(5/10/11 photo by Gary Jones)
Continuing to go through the WSB archives as we rough out more year-in-review roundups, we realized that “Seen at Sea” coverage – even without the wildlife stories, which we’ve already recapped – contains some of 2011’s most memorable sights. Among them, of course, what you see in the top photo – the Sea-Based X-Band Radar, the missile-tracking floating dome which was at Vigor Shipyards on Harbor Island from May 10th (nighttime arrival coverage here) till August 20th (departure coverage here), during which time it was the subject of doubtlessly millions of photos, and almost as many questions.
(8/20/11 photo by Melanie Dixon)
By the way, SBX is on the move again right now – this story says it departed a Hawaii base on Wednesday for point(s) unknown.
Here’s some of what else made news in and on West Seattle waters this year:
SINKING AND RAISING OF ‘JUSTIN’
Beach Drive was media central for a few days in October after the rock-laden Justin sank. Nobody hurt, but the slick raised some concern – Colby Chester provided the view you see above – and raising the sunken vessel took quite an operation.
FIRST-EVER NORTHWEST PADDLING FESTIVAL
In June, a first-of-its-kind festival debuted in West Seattle, as Alki Kayak Tours/Mountain to Sound Outfitters led the way for the Northwest Paddling Festival at Jack Block Park, where a stretch of previously closed shoreline opened for the occasion.
MORE HUMAN-POWERED WAYFARING
In July, during the outrigger race “Da Grind,” Gatewood pilot/aerial photographer Long B. Nguyen shared that sight. Also in July:
David Hutchinson shared great shots from the Tribal Journeys visit to Alki.
NO, THAT WASN’T AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER
The Seafair Parade of Ships was particularly impressive this August, with the amphibious-assault vessel USS Bonhomme Richard part of the parade, and a hovercraft right behind it. Gary shared the view looking over the Alki Lighthouse.
WHY WE ALL LEARNED THE WORD ‘NOCTILUCA’
In June, many people spotted this phenomenon close up along local waterways, and worried about “red tide.” It was reddish, but that’s not what it was – it was a nontoxic microorganism bloom called “noctiluca.”
WEIRDNESS AT SEA – BEACH DRIVE’S BEACHED COW
Maybe the weirdest West Seattle story of the year – a dead cow washed up in front of multiple Beach Drive homes over the course of a few days in February. Police finally got involved and towed it to Don Armeni, where a rendering company picked it up. As far as we know, the cow’s origins remain a moo-stery.
Track “seen at sea” stories on WSB any time via this archive (newest-to-oldest). Meantime, more year-in-review coverage to come!