Sunday, February 24, 2013

Curtis Cove Report - Feb 12, 2013

After another wintery week off following January 20's visit, back again to the beach. This time also after so-called "Superstorm Nemo" blanketed New England! But even though inland the drifts were 3-4 feet high, at the cove, the blizzard's gale-force winds blew sea into shore and blew the snow clear away.
On the other side of the causeway behind the cove, the blizzard's lingering effects still held sway. The Little River Marsh was an ice-blocked and wintery wonderland.
No surprise for how much garbage the blizzard washed up onto the shore.
lobster trap bait bag
balloons, always balloons
And the best sign of the storm's force:
New, but mauled

210 pcs of rope, about 280 ft total
131 pcs of nonrope debris
342 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 1 (folding aluminum deck chair)
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 210
  • Fishing misc.: 40 (2 fishing line, 2 clawbands, 13 bait bags, 5 trap parts, 3 trap vents, 2 bumpers, 13 vinyl scraps)
  • Food-related plastics: 19 (3 bottles (2 badly torn), 13 cup scraps, 2 wrappers, bread tag)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 2 (can base, sea glass)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 42 (13 bag scraps, 5 latex balloons, 2 mylar, 6 balloon strings, 5 packaging scraps, 4 cable ties, rocket base, scrub pad, pressure treatment tag, flower, fish-tag tie, sock tree, vinyl upholstery scrap)
  • Scrap plastics: 10 ( 4 > 1" , 6 < 1" )
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 18 (8 gloves, 8 fabric scraps, sock, leather strap)
The worst part is that nearly every week there's debris that's clearly been eaten/clawed by denizens of the deep. Such as this ketchup pack:
and this fast-food coffee cup lid:
It's not just ugly. It's deadly.

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 12965
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 3699
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 4827

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Curtis Cove Report - Jan 20, 2013

After a wild early winter settling into my new blog with the Portland Press Herald (woot!), traveling out of state, and dodging blizzards etc., am finally catching back up with some old beach collection reports.

Sunday, January 20, 2013. 10:15AM. Strong sea-breeze, winds picking up. 45 degrees but quickly on the way down.

Snow earlier in the week, mild overall. The wrack "smear" from January 11 was now shaped & packed into a very tight (and deep) coil.
Looks like there had been at least a couple very high & gentle tides. It nicely defined the back edge of the foreshore.
Down at the low foreshore, December's yellowish sand dump hadn't cleared out yet. It still buried all the pebbles & cobbles that usually litter the low ground.
Of course it carried its plastic load. Always.
As expected with so much seaweed to pore over, the haul was heavy.
176 pcs of rope, about 300 ft total
176 pcs of nonrope debris
352 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 176 (~300 ft)
  • Fishing misc.: 111 (2 buoy sticks, 8 clawbands, 72 vinyl coating scraps, 11 trap tags, 6 vents, 5 bait bags, 5 bumpers/cleats, 2 trap parts)
  • Food-related plastics: 13 (2-liter bottle base (cut off), 3 bottle caps, 5 cup scraps, 2 wrapper scraps, jug scrap, abraded spoon)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 2 (crushed new can, can scrap)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 22 (12 bag scraps, 2 balloon strings, cig lighter, cigarette, nonfood packaging, 2 cable ties, plant pot scrap, hook, base plate)
  • Scrap plastics: 25 ( 11 > 1" , 14 < 1" ) 
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 3 (2 fabric scraps, glove)
A sign of high tides and high waves was the mass of bait bags and trap vents.
These generally only make it to the cove when high energy pushes the floatables up and over the rocky outcrop at the cove's head.

Another find caused a double-take. On the sand, this spoon looked bright and new:
But once I got it home I could see just how scratched and abraded it actually was. This piece of cutlery spent a lot of time on the seafloor, rolling back and forth. Somehow it arrived at Curtis Cove intact, though nicely "frosted."

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 12623
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 3489
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 4814

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Down to the Seas Again

"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

 I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over."

-- "Sea-Fever," John Masefield, 1902
Discovered in a quote by departing Deep Sea News blogger Kevin Zelnio.

I miss the sea. My time there since December has been limited by weather, chance, and responsibilities. Today, as the record-breaking blizzard outside winds down, I cannot wait for the roads to clear so I can see what mighty nature has done to Curtis Cove.