West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle beaches http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 08:21:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 ‘King tides’ later this week: Times, heights, viewing events http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/king-tides-later-this-week-times-heights-viewing-events/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/king-tides-later-this-week-times-heights-viewing-events/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 23:12:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=298725

(WSB photo, taken Saturday)
We noticed those sandbags at Alki Bathhouse over the weekend, apparently awaiting the next round of “king tides,” the very-high high tides that happen a few times in winter. They’re coming up later this week; according to our favorite tide chart (aside from the short-range one on the WSB Weather page, that is), they are:

* 12.8 feet, 5:54 am Wednesday, January 21
* 13.0 feet, 6:31 am Thursday, January 22
* 13.2 feet, 7:10 am Friday, January 23
* 13.2 feet, 7:50 am Saturday, January 24
* 13.0 feet, 8:32 am Sunday, January 25

The Alki/Beach Drive/Harbor Avenue shores are classic places to go see the high water in West Seattle; you can also see the tides’ effects on the Duwamish River by joining either or both of two events, Friday and Saturday mornings – details are on our partner site The South Park News. Right now, the forecast is rainy, but not windy, so you’re not likely to see anything too dramatic, certainly not like last November!

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You can help! Students cleaning up Lincoln Park beach Saturday afternoon welcome community support http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/you-can-help-students-cleaning-up-lincoln-park-beach-saturday-afternoon-welcome-community-support/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/you-can-help-students-cleaning-up-lincoln-park-beach-saturday-afternoon-welcome-community-support/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 05:05:06 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=298068 Chief Sealth International High School ninth-grader Jessica e-mailed to say she and a group of classmates plan a beach cleanup on Saturday afternoon, and that your help is welcome:

For my Language Arts class, we are working on ways to spread awareness about ocean plastic pollution. My group chose to pick up trash at the beach in Lincoln Park. We’ll be there on January 17th around 12 to 4 pm. … We’d love to get help and have the community get involved! We’ll be by the picnic shelter north of the bathrooms.

Sincerely,
Jessica, Alyssa, Hamdi, ZamZam, and Nathalie (Chief Sealth students)

If you’d like to share their invitation, remember that hovering over the “ShareThis” icon below any WSB stories gives you options for social-media sharing on a wide variety of services or even just e-mailing the link (click the three-dot icon).

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VIDEO: West Seattle New Year’s Day 2015 Polar Bear Swim! http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/video-west-seattle-new-years-day-2015-polar-bear-swim/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/video-west-seattle-new-years-day-2015-polar-bear-swim/#comments Thu, 01 Jan 2015 23:15:56 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296907

(WSB video/photos, unless otherwise credited)
Though the New Year had arrived 10 hours earlier, for hundreds, it wasn’t 2015 until the annual Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach. This year, the water was warmer than the air – ~50 degrees and 32 degrees respectively. Whatever the temperature or weather conditions, some wouldn’t miss it, like Kayleen Dunson and her fellow softball umpires (join them on the field this year!), with the morning’s most-patriotic photo op:

Water-testing was called for, too.

Of course, Seahawks fans were in view …

… after on-the-beach decorating:

Not as many costumed swimmers this year, but festive hats were in evidence:

(That photo and next by Russ Walker, whose Flickr gallery is here)

Big smiles too – this one’s from Frank Gross of Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor):

Finally it was time for the countdown – here’s organizer Mark Ufkes with the megaphone:

And … they’re off!

(Photo by Craig Young)
Post-plunge, organizer Ufkes was of course among those emerging triumphantly:

Spectators caught it all:

Awaiting the newly soaked Polar Bears, chowder from Duke’s across the street, and info about the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s upcoming Totem Cruise:

(Photo courtesy SWSHS/Clay Eals)
That’s SWSHS volunteer Liz Day in the foreground; in the background, Duke’s GM Greg Green and server Autumn Kline with the chowder. Whether you swam, stayed on shore, or stayed home, a Happy 2015 to all!

Past years’ WSB coverage:
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010

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How Seal Sitters volunteers (and a pup) spent Christmas Day http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/how-seal-sitters-volunteers-and-a-pup-spent-christmas-day/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/how-seal-sitters-volunteers-and-a-pup-spent-christmas-day/#comments Sat, 27 Dec 2014 22:26:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296500 One more story in keeping with what seems to be today’s theme (water/beaches/wildlife):

At midday on Christmas, Marianne sent word that Seal Sitters were out on the beach at Lincoln Park, guarding a pup. Before we could get out of the house, she sent the photo you see above, with a followup – the seal had returned to the water shortly after SS responder Dana arrived. That wasn’t the end of the story, though. We finally went to Lincoln Park for a walk (which resulted in these pictures) shortly before sunset. As we entered from the Lowman side, we passed the Seal Sitters group (including David and Eilene Hutchinson, recognizable from so many other volunteer endeavors) departing – seems the pup had made a comeback for a while. And now, you can read the full story of seal pup Silverbell and the humans who helped it, via the newest update on the Seal Sitters “Blubberblog.”

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No ‘king tide’ drama on West Seattle shores this time around http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/no-king-tide-drama-on-west-seattle-shores-this-time-around/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/no-king-tide-drama-on-west-seattle-shores-this-time-around/#comments Fri, 26 Dec 2014 17:51:45 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296386

As noted here last night, we’re in the midst of three days at which the morning high tides are part of this year’s “king tides.” So we went out today to see what that might bring. The photo above, from Seacrest, was about as dramatic as it got. (added) At nearby Don Armeni, the water was almost up to parking lot/drive-path level:

We checked Alki a few minutes later, and the water wasn’t even over the seawall – see for yourself in this video shared by Joe Szilagyi, who was also out investigating:

Nothing at all like the wind-fueled post-Thanksgiving sights on Alki (and no doubt waterfront residents are relieved!). Tomorrow morning’s high tide, just after 9 am, will also be 13 feet, and that’s it for the official “king tides” until a stretch in January.

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‘King tides’ continue in our area tomorrow morning and Saturday http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/king-tides-continue-in-our-area-tomorrow-morning-saturday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/king-tides-continue-in-our-area-tomorrow-morning-saturday/#comments Fri, 26 Dec 2014 06:35:56 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296363

(Photos taken Christmas evening at Lincoln Park, by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Lots of people out walking the shoreline in Lincoln Park just before tonight’s sunset. If you’re looking for a reason to go out for a walk tomorrow morning, here’s one: The “king tides” are back, and tomorrow is the second of three mornings bringing the highest tide of the month – 13 feet tomorrow, at 8:22 am. With calm weather expected, you might even see someone out for a closer look.

Whatever you see during the “king tides” these next two mornings (and during another round in late January), the state would love to see your photos – as explained here.

(Just to be clear, this round of “king tides” is arriving in the morning; our photos were taken today at Lincoln Park around 4 pm, when the tide was about as close to average as it can get, not high, not low.)

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West Seattle Christmas scene: A ‘tree’ on Alki Beach http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-christmas-scene-a-tree-on-alki-beach/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-christmas-scene-a-tree-on-alki-beach/#comments Thu, 25 Dec 2014 23:19:27 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296344

Thanks to Don Brubeck for sharing the photo of that Christmasy creation on Alki – and thanks to the artist (whoever you are) for creating it!

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Low-low tide tonight, ‘coastal flood advisory’ Tuesday morning http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/low-low-tide-tonight-coastal-flood-advisory-tomorrow-morning/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/low-low-tide-tonight-coastal-flood-advisory-tomorrow-morning/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 04:40:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296162 Another round of tidal extremes has arrived – if you’re up for a late-night low-tide walk, it’s the lowest tide of the month just after 11 pm (-2.7), and almost that low tomorrow night (-2.5) at quarter till midnight. The morning high tides this week are the “king tides” awaited each year, and the <strong>National Weather Service has a Coastal Flood Advisory out for some possible overflow tomorrow: The predicted high tide is 12.6 feet at 6:19 am tomorrow, building toward 13.0 high tides at 7:39 am on Christmas Day (that’ll be the morning high tide for the two days afterward, too). Read more about it on the city’s Convergence Zone website.

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Comment time for $2.3 million seawall replacement along Beach Drive http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/comment-time-for-2-3-million-seawall-replacement-along-beach-drive/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/comment-time-for-2-3-million-seawall-replacement-along-beach-drive/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:44:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=295824

That 475-foot stretch of seawall at Emma Schmitz Overlook along Beach Drive is set for replacement in the next few years – but the city and federal agencies working on it are looking for public comment right now. Beach Drive Blog has been following the plans for the project, and this morning, the official news release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has arrived:

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, has partnered with the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department to design and implement a coastal storm damage reduction project under Section 103 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1962, as amended. The public comment period for this project runs through Dec. 31.

Emma Schmitz Overlook is located at 4503 Beach Drive SW, south of Alki Point in Seattle. The site includes a seawall built around 1927 that has deteriorated over time. Currently coastal storms and erosion threaten public infrastructure located in and around the seawall, including a 54-inch King County sewer main, a major public arterial, city park property and other underground utilities. The recommended plan includes construction of a soldier pile seawall parallel to the shoreline throughout the study area. The new seawall would be a few feet higher and seaward of the existing seawall. This would provide protection against damages caused by coastal storm events that occur in Puget Sound.

In 1998, the City of Seattle was prompted to take emergency action to stabilize the shoreline to the north of the proposed federal project when storm waves resulted in the failure of a similar section of existing seawall and subsequent erosion of shoreline protection that threatened utilities, roadways, and public lands. The city completed permanent emergency repairs on this adjacent site which is not included in the scope of the proposed Federal project.

The recommended plan was chosen because it has the least environmental impact, was the least cost alternative and meets all project purposes. It includes construction of a soldier pile wall parallel to the shoreline throughout the study area. Coordination with resource agencies and federal tribes is ongoing and preliminary indications expect a concurrence with the project.

The implementation cost of the recommended plan is estimated to be $2.29 million and will be cost-shared with 65 percent federal ($1,488,000) funds and 35 percent non-federal ($801,000) funds. The non-federal sponsor, Seattle Parks and Recreation, is responsible for all lands, easements, right-of-ways, relocations, and/or disposal areas which are controlled by the sponsor. Economic analysis suggests the project could prevent millions of dollars of physical and non-physical damages, resulting on a positive benefit-cost ratio.

Submit comments to this office, Attn: Environmental and Cultural Resources Branch, no later than December 31, 2014 to ensure consideration. In addition to sending comments via mail, comments may be e-mailed to Melissa.L.Leslie@usace.army.mil. The Notice of Availability and Detailed Project Report/Environmental Assessment can be found at (this) website.

Requests for additional information should be directed to Ms. Melissa Leslie at 206-764-6587, or the above e-mail address.

The two documents mentioned above are the first two on the website the announcement points you to; both include “Alki” in the name, though they are on the west-facing Beach Drive shore.

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Alki storm aftermath: Liberating Liberty from sand, driftwood http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/alki-storm-aftermath-liberating-liberty-from-sand-driftwood/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/alki-storm-aftermath-liberating-liberty-from-sand-driftwood/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 08:38:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=293947 Remember those wild waves at Alki on Saturday?

(Saturday photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
(More video/photos here.) Monday, it was cleanup time at Statue of Liberty Plaza:

(WSB photo)
We spotted those workers while catching a quick view of the USS John C. Stennis. Later, David Hutchinson shared a clearer look at what Seattle Parks had to pick up:

One inch of sand, David points out. Plus plenty of driftwood:

The afternoon high tides for the next few days are about as high as they were over the weekend – but without the strong north winds and extra stormwater, they’re just, well, high tides.

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VIDEO/PHOTOS: Showstopper storm-surge waves at Alki, beyond http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/videophotos-showstopper-storm-surge-waves-at-alki-beyond/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/videophotos-showstopper-storm-surge-waves-at-alki-beyond/#comments Sun, 30 Nov 2014 06:29:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=293652

On the waterfront from Avenue Collection on Vimeo.

If you didn’t get to Alki today, to join everyone gawking at the waves and spray, here’s a taste of what it was like, courtesy of your neighbors who sent us video and photos to share (in addition to the ones we published in coverage earlier today). First, two video clips so you can see and hear the wild waves – above, a one-minute series of cuts by Mark; below, a longer look from Jeff Miller:

(Video by Jeff Miller)
This seemed at least twice as ferocious as what we had found at the beach on Friday (as shown here) – fueled by a faster, colder north wind.

(WSB photo)
Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza‘s namesake artwork was a popular subject, at times appearing in danger of getting knocked down by the waves dwarfing it. David Hutchinson captured a rainbow in a slightly quieter moment of spray:

SEE A DOZEN-PLUS MORE VIEWS – from surfing to posing – after the jump:

Pam captioned her photo “statue in the storm”:

The westward view, from Mark Daughhetee:

Some made the most of rare conditions. Patrick Binns caught kite surfers “in flight”:

Steve Joseph found someone just plain surfing:

(added) Here’s what the spectator scene looked like – courtesy of Scott Straight:

The waves kicked up driftwood aplenty – Doug B shows us what was on the east side of Alki Bathhouse:

(See more of his views on the WSB Flickr group page.)

All the way at the west end of the promenade, the water was up over the grass, as Anne Kurt noticed:

Long Bach Nguyen‘s photo shows an example of how that happened:

Between waves, the photo ops:

And then there was the goofy side – this, from Guy Olson:

The surf lessened as you moved further from the north-facing shore – but MM still caught this at Jack Block Park:

P.S. One view from the south – Anne sent this from Point Williams at Lincoln Park, by Colman Pool:

This isn’t likely to repeat any time soon, probably much to the relief of residents and business owners at the beach – as we arrived on Alki for another look around mid-afternoon, one series of waves blew all the way across Alki Avenue SW into restaurant windows on the inland side.

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West Seattle scenes: Sea-star sighting, and a video review http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-scenes-sea-star-sighting-and-a-video-review/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-scenes-sea-star-sighting-and-a-video-review/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:46:01 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292938

A sea star wasn’t always such a memorable sight on a tidepool walk. Saturday night, though, we were glad to hear some were spotted in Constellation Park during a nighttime low-tide walk with Seattle Aquarium naturalists. The photo is by Antonio Ventimiglia, shared by Tom, who spotted the exploration event (sorry we didn’t have it on our calendar; turns out two more are coming up in December and January, and tonight you might just want to explore the beach yourself, as the tide will be out to -2.3 feet around 11:20 pm Sunday). Back to the sea stars; you’ll recall a new report earlier this week suggested a not-so-new virus might be factoring into the massive die-off. “Diver Laura” James, who has long been watching and investigating the sea star situation as a “citizen scientist,” went back to survey in Cove 1 near Seacrest shortly afterward; she shares this video spanning 8 years, from a time of plentiful starfish, to now:

Before and after Sea Star wasting syndrome – Cove 1 West Seattle – footage spanning 8 years from Laura James on Vimeo.

P.S. Laura was out whale-watching Saturday afternoon, as were many others – here’s her video, featuring a multitude of spouts as the group of orcas swam in nearby waters.

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West Seattle windstorm aftermath: Lowman Beach cleared to reopen after sewage overflow during power outage http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-windstorm-aftermath-lowman-beach-cleared-to-reopen-after-sewage-overflow-during-power-outage/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-windstorm-aftermath-lowman-beach-cleared-to-reopen-after-sewage-overflow-during-power-outage/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:53:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290328

(WSB photo: Excavation site at midday today)
As the excavation continues at the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project site across from Lowman Beach Park, another reminder of what the future million-gallon tank is for – King County announced that Saturday night’s windstorm led to a power outage and another overflow from Murray Pump Station, into Puget Sound. We’re still waiting to hear the amount of sewage that (updated) 200,000 gallons of sewage overflowed; county Wastewater Treatment spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson says bacteria levels “were never elevated,” but the beach was closed “as a precaution” and has since reopened. The county brought in a mobile generator to get the pump station back online and stop Saturday night’s overflow; once the entire Murray project is complete, that shouldn’t be necessary either, since the pump station itself is getting a “permanent back-up electrical system” in addition to the huge tank to hold overflows. Right now, the overflow tank site is more than two-thirds of the way into the 60-foot-deep excavation that’s planned for the $26 million project, which is designed to bring the county into compliance with orders to limit overflows to no more than one per year; currently, this pump station averages five.

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Another West Seattle beach cleanup: Lincoln Park, tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/another-west-seattle-beach-cleanup-lincoln-park-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/another-west-seattle-beach-cleanup-lincoln-park-tomorrow/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 00:24:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286909 Just found out from “Diver Laura” James that Puget SoundKeeper and Ocean Conservancy are partners in another big local beach cleanup – this one, sponsored by Cox Enterprises, is tomorrow (Friday, September 26th) at Lincoln Park, 9 am-1 pm. They’re not soliciting more volunteers but Laura says if you want to help, they have room and won’t turn you away (tell the signup table you’re part of Diver Laura’s “team”). They’ll be on the beach north and south of Colman Pool, with registration at the nearest picnic shelter on the south stretch, starting at 8:45 am.

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Speaking of cars … commercial shoot on Alki Beach http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/speaking-of-cars-commercial-shoot-on-alki-beach/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/speaking-of-cars-commercial-shoot-on-alki-beach/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 04:04:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285223

Lots of questions tonight about a film shoot on Alki Beach. Photo just in, courtesy of Don Brubeck (thank you!). We’re told it was a car commercial – that would explain the car on the sand! – reportedly for the Subaru Impreza.

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