West Seattle beaches – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 22 May 2018 05:30:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 West Seattle scene: Exploring at low-low tide http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/west-seattle-scene-exploring-at-low-low-tide/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/west-seattle-scene-exploring-at-low-low-tide/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 00:13:59 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=916887

Thanks to Don Brubeck for the photo taken along West Seattle’s west-facing shore during this afternoon’s low-low tide! As we mentioned in the daily highlight list, it was out to 2.5 feet just afternoon. Tomorrow and Friday, even lower – -2.9 feet at 1 pm Thursday and 1:47 pm Friday. If you can’t go out and tidewalk until the weekend, no worries – Saturday’s low tide will still be good for (carefully) exploring, -2.4 feet at 2:38 pm. Next month, the low-low tides get even lower: -3 feet and further, June 13-16. (Here’s our favorite tide chart. We have one – better for short-term consultation – on the WSB West Seattle Weather page, too.)

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West Seattle scene: Sunbathing with a friend http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/west-seattle-scene-sunbathing-with-a-friend/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/west-seattle-scene-sunbathing-with-a-friend/#comments Fri, 04 May 2018 01:01:07 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915620

Thanks to Gary Jones for the photos, which were too sweet to put on hold until, say, tomorrow morning’s highlights. Notice in the top photo that Harbor Seal #1 is just hanging out at low tide off Constellation Park, with somebody peeking from the water to the left … and then deciding to get out and join the basking.

Flagging us to the same scene via Twitter, @1fox2fox noted, “As always, please be respectful to these sentinels of the Sound qnd give them space.” And if they come ashore, give Seal Sitters a call … 206-905-SEAL. P.S. Low-low tides are coming up later this month – lower than -2 feet for four afternoons starting Wednesday, May 16th.

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FOLLOWUP: What else we’ve found out about Alki Beach’s new fire rings http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/followup-what-else-weve-found-out-about-alki-beachs-new-fire-rings/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/followup-what-else-weve-found-out-about-alki-beachs-new-fire-rings/#comments Wed, 25 Apr 2018 23:41:10 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914972 (Monday photo courtesy Vlad Oustimovitch)

The arrival this past Monday of new, lockable fire rings at Alki Beach Park – replacing all seven of the old ones – raised some questions, and now we’ve received answers from Seattle Parks spokesperson Christina Hirsch:

*Policies for when they’re unlocked and locked? “The exact hours/procedures for locking the lids is being determined with staff. Currently, the lids are unlocked. We will post hours and procedure information on our website in the next couple of weeks once the information has been finalized.”

*Why were the old ones replaced? The closable lid “helps to put out the fire,” Hirsch says, adding “we also ask that folks douse their fire with water.” They hope the lockability “will help prevent fires on off-hours and prevent bonfires during burn bans.” And the previous ones “were old, rusty and beginning to fall apart.”

*How much did the new ones cost? “The new pits were designed and created in-house and are like the pits we installed at Golden Gardens Park. Each pit costs approximately $1,500 (not including delivery and installation).”

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SEEN ON SHORE: ‘Very large’ shark washes up south of Fauntleroy ferry dock http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/seen-on-shore-very-large-shark-washes-up-south-of-fauntleroy-ferry-dock/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/seen-on-shore-very-large-shark-washes-up-south-of-fauntleroy-ferry-dock/#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:13:14 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914865

Sara sent the photo, saying that “very large” shark washed up on the beach not too far south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock over the weekend. She reported it to the state Fish and Wildlife Department; after sending them the photo, she said, they thought it might be a soupfin shark. Any other guesses?

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NEW AT ALKI: Fire rings replaced http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/new-at-alki-fire-rings-replaced/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/new-at-alki-fire-rings-replaced/#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2018 01:39:08 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914800

Thanks to everybody who e-mailed to let us know that new fire rings have arrived at Alki Beach. These photos were taken this morning by Vlad Oustimovitch – here’s a closer look at one of the new rings, notably lockable:

One last look at the old ones:

Alki is one of two city-owned beach parks where fires are allowed, as long as they’re in the rings and following the rules, which you can read here. The other park, Golden Gardens, already has these types of rings, which Parks staff unlocks at 4 pm; we’ll be checking with Parks tomorrow about the official procedures planned for these.

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UPDATE: Soggy Day 1 of Pac-12 North beach-volleyball tournament at Alki http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/happening-now-soggy-day-1-of-pac-12-north-beach-volleyball-tournament-at-alki/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/happening-now-soggy-day-1-of-pac-12-north-beach-volleyball-tournament-at-alki/#comments Sat, 14 Apr 2018 19:51:14 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=913961 (WSB photos)

12:51 PM: Another event from our Saturday highlights list is well under way: The Pac-12 North Invitational beach-volleyball tournament at Alki, day 1. It’s umbrellas for spectators, sleeves for players:

We stopped by as UW players took to the sand again at noon, after they two hours earlier “upset 13th-ranked Cal in the first match of the weekend, 3-2.”

Stanford beat Oregon in the 11 am faceoff. Each match is scheduled for all five courts – at 1 pm, it’ll be Oregon vs. California, and at 2 pm, USC vs. Stanford. The Sunday schedule, again starting at 10 am, is here.

ADDED 10:01 PM: Here’s the gohuskies.com recap of the tournament’s first day.

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Seattle Animal Shelter’s reminder: No dogs on public beaches http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/seattle-animal-shelters-reminder-no-dogs-on-public-beaches/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/seattle-animal-shelters-reminder-no-dogs-on-public-beaches/#comments Thu, 22 Mar 2018 01:23:19 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=911987 The Seattle Animal Shelter has just reissued its seasonal warning – dogs aren’t allowed on public beaches.

It’s spring in Seattle, which means blossoming and hatching all around us. This is a particularly important time to ensure that immature wildlife have their best opportunity to flourish in the Northwest. To help protect the young wildlife, the Seattle Animal Shelter will be conducting emphasis patrols on all saltwater beaches in the city.

Dogs are not allowed on any of Seattle’s public saltwater beaches, even if they are leashed. This law helps us protect the fragile ecosystem along our shorelines. Marine mammals, such as seal pups that are typically born in April, use the city’s beaches to rest and warm themselves. Shore birds also frequent our beaches. Wildlife that interact with dogs are less likely to reach adulthood.

Uniformed animal service officers will be patrolling city parks with a focus on saltwater beaches and may issue citations to violators.

If you would like to report Seattle beaches where dogs are frequently seen, submit a service request at http://bit.ly/sas-service-request. You can also contact the Seattle Animal Shelter by calling 206-386-PETS (7387).

That’s the same alert SAS sent last spring – though so far this year, we haven’t seen the civilian-installed sign that went up about that same time.

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BEACHED BUOY: Look what showed up at Lincoln Park http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/beached-buoy-look-what-showed-up-at-lincoln-park/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/beached-buoy-look-what-showed-up-at-lincoln-park/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 22:52:45 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=910771

2:52 PM: Apparently just a coincidence, but on the same day that U.S. Coast Guard buoy-tenders showed up in West Seattle waters, this King County-owned buoy has just shown up on shore. The photos are from a reader who spotted it on the beach at Lincoln Park, by Colman Pool (thanks for sending!).

We recognized it immediately from past stories including this one after it was launched in 2013 to monitor marine water quality, and this one from a beaching the following year. We just contacted Diane McElhany at the King County lab, and she confirms it’s theirs, adding, “We will be dealing with it today.”

5:51 PM: And deal with it they did:

Thanks to Mike Mahanay for that photo!

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WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Seal Sitters update, plus bonus underwater video from “Diver Laura” http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-wildlife-seal-sitters-update-and-bonus-underwater-video/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-wildlife-seal-sitters-update-and-bonus-underwater-video/#comments Wed, 07 Feb 2018 07:45:12 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=908234 (Uno the harbor seal, photographed last week by David Hutchinson)

Have you seen a seal lately? Many have, and Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network is busy. Here’s an update from volunteer David Hutchinson:

While Seal Sitters’ “Blubberblog” site has not been updated recently, due to ongoing technical difficulties, our volunteers have been on duty responding to vulnerable young harbor seals hauled out on West Seattle beaches. Our normal busy season (September – November) was slower than usual but 2018 has started off with a flurry of calls to our Hotline (206-905-7325).

One seal, “Uno,” has accounted for the majority of responses this year. After first coming ashore on January 4th near Colman Pool, Uno has decided that the shoreline of Elliott Bay is her preferred location (you can tell it’s the same harbor seal by comparing the spots on the faces). She has become a familiar sight to passersby who frequently ask our volunteers how Uno is doing that day. Monday, volunteers were stretched thin when two additional young seals came ashore at separate locations in West Seattle.

Responses to these live seals is a positive experience compared to the one-week period in January when we had to deal with three near the north end of Lincoln Park that weren’t as fortunate. One was reported as deceased on the raft at that location, and another dead animal was recovered from Lowman Beach. The third arrived onshore with respiratory distress. After being examined by a NOAA consulting vet, that seal was transported to PAWS, where it later died. All three animals will be necropsied by WDFW.

We have received a number of inquiries about becoming a volunteer. These people will be receiving an email notice when a final date is set. As of now, Seal Sitters plans on holding its next training session in the late spring. Look for an announcement at sealsitters.org.

P.S. Bonus underwater seal video! This is from “Diver Laura” James – not Uno, she says, but another harbor seal, and a very curious one at that:

That’s some of her 360-degree-video equipment; she promises to share its video soon.

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BE A BEACH NATURALIST: Here’s how to help others enjoy our shores at low tide http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/be-a-beach-naturalist-heres-how-to-help-others-enjoy-our-shores-at-low-tide/ Sat, 27 Jan 2018 03:59:25 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906774

(WSB file photo)

Love going out on the beach at low tide to explore? Consider doing it this summer as a volunteer beach naturalist helping others learn about our shore and its wildlife. Here’s the announcement from the Seattle Aquarium:

Why do barnacles stand on their heads? What do sea stars like to eat? How do moon snails lay their eggs? Learn to answer these and other fun questions by volunteering as a Seattle Aquarium Beach Naturalist this summer. Naturalists receive training in the spring, and then spend three low-tide days educating beach visitors about inter-tidal life and beach etiquette at one of twelve Puget Sound beaches. Orientation for new naturalists will be held on Tuesday, March 13 at 6:30 PM. If interested, please register here or contact the Seattle Aquarium by email at beachnaturalist@seattleaquarium.org or by phone at 206-693-6214.

The beaches visited by the volunteers usually include two in West Seattle, at Constellation and Lincoln Parks.

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FROM SEAL SITTERS: Watch for ‘weaners’ and other beach visitors http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/from-seal-sitters-watch-for-weaners-and-other-beach-visitors/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/from-seal-sitters-watch-for-weaners-and-other-beach-visitors/#comments Sat, 20 Jan 2018 23:25:24 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906781 (Uno on Friday, photographed with a long lens by David Hutchinson)

See a seal on shore? Alert Seal Sitters! Here’s their newest update:

“Uno,” Seal Sitters’ first harbor seal response of 2018, has recently moved his favorite haulout spot from Lincoln Park to Elliott Bay. If anyone happens to see him or any other marine mammal on one of our West Seattle beaches, please contact the Seal Sitters’ Hotline at 206-905-SEAL (7325). We are having a bit of a flurry of weaned seals, anywhere from 4-6 months old, along West Seattle’s shoreline and it’s imperative they be given the space to rest and warm up. Sadly, the “weaner” Seal Sitters rescued from Lincoln Park on Thursday died overnight at the rehab facility and has been taken for necropsy.

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West Seattle weekend scene: Burning Christmas trees at Alki Beach http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-weekend-scene-burning-christmas-trees-at-alki-beach/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-weekend-scene-burning-christmas-trees-at-alki-beach/#comments Sun, 07 Jan 2018 10:11:16 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=905737

It’s an unofficial holiday-season-ending ritual at Alki Beach – rounding up dozens of Christmas trees for a big bonfire. It happened last night, and David Christensen was rollerblading past when he stopped for the photo. Another part of the tradition – somebody usually calls 911, since this is beyond what the rules allow for the fire rings. So Seattle Fire and Police were dispatched; we don’t know what happened from there, but the online incident log shows SFD was there for all of six minutes.

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VIDEO: See the sea of people who swarmed Alki Beach for New Year’s Day 2018 Polar Bear Plunge http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/video-see-the-sea-of-people-who-swarmed-alki-beach-for-new-years-day-2017-polar-bear-plunge/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/video-see-the-sea-of-people-who-swarmed-alki-beach-for-new-years-day-2017-polar-bear-plunge/#comments Mon, 01 Jan 2018 20:31:43 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=905108 (WSB video/photos unless otherwise credited)

The air was 38 degrees, the water was 46 degrees, and the politics were intermittent at this year’s Alki Beach Polar Bear Plunge.

We mention politics because in case you missed the original announcement, which almost made it onto the WSB Most-Commented-On Stories of 2017 list, longtime organizer Mark Ufkes included a statement that he planned to wear pink into the water in support of, among other things, electing women.

In the ensuing triple-digit comment thread, Mark also made the point that the swim was of course open to all, as always, whatever your politics. But at this morning’s swim, no speeches – just the traditional countdown, followed by a quick en-masse, shrieking run into the water and, for most, a quick run out. Swimmers wore a variety of outfits, from pink, to red-white-and-blue, to sports-fan gear, and more – here’s a sample:

Side note – Organizer Mark also brought corkscrews, free to anybody who wanted one – he explained that he had bid on a batch of unclaimed corkscrews confiscated by the TSA – he thought he was getting 100 but instead received 1,000. (He also bid on Swiss Army-type knives that he obtained and gave to Boy Scouts – he’s a longtime Scoutmaster and parent of Eagle Scouts.) Here’s his pre-swim photo of the corkscrews:

Other sightings at the Polar Bear Swim – offshore spectators:

And just as we got ready to publish this report – two photos from Bob Spears (the second, showing someone who really did plunge rather than run):

(Added) From Bailey – The spirit of Christmas (and more) lingered into New Year’s for this trio:

(Added) Turns out that Alki open-water swimmer Andrew Malinak was in the boat shown a few photos up. We thought we heard sea-lion barking when we arrived at the beach, and one of his photos caught two of the five sea lions he reports counting:

Here are two of his photos from just before, and during, the plunge:

ADDED TUESDAY: From Erik Bell:

Any favorite photos/video to share? editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

P.S. Past years’ WSB coverage:

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West Seattle New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge 2018 is on – with a twist http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/west-seattle-new-years-day-polar-bear-plunge-2018-is-on-with-a-twist/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/west-seattle-new-years-day-polar-bear-plunge-2018-is-on-with-a-twist/#comments Mon, 18 Dec 2017 20:42:26 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=904089 polar-plunge(2017 photo by Robert Spears)

For everyone who has been asking – yes, the annual West Seattle New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge at Alki Beach is on – with something extra, as just announced by longtime organizer Mark Ufkes:

Yes, the West Seattle Alki Polar Bear Plunge is on again. We line up along the beach in front of Duke’s on Alki, hold hands, and with a countdown, we all run into the water together. Over 500 of us did it last year. We plunge into the water at 10 am sharp January 1, 2018. Don’t be late. Bring water shoes, a towel, a warm change of clothes, and your hopes and dreams for the new year.

This year’s event is a great way to wash away the complexities of the first year of a Trump Administration. And the cold, crisp 47-degree Puget Sound water will wash us with an understanding of why Trump and the mostly white, Republican men who run Congress, after attacking President Obama on a daily basis for eight years about the deficit, would add $1.5 trillion to the deficit during an economic boom to give tax benefits to mostly the wealthy in society, while taking away our net neutrality and reducing lands preserved in our national monuments.

Wear Pink Into the Water: After 62 years of life, and as a white man, I have come to the conclusion that white men (mostly Republicans) are not capable of running our federal government in an honest, equitable manner. Therefore, I will be wearing pink into the water to acknowledge the reality that we need to elect women into every position in the U.S. Congress and fully hand over the reins of federal government power to women. We all know that they will do a better job.

See you January 1 at 10 am!

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WEST SEATTLE SHORES: King tides ahead, following ‘supermoon’ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/west-seattle-shores-king-tides-ahead-following-supermoon/ Sat, 02 Dec 2017 07:06:16 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=902451

(December 2012 at Alki, when king tides combined with ‘storm surge’ conditions)

The extra-high high tides known as king tides are returning, starting next week, after the “supermoon” full moon that you’ll see (as clouds permit!) this weekend. Nothing catastrophic is forecast so far – high tides plus stormy weather can be problematic, but fairly calm weather is expected so far. Still, for those who like to track these things:

Tuesday, December 5 – 12.8 high tide at 6:32 am
Wednesday, December 6 – 12.9 high tide at 7:23 am
Thursday, December 7 – 12.9 high tide at 8:14 am

In January, the king tides will rise even higher – over 13 feet on January 3, 4, and 5. Again, without accompanying stormy weather (as was the case in December 2012), they’re generally little more than a rising/falling curiosity, but worthy of note just the same.

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