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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Clean Clean Clean

April 20th is West Coast Beach Clean.  All along the west coast of the US groups organize beach clean up as part of Earth Day celebrations.  Last year I trekked to Shi Shi beach on our northern-,most coast.  It was a sad task as the beach was filled with tons of debris, including tsunami debris.  The two mile hike to and from the beach made hauling out garbage filled sacks quite a chore.

This year I chose soft duty and went to Long Beach.  I tried a new place to stay and it was a real treat.  Lighthouse Oceanfront Resort.   http://www.lighthouseresort.net  These rows of condos all had a complete kitchen and little view of the surf and were blissfully clean and quiet.  Just the thing for me.  It was a short walk thorough the dunes to the beach.

The dunes were filled with Coastal Strawberry , Fragaria chiliensis.  I am not sure if the bring good fruit but they are certainly pretty to see in the grasses.

I got to the beach after putting in four hours at work just in time to head to my favorite cafĂ© for dinner.  On Saturday morning beach clean started at 930.  Much like my last clean at the beach, the debris was mostly small plastics and broken down pieces of bead Styrofoam.  The Styrofoam had become trapped in the dune grasses.

There were plenty of people out cleaning and no matter where you went you easily found something to pick up.  Debris blends into the sand and is often covered, making a sharp eye a good thing.  The weather was gray and thankfully there was little wind.  I found this strip of rubber that had clearly been floating at sea for some time.  It was encrusted with Gooseneck barnacles

As you filled your bags you tied them off and left them at the high water mark.  Volunteers in pick-up trucks patrolled the beach and collected what was found and might provide extra bags.  This day  I didn't find enough to fill all my bags but two bags full was good for a few hours work.

After a community soup lunch I returned to the beach with a bag to collect on my own.  I found plenty more and enjoyed the other sights as I went along.

This fortress would soon be getting its moat filled.

This couple had the CD player blasting (Johnny Cash) and were dancing and smooching

Sunday morning was threatening rain.  With it came a bit of wind so I grabbed a kite and went for a walk on the early morning beach.  There were a lot of gulls and crows sitting in one spot near the waterline and I recognized the reason.  I could clearly see a flipper sticking up.  I walked over and found a small, dead Harbor Porpoise.  It is a sad thing, but the birds would have their breakfast.  Heading down the beach I found this Bald Eagle sitting watch over the clan at the shoreline.

Yesterdays sandcastle was washed away and I noted new debris brought in by the overnight tides.  The beach was pretty quiet, though.   Only early morning surf fishermen seemed to be down this way.

Trails to the properties behind the dunes are marked so that visitors can easily find their way home.  The place next door had a little whale.

We had a lighthouse, of course

This place is perfect and I am sure I could find any old reason to return in the Fall and Winter


  1. We will have to find an excuse to stay at a beach in the near future. This makes me homesick for the salt spray, the clean smells, the feel of the wind - I'm shivering in anticipation as I think of it.

  2. Thanks for the ID on the beetle. Anything good to recommend in the way of references for our area?

  3. Well done on the beach clean up. That is a lot of litter. I'm 'lucky' if I get to pick up a plastic bottle a week on our 5km access road!

  4. Alan, how lovely and remote your land must be. Your adventures and stories certainly bring the place to life.