West Seattle, Washington
Orcas off Fauntleroy, spotted by JumboJim:
Wanted to report that we saw approx. 10-12 orcas off of Lincoln Park and Fauntleroy dock around 10:00-10:30 this A.M. There was at least one male (tall dorsal fin) in the group, maybe two. They were passing to the south. A first time sighting for us from our house. Considering we’re one mile from the water, near the crest of the hill, we were pretty amazed to see them. We had been looking for birds with our spotting scope when we spotted them. I checked an orca hotline and it seems they may have been K pod.”
Smaller marine mammals off Harbor Ave, reported by Paul Cozens:
Around 20 California Sea Lions have been cavorting in the waters between Saltyâ€™s and Jack Block Park. There does not appear to be a skinny one in the bunch, indicating they are successfully feeding on something. A Harbor Seal was spotted lounging on the beach this morning, also.
And two luscious West Seattle Farmers’ Market photos from this morning by Lois Grammon-Simpson — heart-y treats from Flying Apron Bakery, followed by those gorgeous tulips (first spotted last week) from Alm Hill Gardens.
Go here to set up an appointment online to donate blood through the Puget Sound Blood Center. We got a note from WSB reader Mark wanting everyone to know that PSBC supplies are at emergency (low) levels – confirmed by the red bar across the PSBC home page. Mark is a regular blood donor, and when we e-mailed PSBC for more info, they sent this update asking that more people make that part of their lives:Read More
As the January 15th deadline for Seattle (Alki) Statue of Liberty Plaza Project fundraising draws near, organizers Paul and Libby Carr have issued another financial update this weekend regarding what they’ve raised and what they’re still trying to bring in:Read More
This just in as a comment below our original report, posted there by Reasa Shuck, who says the diver was her fiance’, and included details on the underwater proposal that WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli learned about at the scene. Reasa identifies her fiance as Joshua Magee. (Update: Less than an hour after we first published this report, authorities confirmed the diver’s death, though without officially releasing his name.):
I am the diver’s fiancee who had a accident at Alki Yesterday afternoon. He wasn’t able to be revived. He surfaced to tell me he was okay and went back under a little while later he surfaced I waved to show him where I was on shore. He went back down and then came up a bit later and screamed help me. I was calling him telling him I was on my way. I got other divers’ attention to where he was and to try to get to him. I tried swimming to him but the water was too cold. Meanwhile other people on the shore called 911. When they pulled him from the water the diver was not breathing and they started rescue breaths. The emergency crews were there to take over after that. He was taken to the hospital and they were still trying to revive him but were not able to. The diver’s name was Joshua Magee and he was a great person and my fiance. Here is the story that Josh wrote about our engagement.
“Ok: If you got this, then it means that I give a rats booty about you. What, you think I keep friends around just for the hell of it? No. I’m done with that game. And I want you to know of a very significant development in my life. As you know, I have been dating the amazing Reasa, for a little over a year now. And she has become an incredible, and irreplaceable part of my life. I truly could not imagine my life without her by my side, nor do I ever want to. With that said, you can probably guess what my next step would be: go on a badass scuba dive, right? What, you didn’t see that coming? Ok, I’ll explain: On Oct. 15th (our 1 year anniversary), I got her SCUBA lessons. “Babe, that’s really cool, but not very romantic,” she said.
“Despite her disappointment, she was a great sport. She took her nightly classes, and passed all of her deep dives with flying colors. Once she was certified, my plan began to unfold. Oh yes, I had a badass plan to go with the badass love I had for this unknowing damsel.
“So, Nov. 24th, I took my soon to be bride to the San Juan Islands, to the beautiful Keystone Jetty, and took our very first dive together. Her trust in me to keep her safe made me feel incredible. I tried to protect her from all the huge sea life there, but I have to admit that a face-to-face encounter with a Giant Pacific Octopus scared the poop out of me, and I franticly swam away without my precious dive buddy. Sorry babe. Anyway, once I gained my composure, I called my love to me. I signaled that I was getting low on air, and it was time to search for a seashell memento of our first dive together, and head for the surface.
“As she began searching, I pulled out the clamshell that I had put together. It was a beautiful shell with purple and white lines. I epoxied the two halves together with an operational hinge, and a rubber-coated clip to hold her ring. No, not the REAL ring, are you crazy?! It was a cheap-o for the dive.
“Now as you have already realized I’m sure, I put a lot of work into this clamshell. So I didn’t want it to get broken before I could pop my big question. So I put it in a Tupperware container to protect it. But one small detail that I did not consider, (anyone that is a diver knows where this going) is that under the pressure of the water, I could not open the Tupperware to save my life! It suctioned closed so tightly that I was truly terrified! I clawed at it, and slammed it against a rock, trying to get it open. I even tried to use my teeth to get it open – sorry mom. But even that didn’t work. Finally I thought to pry it open with my dive knife. Mind you all this, without her seeing my struggle!
“Once I got the shell free, I called her over, and pointed out the great shell sitting in the sand. She expressed her excitement, and reached for the colorful shell. Of course I beat her to it, and scooped it up. I opened the clamshell to reveal a gorgeous ring, and the words on the inside that read ‘Marry me?’.
“Once she realized what I was doing and read the inscription, she eagerly shook her head yes! Was my job done? Oh hell no! If you know me at all, you know better than to think I would let her off that easily.
“As I took the ring out of the shell, and handed it to her, I intentionally dropped it! It sank into the seafloor silt, and was gone forever. I wrote on our underwater slate that I dropped it, and did she see where it fell? She realized the huge problem at hand, and began to frantically search for the ring in the seabed.
“I let her panic for a minute or so, and even pretended to look for the lost ring, and then I wrote on the slate that the real ring was waiting in the truck.
“Yeah, she will probably kill me at some point for this one. Give it your best-shot babe, I don’t sweat you!”
(After sharing that story, Reasa continues in her comment posting): Thank you to the dive community for all of your help and support.
Josh Magee also shared the story of his engagement to Reasa on a MySpace page we found, where his profile quote was a book passage from Stephen Harrigan‘s “Water and Light: A Diver’s Journey,” including “Scuba diving, from the beginning, had an air of dangerous allure. Every landlocked schoolboy knew of its intriguing hazards … and rapture of the deep, which took away his reason, filled his heart with false contentment, and drew him down into the ocean gloom.”
If not today, perhaps tonight, says the National Weather Service‘s latest “forecast discussion.” (When they talk about the 500-plus-foot hills, note that only one area of the city really cracks that level, and it’s right here in West Seattle (as listed on the city’s “highest elevations” page, which also lists the streets with the steepest grades.)
That’s when you’re invited to join the WSB team and myriad fine folks for the announcement of the first quarterly West Seattle Community Recognition Award recipients, plus some general mingling. Location to be announced shortly. What are those awards we speak of, you’re wondering? Long story short, Julie Mireille Anderson from Divina wanted to find a way to celebrate some of the incredible people in WS, and hatched the idea, inviting WSB to help sponsor and coordinate. How could we resist? Good news is, there’s still time for you to nominate somebody. We originally explained it all here, and now there’s one update: You can get the nomination form in a Word doc (click here) so you can fill it out inline. (Explanatory info is in a Word doc too; get that here.) Nominate somebody right now, then join us on Jan. 18!
On ScubaBoard, one of the people who pulled the diver out of the water at Seacrest Saturday afternoon (see earlier WSB coverage) has posted his story. A thread on the Northwest Dive Club board suggests there’s a report circulating that the diver didn’t make it, but there are no updates at this moment on the Fire Department or Medical Examiner media hotlines, nor in the citywide media.