Student or Learner
September 1 - 30 1992 Nature and Culture Husum, Germany
I hammered 5000 sticks along the coast of Husum City in Germany every day for two weeks. The city is known for strong winds and the large ebb and flow of the tide on the coast. Under such an environment, I waited on the coast until the tide was at the ebb every day so that I could hammer the sticks. The act of hammering sticks records my trivial existence in contrast to nature, and also becomes an evidence of the moment I was there.
Can I say "the tide was low" instead of "the tide was at the ebb"?
the tide was at the ebb
This should be, ' on the ebb'. With the use of 'at', which implies a 'point' in the process of the tide going out, the author seems to be meaning that the tide had ebbed to some low point, if not 'was out'.
Can I say "the tide was low"? NO
This is the opposite of a 'high tide' or "king tide', and refers to how 'high' the tide is when it 'comes in' - it was not a high tide, it was 'a low tide'.
Try - 'the tide was out'.
When used figuratively, as when referring to feelings etc, then
it refers to 'in a bad or weak state':
Consumer confidence is currently at a low ebb.
I was recently divorced and feeling at a very low ebb.
...and 'at' is the appropriate preposition.