USS John C. Stennis returning home

CV 74
We just spied the USS John C. Stennis returning to her home port of Bremerton.

While doing a little research, I found this CNN documentary about the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) that I’d thought I’d share.

Do you recall the sinking of The Dix? Check out this video.

One of our readers shared this video with us of the sinking of passenger ship, The Dix.  Thanks, Mark!

HISTORY: A Night to Remember from Avenue Collection on Vimeo.

Orcas seen off of Beach Drive

What a treat to be able to watch Orcas from your back yard! I don’t recall ever seeing them this close to the shore.

orcas nov 10 2015 a
orcas Nov 10 2015
It was a real show stopper this afternoon at Emma Schmitz View Point as cars and people lined Beach Drive to catch a view of the whales.

Killers chasing chum off of Beach Drive

Several onlookers lined the sidewalk along Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook watching a nearby Orca pod. The whales have been spotted all over the area for the last couple of days according to West Seattle Blog reports. The Orca are most likely chasing the large fall chum salmon run which contains nearly 90% of the entire annual chum numbers that migrate down to central & south Puget Sound.


It was also reported that The Whale Trail organization has spotted other aquatic species in the area as well.



Well, maybe not ALL of them…


Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog


C’mon baby douse my fire

Another type of vessel has been taking a spin on the popular Beach Drive test track. Joining Delta Marine and the WA State Ferries is a brand spanking new 108′ fire boat built by Foss Maritime & bound for the Port of Long Beach California. The super pumper named “Fire Boat 20” tested forward & reverse for most of the day along the drive this morning.

According to Pacific Maritime Magazine

The Long Beach pair each carry four Caterpillar 3512-C main engines, producing a total of more than 8,000 HP. Two engines are dedicated for pumping only, while two do double duty – propulsion and simultaneously adding more pumping power for a total of over 40,000 gpm. A pair of Cat C12 150-kW gensets provides the boats’ electric power. The largest monitor will be capable of delivering 12,000 gpm at a 600-foot range. The other nine monitors range from 1,500 to 6,000 gpm. Top speed is 12 knots – sufficient for a compact port like Long Beach. The low-wash speed is eight knots and on-site endurance is five days.


Being one of the most technically advanced emergency boats in the world, it even has systems that protects the firefighters from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. I looked into buying one to protect Beach Drive but couldn’t negotiate them down from the 25+ mil price tag!


Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Bottom line: Plug your nose & talk to the State

In our continuing coverage regarding the foul Beach Drive bouquet, A small community meeting with representatives from King County Waste Water just adjourned from the sidewalk of 4700 Beach Drive SW. Armed with a color 4 page report regarding the soundness of their sewer, King County says it wasn’t them!

2015-09-30 16.13.00


Four leakage sensors were setup inside man-holes along the circa 1957 main line that runs along the drive…



With no solid evidence supporting sewage runoff as our culprit, the meeting turned into a “now what” conversation. An ecologist from the county recommended that neighbors start a permit process asap with Washington Fish & Wildlife for dealing with the next round of rotting sea lettuce. The permits apparently last five years. If  NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is correct, we could be literally blown out of our houses next summer! An article issued by King 5 back in July reported NOAA’s prediction for Seattle’s chances of continued warming…

SEATTLE – There’s a 90 percent chance El Nino will continue through this coming winter and an 80 percent chance it will extend to early spring 2016, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center reported Thursday.

The stench has been no stranger to the Fauntleroy Cove area where residents took action to remove the seaweed. The Seattle Times reported

When the problem last emerged in 1990, state officials attacked it by corralling the seaweed in nets and hauling it out into the sound, where it was dumped. They did this for three years at a cost of about $10,000 a year, then stopped. The problem abated until this summer, when average temperatures were three to four degrees above normal and the Puget Sound area saw more sunshine than usual.

A few residents present at the meeting showed interest in moving forward to find a solution. Maybe consulting with other neighborhoods that have or are currently dealing with this issue would be a good start. We did learn that Dumas Bay click here for their study & Shilshole Pt. were also plugging their collective noses and working on solutions.


Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog



New stink to an old story?

EDITORS NOTE: Please scroll to the bottom of this post for an update.

Some new controversy is brewing in regard to the rotten egg-like stench we reported along parts of Beach Drive SW.  A neighbor in the 4600 block reportedly complained about the gaseous smell to a King County Wastewater representative and was told that the cause could possibly be related to a recent CSO (combined sewage overflow). At first flush, I would think they are referring to heavy rains we experienced on August 29th which pushed our monthly total far beyond the average.

Another concerned neighbor and I caught up with a KC Waste Water truck hanging out this morning at the base of Jacobson Street. The gentleman in the truck explained that he was tasked with installing sophisticated sensors at different points along the sewer line that would indicate any accidental sewage leaks. He went on to say that most complaints of the odor have been located between around LaRustica Restaurant and about the 5000 block of Beach Drive. Also checked out were the City of Seattle lines that run down Jacobson to the main county line. Where the two lines intersect create what’s called  the SW Alaska Street Seattle Combined Outfall which dumps out into the sound when the Alki overflow treatment plant becomes overwhelmed.



Incidentally, this particular outflow rarely overflows according to report studies (.1% yearly 1987-2007) however it is not uncommon to have some leaky-poos just north at the 63rd St & Alki outflows.



The CSO Status website used by recreational divers and beachcombers has been experiencing technical difficulties and is not showing any real time data for the outflow stations in the immediate area.

King County West Point Treatment is encouraging all residents along the drive to report any stink zones with the exact time they occur. This will go along ways to get to the messy bottom of the mystery. 24 hour odor hotline 206-263-3801

A meeting had been setup between representatives of King County Waste Water Treatment, concerned homeowners and local media for this Friday but has been temporarily postponed.


Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog


UPDATE September 25, 2015: We received this email from a local resident:

Hi. Thought I would pass along some information about my morning’s experience regarding the odor on Beach Drive.

Last night when the odor intensified, I called the hotline you posted on the Blog (thanks for that information).  This morning around 11:30 a King County representative came to measure the levels of hydrogen sulfide, the likely gas causing the odor.  The couple of manholes out in front of the house had a zero reading for hydrogen sulfide.  At our deck, water side, the reading was .02.  At the bulk head, the reading was .14.  The rep said this was definitely abnormal and KC continues to be perplexed as to the cause but is actively investigating. 

He expected some public announcement next week on the status of the investigation.

Thanks again for the information on the Blog.  Helps to inform and connect us all.

Wind and Waves: Small Craft Advisory

A small craft advisory has been issued for Puget Sound through tonight. With gusts predicted around 30 mph and waves up to 3 to 5 feet, the weather and waves should be spectacular.

The National Weather Service:

A 50 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 68. South wind 13 to 20 mph.
Rain likely before 11pm. Cloudy during the early evening, then gradual clearing, with a low around 50. Southwest wind 6 to 13 mph becoming east northeast in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

From the Puget Sound Marine Forecast:



From Wind Alert  is showing potential gusts of 30 to 34 mph from  2pm to 5pm today.


High tide is predicted to be 9.5 at 11:00 am. As you can see from the chart above, we could have gusts of 25 at that time. Low tide is a 6.52 at 4:32 pm and then rising back to a 9.14 around 10:00 pm.


Wooo weeeeee! “Fauntleroy stench” stink’n up the beaches

Don’t blame it on the dog or over clean the cat box. This mornings low tides and the lack of a good breeze is making it nearly unbearable around Beach Drive. Rotting seaweed or sea lettuce is busy emitting hydrogen sulfide into the air we breath.

The term “Fauntleroy stench” was coined back in the late 1980’s when the the cove and other areas around the sound experienced this same rotten egg sensation. The Seattle Times wrote an article about it during the hot summer 1998 when Fauntleroy residents were complaining of headaches and nausea due to the strong odors.

In small amounts, the gas can burn the eyes, nose and throat, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In moderate amounts, it can bring on headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and respiratory problems.

Contrary to what you might think, opening windows and doors while running fans is the best way to purge the scourge from your home.

Some experts believe that a mild winter combined with a prolonged hot summer is the yummy recipe to bring the stench. If that’s the case, next year could be a real duesey! I just think it smells like Labor Day.



Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Golf Balls on the Beach

Beach Drive neighbors Kathy Ludwick & Dan Callan asked to share this on the blog:
Someone on our beautiful Puget Sound waterfront has been practicing their golf swing out over the beach. This is the third time we have collected them over the past year.
We have lived on this beach for 20+ years and have never seen this problem until now. As you can see from the two balls in the center of the photo, with time & tidal action they do fall apart. Which means more plastic in our oceans. Whoever is doing this, please stop. It’s not a harmless pastime in terms of the health of the Sound.
Thank you,
Kathy Ludwick & Dan Callan