Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Curtis Cove Report - Aug 15, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2:30PM. A couple hours before low-tide. Upper 70s, seabreeze, bright sun. Bright green algae on the lower foreshore. A tumbled line of pebbles and seaweed mixed together halfway up toward the berm lip. The last remnants of June's wrack high and dry on the backshore.
Sand, cobbles, rip-rap, and wrack
A weak week, energy wise. So what would it bring? Well, this 30-gallon garbage bag for once. Having seeing too many mobster movies, I was a little hesitant to peek in.
Thankfully free from anything... untoward
It just held sand. As did this Luvs bundle of joy:
Also thankfully free of anything untoward!
This week the new wrack & pebble line held the most debris. Last week, 10, 20, 30 feet down the slope were other smaller wrack lines, each with lots of vinyl scraps. Probably remainders from the receding tide, dragging back as much as it could before giving up for the afternoon. This week it was all heavily compressed into one tiny zone of pebble & algae "carpeting" choc-a-bloc with plastic bits.

The haul:
9 pcs of rope, about 9 ft total
486 pcs of non-rope debris
495 finds:
  • Bldg material: furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 9
  • Fishing trap gear: 334 (10 trap parts, 10 bumpers, bait tin, bait bag cord, entry net, 311 vinyl scraps)
  • Fishing misc.: 42 (40 claw bands, Perfect Fit glove, buoy)
  • Food-related plastics: 25 (3 bottle caps/o-rings, 18 cup scraps, 2 bread tags, food wrapper, straw)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 6 (2 can scraps, 3 sea glass, bottlecap)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 28 (large trash bag, 3 bag scraps, cigarette packaging, 3 cigarettes, diaper, 3 bandaids, 4 cable ties, 2 plant tags, contact solution label, name tag, o-ring, attaching plate, 2 black tape, 4 vinyl upholstery)
  • Scrap plastics: 48 (18 >1", 30 <1 li="li">
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 3 (2 bits of cord, fabric scrap)
All in all, what's become a fairly typical summer signature here at the Cove. Finding 300+ bits of lobster trap vinyl is hardly a shock anymore. Which is itself a little shocking.

Most everything else was also dense, sinkable, small material. Including many scraps that spoke to a long, tortured existence at sea.
Scrap of hi-tech super-insulated glove
Seat cushion? What's its story?
With one nice head-scratcher. NICK 975, who are you, what was this, and do you want it back?
"NICK 975" - Not a lobster tag, so...?
So as the summer wears on and the energy wanes, rope becomes rare and little vinyl bits proliferate. This makes sense. A beach is largely just a physical expression of the nature of the energy that hits it. Whether it's made of cobbles, sand, mud... Whether it runs for 20 miles or occupies a small niche at the bottom of a cliff -- the energy of wave crashing against land molds it. Makes it what it is.

A beach changes over millennia, and it also adjusts to the annual rhythm of storm and calm. It's a privilege to explore the same coast week after week, and learn the rhythms of energy that make Curtis Cove truly unique.

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 8164
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 1776
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 3835

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