At our last meeting a few weeks ago in Olympia, the three of us worked out a basic overview of the expedition schedule. Poring over charts and maps, with a little help from Google Earth, we got a handle on how long it might take, where we planned to spend the most time and where the opportunities for shoreline surveys would be most advantageous.
We divided the trip into three distinct sections: the cape, the central coast and the southern shore. The cape consists of the last six miles of the Strait of Juan de Fuca between the town of Neah Bay and Cape Flattery, and continues on down the Pacific side to Hobuck Beach. We’re anticipating some filming and some shoreline work before we even get going, and we’re hoping for weather that’s good enough to get us close to Tatoosh Island.
The central coast represents the longest stretch of the trip, from Hobuck to La Push. Most of this section is part of Olympic National Park and even though we expect to see a fair number of other visitors as we go through it, most (if not all) of them will be on foot, which means we’ll have the smaller beaches and offshore stacks to ourselves. It is these smaller pocket coves and shorelines that will make up most of our survey locations along this stretch.
The southern shore is the bit between La Push and Ruby Beach. Although many of the beaches north of here are the focus of cleanup activities from time to time, the southern section is less accessible to foot travel and, as such, we expect the beaches to reflect that lack of attention. It will give us a good opportunity to compare what we find here with what the previous surveys have shown, anyway. We’re also hoping to get out to see Destruction Island as well, if only from the water.
In terms of time, we’re allowing 6 days for the first section, 9 for the second and 6 for the third. These approximations include driving time to and from the area and are a bit flexible at this point.
It’s just a plan, and plans change.