West Seattle beaches – West Seattle Blog… https://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 15 Aug 2018 08:02:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Pearl & Jam appear on West Seattle shore as Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network recruits for final 2018 training https://westseattleblog.com/2018/08/pearl-jam-appear-on-west-seattle-shore-as-seal-sitters-marine-mammal-stranding-network-recruits-for-final-2018-training/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/08/pearl-jam-appear-on-west-seattle-shore-as-seal-sitters-marine-mammal-stranding-network-recruits-for-final-2018-training/#comments Tue, 14 Aug 2018 02:37:38 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=925433

Meet Pearl and Jam. David Hutchinson – who photographed them Sunday – reports that Jam was Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network‘s “first new harbor seal pup of the 2018 season,” resting with mom Pearl “on a rock just offshore from one of our local beaches. … If you see them at any of our West Seattle beaches, please keep back, keep people and pets away, and call the Seal Sitters’ Hotline at 206-905-SEAL (7325).” Meantime, he shared this announcement:


Seal Sitters is a member of NOAA’s West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network. We are responsible for responding to any marine mammal on West Seattle beaches from Brace Point through the Duwamish River including Harbor Island.

All new volunteers are required to take a 2-hour training session. Our last training of 2018 will be held in the front meeting room at the Alki UCC, 6115 SW Hinds (MAP), on Saturday, August 25th from 10 AM – Noon. This will be followed by a short Q&A opportunity. Topics covered will include: The Marine Mammal Protection Act, life in a harbor seal rookery, what is Seal Sitters’ role in NOAA’s network, information on the most common marine mammals in our local waters, your role as a volunteer in a challenging urban environment. Also discussed will be volunteer opportunities as a hotline operator, first responder, and scheduler.

IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN WEST SEATTLE – While all the different groups operating in Puget Sound are part of NOAA’s Network, each group functions separately and provides its own training. Our training would only qualify you to volunteer within the area mentioned above.

If you plan on attending, an RSVP is required. Please include in your email the full names of everyone who will be attending. If any of these are minors, include their ages. A parent or guardian must accompany all minors to the training and when they are on the beach. Seating is limited, so be sure to register early to reserve your place.

To RSVP: SealSitters.Outreach@msn.com

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SPF30 updates: Setup begins; a vendor you’ll recognize; the guitar you can bid on now; streaming plans… https://westseattleblog.com/2018/08/spf30-updates-setup-begins-a-vendor-youll-recognize-the-guitar-you-can-bid-on-now-streaming-plans/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/08/spf30-updates-setup-begins-a-vendor-youll-recognize-the-guitar-you-can-bid-on-now-streaming-plans/#comments Wed, 08 Aug 2018 21:50:58 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=924906 With three days until Saturday’s SPF30Sub Pop Records‘ concert-filled 30th anniversary celebration at Alki Beach – we have four more updates:

SETUP BEGINS: Thanks to David Hutchinson for the photos showing stage setup today on both sides of the Alki Bathhouse. Above, west of the Bathhouse, is the Loser Stage; below, to the east, the Flippity-Flop Stage:

(Photo courtesy C & P Coffee Company)

Who’s playing when/where was announced two weeks ago; you can find it all fast on the right side of the main SPF30 webpage.

A VENDOR FIRST: The other two stages are Harsh Realm, at 57th/Alki, and Punky, at Whale Tail Park, where you’ll not only find kid-geared music but also this familiar vendor:

C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) says this will be its first time with a pop-up outside the shop! They’ll be selling cold-brew coffee on Saturday. And another familiar West Seattle company will be nearby – Husky Deli. (We hope to have a full list of vendors for an upcoming update.)

FUNDRAISING GUITAR: Bidding is open online for this one-of-a-kind handmade guitar produced in commemoration of Sub Pop turning 30:

We got a look at it while covering the SPF30 volunteer orientation earlier this week. You can see it on display all week at Thunder Road Guitars (4736 California SW; WSB sponsor) in The Junction. It’s a fundraiser for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, a beneficiary of SPF30. To bid on it – and to find out more about it – go here.

STREAMING: Can’t (or don’t want to) go on Saturday, but want to catch some of the shows? KEXP has announced a video-streaming schedule, with viewing options including its website and YouTube channel. Go here to see which bands it’s streaming and when.

P.S. In case you missed it – here’s the SPF30 transportation plan (including road closures, parking for motorized and non-motorized vehicles, transit, etc.) as announced Tuesday.

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UPDATE: Tribal Journey 2018 canoes arrive at Alki Beach https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/happening-now-tribal-journeys-canoes-arriving-at-alki-beach/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/happening-now-tribal-journeys-canoes-arriving-at-alki-beach/#comments Thu, 26 Jul 2018 20:47:01 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=923585

1:47 PM: If you’ve seen the Tribal Journeys canoe arrivals at Alki Beach in years past … this year is bigger than ever. As we’ve been previewing, the arrivals started early this afternoon and are continuing as canoe families arrive from last night’s stop across Puget Sound in Suquamish.

More than 100 canoes were registered to participate this year, and they have supporters here too. There’s even an announcer with a PA system, something we don’t recall seeing/hearing in recent years. And we lost count at more than a dozen charter buses parked along Alki Avenue; the paddlers and their support crews will be transported to Auburn, where the Muckleshoot Tribe will host them tonight. (Muckleshoot security remains at Alki to watch over the canoes.)

We’ll be checking later on the expected morning departure time, for those who would like to come observe then.

More photos/updates to come!

2:47 PM: We just walked to the east end of where the canoes are lined up on the sand – they stretch almost to 58th SW – and counted more than 50. None on the horizon so we don’t know how many are yet to arrive. With each arrival so far, an announcement has been read over the loudspeakers, in Native language as well as English, with the declaration of the tribe’s name, where they’ve come from – some have been journeying for two weeks! – and greetings to the Muckleshoot, as well as a request for permission to come ashore.

Also, a military cargo jet seen flying over West Seattle earlier – low enough to startle people – has just done a flyby over the beach here.

5:13 PM: Went back to Alki to check; the arrivals have concluded.

Security says departures are expected between 7 and 9 tomorrow morning.

ADDED EARLY FRIDAY: Alki photographer David Hutchinson asked about that too and he was told they would depart after a ceremony at 7. He shared this evening photo:

Tomorrow’s stop is Dash Point State Park.

FRIDAY MORNING NOTE: The departures are not happening en masse.

Our photographer was there from 8 am until about 9:30 and reports that two canoes had left by then. We’re going back shortly for an update.

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Alki Beach tomorrow, Suquamish tonight for Tribal Journey canoe families https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/alki-beach-tomorrow-suquamish-tonight-for-tribal-journey-canoe-families/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/alki-beach-tomorrow-suquamish-tonight-for-tribal-journey-canoe-families/#comments Thu, 26 Jul 2018 05:01:55 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=923541 (WSB photo, 2017)

As first reported here last week, dozens of canoe families participating in this year’s Tribal Canoe Journey – the Power Paddle to Puyallup – are expected to land on Alki Beach tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, July 26th). Their hosts the Muckleshoot Tribe plan to be ready to welcome arrivals as early as noon. The Puyallup-bound canoe families are on the west side of Puget Sound at Suquamish tonight; the schedule for their stop there says they’ll be leaving as early as 8 am. More canoes are visiting Alki this year than last because rather than this being a stop on the way north, this year it’s a southbound stop close to the end of the journey (see the map here). After arriving on Alki, canoe families and their support crews will travel to the Muckleshoot Powwow Grounds in Auburn for the night. During our coverage tomorrow, we’ll report on plans for the Friday departure, which also usually draws spectators

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Sick sea lion removed from West Seattle beach https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/sick-sea-lion-removed-from-west-seattle-beach/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/sick-sea-lion-removed-from-west-seattle-beach/#comments Thu, 19 Jul 2018 01:33:32 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=922825

6:33 PM: The photos are from Kersti Muul, one of the local wildlife advocates who had been tracking the saga of this California sea lion for the past week or so.

The sea lion, nicknamed Dudley, was severely underweight and had several signs of major illness/injury, so the state Department of Fish and Wildlife removed him this morning from the beach at Cove 3.

No veterinarian was available to euthanize the sea lion on the scene, so he had to be taken away. They would have let nature run its course, Kersti says, but he was on a public beach and that posed hazards both for him and for the public.

8:34 PM: Kersti mentioned in correspondence with us that Seal Sitters have been dealing with Dudley, and now we’ve heard from them. David Hutchinson sent this:

Since last Friday, Seal Sitters’ volunteers have been monitoring the location and condition of a lone California Sea Lion at various spots along Harbor Avenue. Nicknamed “Dudley,” this animal did not make the normal migration south this spring, possibly due to health conditions. It soon became apparent that his health was extremely compromised. He recently began hauling out at Cove #3, just north of Marination, which was a potentially dangerous spot for him and for the public. In consultation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and SR3, it was determined that the best course of action would be capture and removal from that location. This morning a crew from WDFW, along with a specialist from NOAA, successfully removed him from Cove #3 and transported him to a WDFW facility in Lakewood. Late this afternoon, we were informed that his health was compromised to the point that euthanasia was required. A necropsy will be performed tomorrow and Seal Sitters will be notified of the results.

We want to take this opportunity to thank Steve Jeffries of WDFW and his staff, along with Jeff Harris of NOAA, for their excellent job with the capture and removal. We greatly appreciate the input and assistance of Casey McClean, Co-Executive Director of SR3, in this difficult case.

Also, Seal Sitters would like to say a special thanks to Greg Whittaker of Alki Kayak Tours and his staff for their patience and cooperation these last few days.

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Tribal Journeys canoes to stop at Alki Beach again this year https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/tribal-journeys-canoes-to-stop-at-alki-beach-again-this-year/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/tribal-journeys-canoes-to-stop-at-alki-beach-again-this-year/#comments Wed, 18 Jul 2018 23:32:11 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=922812 IMG_5343(WSB photo from canoes’ 2016 arrival on Alki)

More than 100 canoes representing Pacific Northwest Native tribes/nations (listed here) are registered for this year’s regional Tribal Journey, the Power Paddle to Puyallup. Two days before the official July 28th arrival in the South Sound, canoes will land at Alki Beach for an overnight stay hosted by the Muckleshoot Tribe. The landings map on the journey website shows Thursday, July 26th, as the day for the Alki arrival, and we have confirmed the date with Muckleshoot cultural director Willard Bill Jr., who says they expect to start receiving canoe families at Alki around noon that day. (They will then travel by land to the Muckleshoot Powwow Grounds in Auburn.) Every year a different tribe/nation in the region hosts the celebration at the end of the journey route; here’s what Puyallup Tribal Council chair Bill Sterud has written about this year’s event.

P.S. Some canoes will be trackable via this map.

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West Seattle scenes: Low-low tide today – and almost as low on Saturday https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/west-seattle-scenes-low-low-tide-today-and-almost-as-low-on-saturday/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/west-seattle-scenes-low-low-tide-today-and-almost-as-low-on-saturday/#comments Sat, 14 Jul 2018 04:17:48 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=922327

We’ll forgive you if you take a break from West Seattle Summer Fest for a bit tomorrow and go check out the low-low tide … which will be almost as low as today’s! Thanks for sharing photos – above, by Mark McAndrews, looking toward downtown; below, three photos of wildlife seen at low tide by Erica Sokoloff:

Tomorrow’s lowest tide is at 12:26 pm, -3.5 feet (today’s was -3.6). It’ll be the last local low tide beyond minus 3 feet until June of next year.

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PHOTOS: 2018 Seafair Pirates Landing, report #2 – what happened onshore https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/photos-2018-seafair-pirates-landing-report-2-what-happened-onshore/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/photos-2018-seafair-pirates-landing-report-2-what-happened-onshore/#comments Sun, 08 Jul 2018 02:55:20 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=921702 (WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

The waiting’s the hardest part! But the crowd at Alki Beach this afternoon finally got to greet the Seafair Pirates:

This year, the scalawags’ accomplices at West Seattle-headquartered Global Diving and Salvage had to bring them north from the uncharted waters of Burien, so they appeared from around Alki Point – and then, once they were ashore, it was every landlubber for themselves:

Somehow, the Pirates made their way through the throng to the stage, where County Executive (and lifelong West Seattleite) Dow Constantine welcomed them:

Also onstage, a coronation of sorts for the Pirates’ new Captain Kidd, courtesy of this year’s Seafair King Neptune, Sonny Sixkiller:

(Queen AlcyoneCupcake Royale founder Jody Hall – was on hand too.) Sonny’s son, Casey Sixkiller, is Chief Operating Officer in the Constantine administration. Offstage, we photographed him, son Will, the executive and wife Shirley Carlson and their daughter Sabrina:

The Pirates, meantime, are sailing into a busy-as-ever summer.

Two weeks from today, they’ll be back in West Seattle for the Grand Parade (11 am, southbound on California from Lander to Edmunds) – and you never know where else you might see them on land or sea!

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Seafair Pirates Landing, report #1: The arrival https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/seafair-pirates-landing-report-1-the-arrival/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/seafair-pirates-landing-report-1-the-arrival/#comments Sat, 07 Jul 2018 20:59:24 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=921673

Just in case you wondered – yes, the Seafair Pirates have arrived at Alki! They sailed up from the exotic south (with the occasional cannon blast audible from Fauntleroy and Beach Drive) and approached shore around 1:40 pm. More to come in report #2…

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Alki Beach beware – Seafair Pirates Landing tomorrow! https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/alki-beach-beware-seafair-pirates-landing-tomorrow/ Fri, 06 Jul 2018 23:42:02 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=921615 IMG_2307
(2016 Seafair Pirates sighting offshore, photographed by Paul Panzl, from the yacht Pearl)

Alki Beach will be awash in pirate fans tomorrow (Saturday, July 7th) as the Seafair Pirates approach for their annual landing. As usual (as previewed here last month), the occasion calls for an all-day festival, 10 am-5 pm, with vendors, kids’ rides, and music. The stars of the show will be ashore sometime in the early afternoon – last estimate we heard is 1:30ish, but that could change … they’re pirates, after all. You’ll usually hear cannon booms offshore as they get close; eventually they’ll pull up in their landing craft and wade ashore, into the crowd that gathers near Alki Bathhouse (60th SW/Alki SW). Their non-seagoing Moby Duck usually awaits them along the street, but not until their arrival has been followed by photos and pillaging. This is the first big event of the four weeks at the heart of Seafair; the Pirates will be back for the West Seattle Grand Parade two weeks later, but this is the one time you get to see them sail in! (Forecast, by the way, looks perfect.)

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Seeing red water again? Noctiluca is back along West Seattle shores https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/seeing-red-water-again-noctiluca-is-back-along-west-seattle-shores/ Tue, 03 Jul 2018 22:48:09 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=921285

That photo is from the Lincoln Park area, taken by Stani – one of several people who’ve pointed out this afternoon that the red algae bloom known as Noctiluca is back off West Seattle shores today.

We reported on sightings about a month ago too – same time the state Department of Ecology explained it here. It’s non-toxic, as Ecology’s post notes, but it’s not a good thing: “An increase in the abundance of Noctiluca is an indication of an unbalanced system, and while the plankton is not toxic itself, their presence creates a cascade of effects in the marine food web. … While Noctiluca are naturally occurring and blooms have been observed and recorded in Puget Sound since the 1940’s, there is growing concern that human-caused nutrient over-enrichment is increasing the intensity, changing the timing, and increasing the spatial distribution of Noctiluca blooms.”

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Soon to be seen off West Seattle: Seafair Pirates, en route to annual landing https://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/soon-to-be-seen-off-west-seattle-seafair-pirates-en-route-to-annual-landing/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/soon-to-be-seen-off-west-seattle-seafair-pirates-en-route-to-annual-landing/#comments Tue, 26 Jun 2018 03:42:55 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=920608
(July 2017 Seafair Pirates Landing photo tweeted by Brandon, @olysportsblog)

Another nautical story: We’re now less than two weeks away from the annual Seafair Pirates Landing on Alki Beach – Saturday, July 7th. As with all big events, an official “neighborhood notification” is required, and we’ve received it from event producer Oliver Little:

WHAT: Seattle Seafair Pirate Landing
WHERE: Alki Beach Park
DATE: July 7, 2018
TIME: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
WHO: Seattle Seafair Pirates

On 7/7/2018, our organization The Seattle Seafair Pirates will be producing a special event in the Alki Beach neighborhood called The Seattle Seafair Pirate Landing. The Alki Beach Neighborhood has again
been chosen as the location for this event because of the historical significance. We are thrilled to be
guests in your neighborhood and it’s important to us that we are communicating clearly with you, the

• Event hours are from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on July 7, 2018.
• We will be loading in beginning at 7:00 AM on July 7, 2018, and will load out until 6:00 PM on July 7, 2018.
• We will leave your neighborhood as we found it: litter and recycling will be handled by Recology.
• During the event hours, we expect between 1,000-3,000 attendees per day.
• Streets will not be closed nor have limited vehicle and/or pedestrian access.
• We will have amplified sound during the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM on July 7, 2018.
• Music and other entertainment will be located on the Northwest side of the Alki Beach Bathhouse.

We are working closely with the City of Seattle Special Events Committee to minimize the impacts of the
event. Our goal is to create an enjoyable and positive experience in your neighborhood. If you or any of the surrounding residents and businesses have questions or comments about impacts of this event, please email us at:

Oliver Little, Event Operations – oliver@monumentalundertaking.com
Chris Swenson, Chair, City of Seattle Special Events Office – chris.swenson@seattle.gov

Always the big question, “When will the pirates land?” This year it’s expected to be around 1:30 – could be earlier, though! (Here’s our coverage from last year.)

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WAY OUT: Low-low tide on West Seattle beaches https://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/happening-now-low-low-tide-on-west-seattle-beaches/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/happening-now-low-low-tide-on-west-seattle-beaches/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2018 19:15:07 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=919529

12:15 PM: Our photo is from Duwamish Head, where low-low tides like today (-3.5 feet about 15 minutes ago, -3.7 at 12:42 pm tomorrow) reveal hints of West Seattle history, like the site of the Luna Park amusement park, destroyed by fire more than a century ago. If you go exploring, tread lightly!

12:24 PM: From there, we headed to Constellation Park south of Alki Point, one of two locations where you’ll find Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists, until 1:30 pm today. As our photo shows, you’ll also find a lot of people – the almost-summer low-low tides bring out school field trips, too; we’ve seen several buses, even all the way from Issaquah.

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West Seattle beachwalking alert! Very low tides ahead next four days https://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/west-seattle-beachwalking-alert-very-low-tides-ahead-next-four-days/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/west-seattle-beachwalking-alert-very-low-tides-ahead-next-four-days/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2018 01:30:14 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=919389 (June 2017 tide, out past minus three feet, looking north from Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook)

The next four days bring a bonus for beachwalkers: Low-low tides of minus 3 feet or lower:

Wednesday, 11:11 am: -3.0
Thursday, 11:55 am: -3.5
Friday, 12:42 pm: -3.7
Saturday, 1:30 pm: -3.4

Here’s our favorite chart. You can also check tides any time on the WSB Weather page.

P.S. Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists will be out too – here’s the schedule.

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Notice the red water? Likely the algae bloom known as noctiluca again https://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/notice-the-red-water-likely-the-algae-bloom-known-as-noctiluca-again/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/notice-the-red-water-likely-the-algae-bloom-known-as-noctiluca-again/#comments Fri, 08 Jun 2018 03:58:49 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=918953

ORIGINAL REPORT, THURSDAY: Thanks to Jill for the photo. She asked about the red water along the shore south of Fauntleroy. Chances are that it’s the nontoxic algae bloom known as noctiluca, which has shown up time and again over the years – compare that photo to others we’ve published, such as 2014 and 2012. As explained by this state Department of Ecology webpage, noctiluca blooms are nontoxic.

MONDAY UPDATE: Thanks to Kersti Muul for turning up this new Ecology link confirming ongoing algae blooms.

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