Saturday, February 25, 2012

Collection Report Jan 30, 2012

Monday, January 30, 11:30AM. Bay View beach, Saco, ME. Low tide. Blue skies, mild wind from the west to east, maybe gusts to 20 mph.
Another week of weak tides and no fresh seaweed washed in. But there -was- a wrack line, mostly made up of land-based plant matter. And noticeable bits of plastic in the mix.
What happened to all the fresh sand dumped onshore the week before? It all slumped down to the terrace -- a slow-motion mudslide.
Quicksand a foot deep,
literally mush underfoot
Clearly, the beach "knew" that this batch of fresh sand didn't belong. It didn't fit or mesh into the rest of the beach. Instead, the beach sloughed it off, and each tide eroded more of it back out to sea. Sometimes leaving depressions or bowls where the scour was the strongest.
More interesting from a flotsam aspect is that, this week, stuff was actually left behind -- or exposed by the erosion. Zone N:
65 finds:
  • Building materials: 5 (4 asphalt, 1 brick)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 27
  • Fishing misc.: 7 (rope, clawband, shotgun shell wadding, 4 trap vinyl coating scraps)
  • Food-related plastics: 4 (2 bottlecaps, two tear-off tops)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 5 (can bottom, 4 sea glass)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 5 (rubberband, silk flower, PVC pipe scrap, 2 scraps <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 7
  • Paper/wood: 3
  • Misc./unique: 2 (tiny scrap of yarn, sharp metal offcut)
Crumpled up on the sand was a nice cautionary tale.
A receipt from Fayetteville, NCNY!
(many thx for heads-up on that)  
Obviously this didn't wash in; it came out of a very local pocket. A good reminder not to jump to conclusions about where something came from without good evidence. (See recent reports of Japanese tsunami debris already reaching US west coast.)

Zone S:
23 finds:
  • Building materials: 2 (asphalt, brick)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 12
  • Fishing misc.: 2 (trap vinyl coating scraps)
  • Food-related plastics: 0
  • Food-related metal/glass: 4 (tiny scrap of can, 3 sea glass)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 0
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 0
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Misc./unique: 3 (leather offcuts)
By the time I left, the winds had picked up. The dry wrackline was quickly blowing down to the terrace.
To be washed away.
Where will it wash up next? And what will wash up with it?


  1. I just found your blog and am so impressed by your work and the detailed documentation you keep. However, I did want to let you know that the receipt you share in this post is more likely from Wegman's in Fayetteville, NY. As a native North Carolinian, I wish Wegman's would expand south, but that hasn't happened yet.

  2. Whoops! If I had done my due diligence (like maybe even noticing the big 315 area code), I'd have caught that. I do hate goofing.

    Much obliged for the note! And glad you enjoy the blog. :)