Saturday, January 19, 2013

Curtis Cove Report - Dec 24, 2012

Monday, December 24, 1PM. Bright sun, mid-30s, strong land breeze, about an hour before low tide.
A very different world from December 15. The past week had seen a lot of rain, and one day was kind of blustery. But still didn't expect this mass of wrack. The whole foreshore was a brown goopy mess. In places 2 1/2 ft thick!
Feels like squishy quicksand underfoot
Lower on the foreshore, all of the once-exposed pebbles & cobbles lay buried under thick, soft, yellow-ish sand/mud.
It takes a lot of energy to turn a beach from cobbles/pebbles to smooth soft sand overnight.

All of this washed-in seaweed means one thing to a Flotsam Diarist:
and more debris
Everywhere I turned and stepped. So much debris that there was no real hope of collecting it all. In the end, I had to treat the seaweed as I do sand -- collect the debris lying on top and visible, don't bother digging. Most every kick would have brought more for my garbage bags.

In the end, after much mucking through the goop, this was my haul:
190 pcs of rope, about 350 ft total
177 pcs of nonrope debris
367 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 190 (~350 ft)
  • Fishing misc.: 60 (3 bait cleats, 15 vents, 3 parts, 6 bait bags, 4 bumpers, 2 vinyl scraps, 15 trap tags (2 from the 90s), 2 shotgun shells, 3 shell wadding, 6 clawbands, buoy scrap)
  • Food-related plastics: 36 (5 bottles - old, 1 bottle base, 3 cutlery, 5 bottlecaps, 3 cap o-rings, 1 cap seal, 3 cup tops, 10 cup scraps, 4 food wrappers, fruit cup - uneaten)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 2 (2 can scraps)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 42 (7 bag scraps, 2 mylar balloons, 3 latex balloons, 4 string, 4 nonfood bottlecaps, golf ball, cigarette tip, lid, tupperware container, diaper, lip balm, toy house mold, Javex bottle bottom scrap, 4 sewage disks, record scrap, 4 caps/plugs, tent peg, 2 vinyl upholstery scraps, hospital ID tag, large crate scrap)
  • Scrap plastics: 29 ( 15 > 1" , 14 < 1" )
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 8 (7 fabric scraps, glove)
This was a true cornucopia of debris. Everything from Canadian bleach bottle scraps to part of an old vinyl record. You can find close-ups of some of the stranger debris at my new "Undercurrents" blog for the Portland Press Herald.

A couple that I didn't post there:
Et pourquoi pas?
Two 3/4" caps to some kind of bottle -- probably from Canada given the French/English -- washed up. One was just the cap, the other appears as though the whole top of the bottle was sliced off. Anyone ever see these?
Canada, so wild that even its lobster claw bands roam 150 miles from home!

Anyway, thus ended my Flotsam Diaries collections for 2012. Most definitely with a bang, not a whimper. Happy New Year!

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 11836
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 3081
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 4693

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