico