On even a short beach walk, you can expect to discover interesting items among the sea wrack. You will find seaweed cycles and floats and bottles from distant places if you walk enough. You’ll find lost gear and pelagic oddities rarely seen on the shore. Everything that washes up has a story to tell, and the more you listen, the more rewarding beach walks become. I’m sharing a few images from the 2021 wrack line that might stimulate your interest in sea wrack and its stories.
Sea palm, Postelsia, is lovely, even in the drift. (In life, they perch on exposed rocks where they bow and bob in the powerful surf and surge.)
Signs of life.
Bleached and beautiful, long-dead thatched barnacles (left) and flat-tip piddocks (right) arrive on beaches in the drift.
The summer Dungeness molt is a big occasion on Pacific Northwest beaches.
Cycle of life.
Sea wrack has a story to tell.
Surf zone scenes.
Styrofoam floats still wash up on the beaches.
Here’s to great beachcombing in the year ahead!