It’s a Salp

I observed this unusual organism during a December, 2012 King Tide when saw several and took this photo. Determining what they were, exactly, wasn’t easy. I contacted Cynthia D. Trowbridge at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology and she kindly identified my mystery creature as the salp, Thetys vagina. If you want to know more…

Read More

Stranded Sticklebacks

Just after low tide on January 20, I wasn’t expecting the explosive blast of a gasoline-started campfire and I wasn’t expecting to find sticklebacks on the beach sand. The sticklebacks, several of them, were stranded in the drift line from the previous high tide. They were three-spined sticklebacks, one of the common fishes in streams…

Read More

King Tide

King Tide arrives on theoutershores around Christmas each year. These are the highest spring tides of the year. Low lying infrastructure gets flooded, beach debris is mobilized and there are King Tide photo initiatives all around the world. All the photos in this post were taken on December 12, 2012 when the daytime high tide was 10.4′…

Read More

River of Sand

October 14 brought the first fall storm to the outer shores. The marine forecast, which called for south winds 25 – 30 KT with gusts to 35 KT, was accurate, and this mixed flock of western and California gulls was hunkered down and hesitant to fly as I approached. I had hoped to be patrolling the wrack…

Read More

Turkish Towel

On August 19, 2012, high tide brought a lot of marine algae up into the wrack. Most were species normally attached to rocky or substrate or cobble. This material was detached, which was kind of surprising because there had been no recent storms or damaging waves. Nevertheless, there it was. Above is a nice big…

Read More

Floats

After a few days away, I feel the pull of the outer shores strongly. It’s not just fish and fishing. Other things, like a more general connection to nature, and looking for drift material on the beach also exert a pull. When I’m wandering along the shore I’ve always got my eyes open for agates,…

Read More

Two Kelps and a Promising IPA

A February storm deposited a good-sized bull kelp on the beach. Not far away I found this giant kelp, Macrocystis. This is the one on the Monterey Bay Aquarium logo. The storm also left a small conifer branchlet on the beach. It goes nicely with a promising IPA, courtesy of my next door neighbor Eric.…

Read More

Foam in the Wrack

Sometimes there is foam in the wrack. I don’t know how it forms;  I guess it happens offshore during big storms. This foam differs from normal sea foam which disperses quickly. This foam sticks together and can form piles or long snakes like this. Sometimes rafts of foam are seen floating just offshore in the…

Read More