West Seattle beaches 685 results

WEST SEATTLE SCENES: In the sky, on the beach

Thanks for the photos!

Ann Adachi‘s image of the pre-sunset rainbow is the most vivid one we received. … Earlier in the day, before those glimpses of blue sky, clouds presided over a low-low tide:

Thanks to Lynn Hall for that view over Duwamish Head. Tomorrow’s low-low tide will be out to -2.0 feet, almost as low as today, at 2:19 pm. If you can’t get out to beachwalk until Saturday, it’ll be -1.4 feet at 3:07 pm. And all this is just a warmup for next month’s low-low tides – including -3.2 feet at 12:24 pm on May 9.

WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: What you need to know about why dead sea lions aren’t quickly removed from beaches

Even with a sign like that in view, people have asked about a dead sea lion that’s been in view on the beach at Constellation Park for a while. Though removal is not in the scope of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, we asked what they know about its status. That led to this explanation:

Many of you have seen Seal Sitters volunteers guarding vulnerable young harbor-seal pups resting onshore throughout the day. We also have the responsibility of responding to reports of deceased marine mammals that wash up on our local beaches.

When our hotline receives a report of a marine-mammal carcass on a public beach, a Seal Sitter first responder goes to the location. They take measurements, photos, and perform an external examination. This information along with the species type, degree of decomposition, and GPS coordinates will be entered into NOAA’s online national database. It is very important for scientific purposes that these deceased animals be reported. In some instances, a necropsy (animal autopsy) can be performed, depending on its condition and available resources. Seattle Parks and Recreation is always notified of the carcass’s location.

It is important to understand that NOAA’s stranding network, of which Seal Sitters is a member, is not responsible for the removal of these carcasses. Please note that it is illegal for anyone to push a dead animal back into the water once it has landed onshore. Towing and releasing or sinking requires a valid permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. Private property owners have a couple options. They can bury the carcass above the high tide line. They also can arrange for removal of the carcass by a company such as QAR (Quiet Animal Removal) for a fee.

Almost all California Sea Lions in our area are males and can reach up to 7.5 feet in length and weigh up to 700 pounds. Heavy equipment is required to remove them from the beach. Seattle Parks has the equipment to do this, but the carcass needs to be in an accessible location. Two CSL carcasses are currently on West Seattle public beaches. They have been reported to Seal Sitters and we have passed their location along to Seattle Parks, but they remain on the beach because they cannot be reached with the appropriate equipment. Seal Sitters’ first responders marked each carcass with biodegradable paint and placed informational signs nearby. The paint is applied for ID purposes, so if it floats to a different location on a high tide, it does not get double-counted. The signs inform passersby that the network is monitoring these dead animals’ locations and cautions against touching them for health reasons.

Seal Sitters wants to thank the West Seattle community for their support, and please continue to report both dead and live cases to our hotline at 206-905-7325.

SPORTS: Fans, top-ranked beach volleyball teams take to Alki Beach for rare weekend of college sports in West Seattle

Story and photos by Sean Golonka
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

While Division I athletics are a rare sight in West Seattle, the University of Washington beach-volleyball team and other top-ranked squads from across the country have come together for back-to-back weekend tournaments at Alki Beach.

Despite the cool, overcast weather in the low-50s this afternoon, the signs of spring — and volleyballs — were in the air, as scores of fans rallied around the beach to watch the Huskies (the 13th-ranked team in the country) take on #12 Arizona State and #2 Stanford.

In the Huskies’ first game of the day, pairs of two players battled across three sand courts in sets played to 21 points, while UW fans and visiting families donned team gear, jackets, and sweaters and gathered in chairs and on the steps leading down to the beach.

“Let’s go!” players shouted as they rallied for points against Arizona State. (The Huskies won, 3-2.)

With UW a ~20-minute drive away from West Seattle, top-level college sports rarely make an appearance in this part of the city, but since the NCAA officially sanctioned beach volleyball as a championship sport in the 2015-16 season, Alki has become a perennial home for the Huskies’ beach volleyball team.

After a set of Pac-12 North games wraps up this weekend, with UW additionally slated to play #7 California and unranked Oregon on Saturday (here’s the schedule), the Huskies will be back again next weekend for the Alki Beach Invitational.

UPDATE: Beached sailboat at Alki

7:33 PM: This day that began with a beached SUV at Lincoln Park is concluding with a beached sailboat at Alki. Thanks to the reader who sent the photos with a tip about the SFD/SPD response by land and sea. It’s toward the west end of Alki (off the 3000 block).

So far as we can tell from emergency-radio exchanges, the person who was aboard the boat is unhurt, just stuck. The tide is going out right now, with low tide just after 11 pm, and the next high tide isn’t until 5:42 am tomorrow.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: The boat’s still there. This update was sent by Andrew:

Talked to the fellow inside the boat and he said it was getting dark, he was trying to lower his sails, he was too close to shore (duh), and the wind got him. Wonder when the tide will be high enough to get him floating again…

According to the chart, next high tide is just after 5:30 pm, though it won’t be as high as the one this morning just after 5:30 am.

FOLLOWUP: Car removed from water off Duwamish Head, 34 hours after crash

Thanks to Lynn Hall for the photos! The car that went into Elliott Bay off Duwamish Head very early Saturday morning has just been pulled out, after this tow crew showed up.

They had police assistance on the water side:

And the flatbed will take it away:

The car was fully visible on the beach at low tide Saturday evening, as shown in photos added to our original coverage. We’ll be following up with police tomorrow on the status of the driver, a man in his early 20s who was not seriously hurt, and with Seattle Parks on whether any seawall/beach damage will need repairs.

ADDED MONDAY: SPD confirmed today that the driver was arrested for investigation of DUI.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Food trucks, beer, costumes @ Special Olympics of Washington’s Polar Plunge fundraiser

(WSB photos)

11:55 AM: Alki’s biggest post-holidays winter event is happening now – the Special Olympics of Washington Polar Plunge. The “plunging” doesn’t actually start until 1 pm, but the accompanying food-trucks-and-beer festival is happening now:

We counted 11 trucks – from west to east, Off the Rez, Thai-U-Up, Tabassum, Kathmandu MoMoCha, Whateke, The Cheese Pit, Sam Choy’s Poké to the Max, SeoulBowl, Theo’s Gyros, Alaska Weathervane Scallops.

Sorry, no lineup for the beer garden, but you can buy tokens for tastings:

And heaters are set up!

This is all scheduled to continue until around 4 pm, near Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki), with a costume contest coming up pre-plunge, shortly after noon.

ADDED 7:06 PM: Thanks to Robert Spears for sending photos from the costume contest and plunging!

BEACH ALERT: Cormorant Cove closed because of sewage leak next door

Just in from Seattle Public Utilities:

Beach closure signs (are) posted near Cormorant Cove.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) responded to reports of a broken (private) side sewer at 3717 Beach Drive SW on Saturday.

The customer hired a contractor to repair a small leak at one of the units. The customer is working with a contractor to perform the repair during favorable tidal conditions this week.

On the recommendation of Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC), SPU has posted signs notifying the public the beach in that immediate area is currently closed to water activities. SPU is working with PHSKC to determine when the beach can be reopened.

The listed address is that of the over-water Harbor West Condos immediately south of Cormorant Cove Park. We’ve reported on several previous sewage-leak problems there.

TUESDAY: Last 13-foot ‘king tide’ of winter

February 12, 2024 10:44 am
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 |   West Seattle beaches | West Seattle news

This will happen tomorrow before our daily reminder list is out, so we’re mentioning it today: This winter’s final 13-foot “king tide” is expected at 7:24 am Tuesday (February 13). The weather’s relatively calm – no atmospheric conditions present to intensify the tidal peak – so no trouble is expected, but early-morning beachwalkers might be interested.

WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Seen on nighttime low-tide walk

Thanks to Brandy DeWeese for photos from one of our featured Friday events – the Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists’ nighttime low-tide walk at Constellation Park south of Alki Point.

No organized event tonight – but the -2.3-foot low tide at 11:19 pm is almost as low as last night’s.

The volunteer beach naturalists are usually out at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park multiple times during summer’s daytime low tides – watch this webpage (and our calendar) for the schedule.

About the deer carcass on Alki (WEDNESDAY UPDATE)

3:07 PM TUESDAY: We’ve also received multiple messages today about a startling sight toward the east end of Alki Beach – an animal carcass. Some thought it might be a goat but the first person who messaged us, Karen, reported it to city authorities, who told her it’s a young deer and that they were aware of it and planning to remove it. We don’t know if that’s happened yet but are checking. Karen saw it near 54th/Alki.

ADDED 2:57 PM WEDNESDAY: Karen noticed it was still there this morning, so made more calls. Meantime, we checked with Seattle Animal Shelter spokesperson Melissa Mixon, both about the status and about what to do in case of a dead animal. Her reply:

I checked in with the team and it looks like the deceased deer was removed from Alki early this afternoon. With respect to when the public should report a dead animal to SAS, we encourage them to do so any time they encounter a large, deceased animal. The shelter’s animal control team responds to these calls as soon as possible, pending other high-priority or emergency calls.

Smaller dead wildlife, under 15 pounds, should be double-bagged and placed in the garbage. This includes rats, squirrels, birds and other small wildlife. Residents can also bring an animal to the shelter for disposal, but are encouraged to please contact us for an appointment first.

The Seattle Animal Shelter is reachable at 206-386-PETS; you also can file a report (including for a dead animal) here. If you see a dead marine mammal, though, call Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, 206-905-SEAL.

WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: A 2024 first for Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network

That photo by Antoine Smith – taken from a distance – shows a harbor seal that marked a milestone for Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network: The first live seal that SSMMSN volunteers have tended this year, according to David Hutchinson. The seal came ashore at Lincoln Park, where, David tells us, “The First Responder on duty reported that this seal looked healthy and returned to the water around 3 pm due to the rising tide.” If you see a marine mammal on shore – or one in distress offshore – in West Seattle, notify the SSMMSN hotline at 206-905-SEAL.

VOLLEYBALL: UW hosting two tournaments on Alki Beach this spring

January 27, 2024 7:02 pm
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 |   West Seattle beaches | West Seattle news | WS & Sports

volley3(WSB photo, April 2016)

The first time the University of Washington beach-volleyball team came to Alki for a home match, in April 2016, the sun shone as if it were summer. Subsequent years have brought some sun, some rain. Whatever the weather brings, this year the UW will play at Alki on four days in April, according to the schedule announcement this week:

… The Huskies will host two consecutive home tournaments on Alki Beach. The first tournament is the “Pac-12 North Tournament” which takes place on [Friday-Saturday] April 5th and 6th and pits the Huskies against Stanford, Cal Oregon, and Arizona State. UW then welcomes Oregon again, Boise State, and Georgia State the following [Friday-Saturday] for the “Alki Beach Invitational.” …

The announcement notes that the Huskies are at the top of their game, so to speak, as they prepare to start the 2024 schedule on the road in Texas on February 23, “coming off their best season in program history, with a record number of wins, and finished ranked 15th, the first year-end ranking in school history.”

Your next chance to run into the water at Alki with a crowd

January 3, 2024 9:22 am
|    Comments Off on Your next chance to run into the water at Alki with a crowd
 |   How to help | West Seattle beaches | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, 2020 Polar Plunge)

Loved the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim? Do it again as part of a fundraiser for Special Olympics Washington! The Polar Plunge is returning to Alki Beach next month. It’s a “winter beach party,” highlighted by the “plunge,” with food, drinks, and music, starting at 10 am Saturday, February 24th. Costume contest too! Registration is open now for individuals and teams – you can go here to sign up. This is one of four Polar Plunges that Special Olympics Washington is presenting this winter – the others are January 13th in the Tri-Cities, March 1st in Wenatchee, and Marh 9th in Anacortes.

‘Be brave!’ You’re invited to the 2024 West Seattle New Year’s Polar Bear Plunge at Alki Beach

(2022 photo by Robert Spears)

It’s back for 2024 – the New Year’s Day tradition that lines Alki Beach with hundreds of people ready to at least briefly submerge themselves in the chilly water of Puget Sound! We just received the announcement from organizer Mark Ufkes:

Optimists unite! Make no mistake about it; Life continues to get better! Our nation continues to get better! Remember, the glass is always way more than half full.

Alki Beach, West Seattle, again this year. We go into the water at 10:00 am sharp on January 1, 2024. Don’t be late. Over 1,000 participated last year, so plan for a crowd. We line up and down the quarter-mile beach, hold hands, and we start counting down from 10, 9, 8 . . . We yell “Happy New Year” and, together, rush wildly into the 47-degree water, screaming with joy! Holding hands and wearing bright colors seems to help. And we are only in the water for a short time. Yes, it’s a form of mild insanity, but a lot of fun too. And the hundreds of smiles before and after is the best part.

In our home, we have a candle service every Winter solstice (December 21), generally considered the end of the year by many ancient cultures. We blow out a candle to leave behind the complexities from last year, and then light the candle again, asking the Universe, in all her infinite wisdom (because God must be a woman after all) for more opportunities to be a better person.

Since our White Center home is too small for 1,000 of you, this year, we encourage all Polar Bear participants and guests to try this;

On a small piece of paper, write down what you want to leave behind from 2023 and what you want from the New Year for you, your family, and for our great nation. There will be a giant jar on a table at Alki beach, with a sign, and lots of pens and pads of paper, so that you can write and then insert your unsigned dreams and wishes list into the jar. We will save the contents for next year’s 2025 announcement.

Life is a clean slate on January 1. Be Brave. Take a deep breath of fresh mountain air. Inhale! Exhale!! Come share the joy of being alive here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Bring your friends and family. This is your year!

Requirements; be an Optimist, be in good health, bring a towel, good water shoes, a change of warm clothes and your hopes and dreams for 2024. 10:00 am sharp. And remember, how can we believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself?

While the crowd stretches quite a ways along the beach, Mark usually shouts the countdown from the vicinity of 57th/Alki.

UPDATE: About the beached sailboat at Lincoln Park

(Photo sent by Mike Munson)

4:25 PM: Thanks to everyone who’s sent photos of that sailboat on the beach at Lincoln Park this afternoon. Several also noted that SPD officers were there. So we asked them about the situation, and they forwarded a Coast Guard statement:

The Coast Guard boarded a 25-foot sailing vessel this morning around 11:15. The owner/operator stated he was moving the boat from Tacoma to Shilshole Marina to sell it. The USCG boarding crew noted that the individual had all required safety gear aboard (i.e. lifejacket, sound producing device, etc.). There was no concern from the USCG at that point, so the man was allowed to continue his voyage. Sometime after 1 p.m., he ran into some rocks near the Fauntleroy area.

The USCG did not plan another response as no one was hurt and there’s no danger of pollution, as the boat has no engine. SPD says its officers were just there to “assist the boater.” We don’t know yet how – whether – the grounding was resolved; next high tide is just after 10 pm, but it’s a much lower high tide than the 12-foot-plus high tide expected at 11 am tomorrow.

8:53 PM: Thanks to Rick Rasmussen for that photo of the sailboat getting the aforementioned USCG visit earlier today. It’s apparently still there – dispatch tried sending officers again this evening, until informed that it had already been “dealt with” and that the boat’s occupant indeed was awaiting high tide.

WEEK AHEAD: Next round of ‘king tides’ on West Seattle shores

That’s what it looked like on Alki in November 2020, when a 12.6-foot “king tide” was enhanced by atmospheric conditions. 12.6 is where the next round of “king tides” will peak late next week – too soon to tell if any atmospheric enhancement is likely this time (so far the forecast looks relatively calm). The highest high tides will be 12.6 feet at 7:30 am Friday (December 15), 8:14 am Saturday (December 16), 8:58 am Sunday (December 17), 9:43 am Monday (December 18). This winter’s highest predicted “king tides” will hit or surpass 13 feet in mid-January. P.S. If you need sandbags, remember the closest city-stocked pickup spot this year is in South Park.

PARK PROJECTS MEETING, REPORT #1: Changes planned in seasonal closing time for Alki Beach

Tonight’s online briefing regarding West Seattle park projects was newsworthy in several regards, so we’re breaking our coverage into three parts. First, news on a topic that wasn’t even mentioned in the announcement previewing the meeting – a plan to permanently change the Alki Beach Park (and Golden Gardens) closing time in the peak season.

Most recently, the seasonal hours have been in effect Memorial Day through Labor Day, so among other things, this would stretch them a few more weeks. Deputy Superintendent Andy Sheffler noted that this would “align with the beach fire program.” He also noted – in a key point that the Zoom screen partly cut off – the Board of Park Commissioners will have a hearing on this in two weeks.

The agenda for the December 14 meeting isn’t posted yet, but will appear here when ready. Meantime, our other two reports on tonight’s meeting (pickleball, and everything else) are on the way.

SEEN ON ALKI: The fleetingly famous palm tree is gone. ‘Dune ecosystem’ is not.

We looked into both of these Alki observations after reader photos/tips:

RESTORATION: Christopher sent that photo of a section on the beach near the volleyball courts, “wondering what exactly is being restored here and why.” According to Seattle Parks, “This area is one of the last remnants of the native dune ecosystem at Alki Beach. We are working to protect this area during the high season when there is a lot of foot traffic.”

PALM GONE: We also asked Parks about what Kathy spotted, sending the photo above – the disappearance of the 59th/Alki palm tree that briefly gained regional fame after we published a reader report last March. Parks says it was removed because “it was dying.”

SPORTS: UW beach volleyball returning to Alki this weekend

October 6, 2023 12:28 pm
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 |   West Seattle beaches | West Seattle news | WS & Sports

image(WSB photo from UW’s first home beach-volleyball match at Alki, in 2016)

Summer’s encore is just in time for fall beach volleyball – and this weekend, the University of Washington team is hosting a season-opening tournament at Alki. Arizona, Oregon, Utah, and Boise State are visiting for the two-part, two-day tournament, with play starting at 9 am both days. The UW preview explains that the matches will actually comprise two tournaments, with two champions. This is the only home match of the Huskies’ season. Not the first time they’ve played on Alki, though – they’ve played here multiple times dating back to 2016.

REMINDER: Beach fire season is over

With the weekend in view, a reminder – Alki Beach’s fire rings have been picked up and taken away because beach-fire season ended on Labor Day. (Thanks to Guy for the nudge to remind you.)

WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Seal Sitters respond to first live pup of the (slow) season

That’s the first live seal pup of the season reported to Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network – a season that normally begins in June. The report and photo are from Seal Sitters’ David Hutchinson:

Just a reminder to your readers that we are still in harbor seal pupping season, which in our part of Puget Sound typically runs from June – September. The 2023 season has gotten off to an unusually slow start on our West Seattle beaches. Yesterday, Seal Sitters had our first response to a live pup on a local beach. Volunteers watched over this vulnerable young seal from mid-afternoon until dark. These animals are protected by federal law and if you come across one onshore, we ask that you keep back, keep people and pets away, and call the Seal Sitters’ hotline at 206-905-7325. Operators are on duty 7 days a week from 8 AM – 8 PM. If you call outside of those hours, please leave a message including the type of animal and its location.

Resting on a beach is normal behavior for harbor seals but the young pups haven’t learned to be discriminating about where they do this. You may encounter them on any of West Seattle’s public or private beaches. It’s particularly important that dogs are not allowed to run off leash on our beaches. While harbor seals are quick and graceful in the water, they are pretty slow while moving on land and would have trouble escaping from a curious dog. Even a small injury can quickly become infected and could be fatal for pups with developing immune systems.

Please note that the accompanying photo was taken with a telephoto lens from behind the tape perimeter. These photos are taken to provide a closer look at the animal to see if there are any external wounds or other signs of poor health and for ID purposes.

Thank you for sharing the shore with our marine wildlife neighbors!

ALSO THIS WEEK: 2023’s last round of daytime low-low tides

(WSB photo, August 1st)

If you like exploring the beach, you should know that the next four days bring this year’s last round of daytime low-low tides, not as low as earlier this month but low enough for significant wildlife-watching. Fall and winter low-low tides are at night. So here’s what’s ahead for the next four days:

Monday, 9:10 am: -1.9L
Tuesday, 10:03 am: -2.3L
Wednesday, 10:52 am: -2.4L
Thursday, 11:39 am: -1.9L

Tread lightly!

YOU CAN HELP: Habitat helpers sought Saturday at Shoreline Street End #7

August 9, 2023 9:12 pm
|    Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP: Habitat helpers sought Saturday at Shoreline Street End #7
 |   How to help | West Seattle beaches | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Right next to Constellation Park/Charles Richey Viewpoint is a bit of public land that’s actually separate – known as Shoreline Street End #7, technically the end of SW Spokane Street. Volunteers are invited to join in restoration work there this Saturday morning – here’s the invitation:

A community effort supported by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Friends of Street Ends to restore approximately 11,000 square feet of right-of-way for shoreline access, views, and habitat: The project is located at Shoreline Street End #7, SW Spokane St, in West Seattle (3555R Beach Dr SW). The site is one of 141 Shoreline Street Ends designated by Seattle City Council.

• Improve and maintain shoreline access and views
• Enhance shoreline habitat
• Build partnerships and encourage stewardship through community partners

Work party will focus on removing invasive plants, spreading mulch, installing new plantings

Work Party Dates
August 12th, 2023 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Spokane St SW

To RSVP for Work Part!es:
206-615-1668 | TreeAmbassador@seattle.gov