Sweeping the Beach


September 18, 2023 Comments Off on A Stormy Day in Paradise journal

A Stormy Day in Paradise

I’ll be curious to see how much debris got picked up on Northwest beaches once the figures get released for this past weeklend’s International Coastal Cleanup. A small group of us kayaked from Hobuck Beach to Cape Flattery, planning to clean up the same little pocket beach that we scoured last year but once we arrived and took a look around, we were surprised at just how few items we could find. Last year, we filled half a dozen boats with plastic bottles, foam and other garbage that we found, more than a hundred pounds of assorted stuff that we were able to remove. This year, seven or eight bottles, a big blue jug and a few chunks of foamed plastic was all we came away with.

There could be several reasons for this: the beach could have been cleaned recently by another group. It’s difficult to get to, but we were certainly not the only paddlers to get there this year and maybe someone else had the same idea we had. Or it could be that it just doesn’t collect that much debris and the large amount that we picked up last year was the result of years of accumulation and the small bits we got this year represents the amount that washes up there in a normal annual cycle. Hard to say. For my part, I don’t mind that we didn’t get much… I look forward to a day when we don’t find any.

Other than that, the cave paddling was amazing, as usual. Because the conditions were so rough, there were a few routes through the rocks that we didn’t attempt and others that looked downright murderous, but we did get into the larger caves near the Cape and explored the nooks and crannies of Hole in the Wall, just south of the overlook. It must have been a busy day on the Cape trail, because there were quite a few observers there on the bluff, and I feel like multiple photos were taken of us cutting through the foam and being tossed about by the lumpy waters. It was a demanding paddle, that’s for sure, but there are no bad days.

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