Wrack Line Retrospective, 2021

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.)

Fresh drifted sea palm, holdfast and all, on clean beach sand
Knocked off it’s perch | Postelsia


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.

Carapace and body still attached. You can easily imagine a fresh soft crab stepping out of the old, slightly too small, shell
A flawless molt


Anticipation.

A pink pre-sunrise out over the ocean. At trail's end.
Ready to comb the wrack line?


Cycle of life.

A single stipe and float decaying on clean beach sand; A few rocks jutting out of the sand and the surf zone in the background
Something so intimate about drifted and decaying bull kelp


Sea wrack has a story to tell.


Surf zone scenes.


Styrofoam floats still wash up on the beaches.

Large drifted styrofoam float up on the cobbles; view out to the surf line and the sea beyond
Styrofoam still

If you’d like to see more washed up scenes from 2021, go to Wrack Line 2021. For more, you can find sea wrack galleries going back to 2012 on my Wrack Line page.

Here’s to great beachcombing in the year ahead!

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