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

Weather Apps/sites for predicting wind, waves & tides

We’ve used several weather sites and apps over the years in helping us predict when we get to go fishing in our driveway. Yep, we’re well into the season of higher tides and southerly winds. “Yuletides” measuring close to 13 feet will be gracing our shores starting on Christmas while the dreaded King Tides  (my definition is over 13 feet) start up later in January.

BDB compiles several different government weather sources to come up with the Barking Dog warning…

A “barking dog report” means that we are very closely watching the sound and preparing to possibly flood. It may or may not happen (hopefully not!!). Consider us your neighbor’s barking dog who’s barking at potential trouble.

This has me wondering if there are any free sites/apps that can provide all the info you want in an easy to understand format. It’s a safe bet that most weather sites are pulling their stats off of NOAA satellites/beacons so it’s just a matter of which site/app works for you. Here’s a few freebies that stood out to me…

Predict Wind includes a robust amount of weather info (includes predicted wave & tide heights) but totally whiffed in predicting our last big blow in November. They claim that their custom report/models are used by America’s Cup & Volvo Ocean sailors more than any other forecast applications. They’re predicting that we’ll be seeing peak gusts of 50 knots around 9:oo AM tomorrow…


iWindsurf was recommended by a neighbor and is now my go-to app. It accurately predicted our last couple of windy days off of Alki Pt. This snapshot of their Prediction Table is showing steady wind of 21 knots with peak gusts to 48 for tomorrow at 5:00 PM.


There are several good sources for tide heights but I prefer Tide Graph HD from Brainware LLC. Here’s the height for Seattle @ 6PM tomorrow…



Wave height is pretty much a factor of wind speed around here. The fetch or travel distances approx. the same from North to South.

Wind 10-20 Kt = 3 footers

Wind 15-25 Kt = 4 footers

Wind 25-35 Kt = 6 footers

Wind 35-45 Kt = up to 8 feet! (BTW, predicted by NOAA Marine forecast for Puget Sound/Hood Canal this Thursday evening)


IMG_3522 Beach Drive’s own Psycho of the Soup uses the IWindsurf app to map out wind speed forecasts for slaying the surf along the drive.


Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog


Pump Station #39 project under way @ 5000 block of Beach Drive

Construction for placing a permanent diesel generator at SPU Pump Station #39 is well under way. It’s the last of 9 pump sites recently granted a permanent solution for keeping the sewage flowing during a power outage. Several other sites around the city  require portable generators to be hauled in during outages.


This project required a City Council vote early this year to approve the proposed “shallow” set-back from the sidewalk. The proposed location of the generator is actually a compromise helped along by effected neighbors that didn’t want the generator located further up the hill. Their first choice, along with others along the drive would be to have the entire project located underground. This would cost approx 3 times as much as the proposed so it appears a fair compromise was worked out. Other compromises worked out by our local neighbors include an eight foot wood fence rather than the standard 6′ chain-link and that the generator is only run/tested once every month for 30 minutes rather than the weekly noise which is standard elsewhere.

Rumor has it, some neighbors were actively working on making this one of Seattle’s new “pocket parks“.



The station was originally installed in 1959 and is located on city of Seattle property.

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Tis the season for wind, waves and rain

I was caught on the West Seattle Bridge late this afternoon in an amazing display of Mother Nature’s force. It was more rain, wind and water than I have ever witnessed on the bridge. I’m very glad to be home!

[Read more…]

Meet Beach Naturalist at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park

Meet Beach Naturalist (they’ll be wearing red hats) from Seattle Aquarium at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park beaches

  • Saturday, July 20th: 9:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Sunday, July 21st: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Monday, July 22nd: 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
  • Tuesday, July 23rd: 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

Meet Beach Naturalist at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park Beaches

Meet Beach Naturalist (they’ll be wearing red hats) from Seattle Aquarium at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park beaches

  • Saturday, July 6th: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Sunday, July 7 th: 10:am – 12:30 pm

Meet Beach Naturalist at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park

Meet Beach Naturalist (they’ll be wearing red hats) from Seattle Aquarium at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park beaches

  • Saturday, June 22nd:  10:00 am – 1:30 pm
  • Sunday, June 23rd: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Monday, June 24th: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
  • Tuesday, June 25th: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday, June 26th: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm

Join Beach Naturalist from Seattle Aquarium

Meet Beach Naturalist (they’ll be wearing red hats) from Seattle Aquarium at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park beaches:

  • Thursday, June 6th:  9:30 am -12:00 pm
  • Friday, June 7th: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Saturday, June 8th:  10:30 am – 1:00 pm
  • Sunday, June 9th: 11:00 am – 1:30 pm


Ya Otter not swim in that orange stuff…

As I was un-admiring the creamsicle bloom just south of Emma Schmitz View Point, I spotted this fast approaching critter heading north along the beach.


Sure enough, the River Otter headed right for the muck! (Noctiluca blooms are not harmful to pets, us or wildlife)


…and onto the beach for a stroll


“What?? wanna watch me roll on my back & have a good ol’ belly scratch?”



Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Very Low and High Tides

We are experiencing some of the lowest tides of the year this Memorial Day weekend.

Today, Sunday, May 26:

  • -3.6 at 12:23 pm
  • 12.25 at 7:40 pm

Memorial Day, Monday, May 27:

  • 6.41 at 1:09 am
  • 11.06 at 6:09 am
  • -3.4 at 1:11 pm
  • 12.36 at 8:29 pm

You can meet beach naturalist from the Seattle Aquarium (they’ll be wearing red hats) at Constellation Park or Lincoln Park today and tomorrow from:

  • Sunday, May 26: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
  • Monday, May 27: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Happy Memorial Day!