Rescue off Beach Drive seems fishy to local residents

There was a huge rescue call out tonight for a couple of divers off of Emma Schmitz near the rock pile where spear fishing for ling cod is a popular spot.

Neighbors noticed divers with lights surfacing and seeming to submerge when rescue boats were nearby. Eventually two divers appeared and said what was needed to satisfy the officials.


Many neighbors watching this are coming to the same conclusion… it seems a bit fishy. However, fishing for ling cod did open tonight!

Eggcellent Biomass

A Fish & Wildlife worker was seen wading into Beach Drive waters yesterday following the movements from the huge flock of Bonaparte’s gulls. He was using a small rake to sample the extent of the rare herring spawn we experienced along the shoreline a few days back. According to an excellent article from the Kitsap Sun, this type of sampling is used to measure the metric tons of biomass (herring eggs) left behind.
Some long term Beach Drive residents that have fished these local water for over 40 years could not recall ever seeing a herring spawn here. From a wider Puget Sound perspective, 2020 may prove to be the largest spawning season on record. Observers north of Bainbridge in Agate Passage spoke to some old timers for their insights
Oleyar said he’s spoken to tribal members who haven’t seen an event of this size: “Some of them have lived here for 60 years or more and they haven’t seen this before. This is pretty historic.”
For the remaining eggs that survive, let’s cross our fingers for a return visit in about 3 years or so.
Scupper, reporting for the BDB

What’s with all the Seals and Sea Lions?

Did you get an early wake up call from the barking seals and sea lions this morning? There is a massive herring spawn taking place right now causing the light, milky patches in the sound and attracting a lot of wildlife, including seals, sea lions and eagles.


We captured this photo at Emma Schmitz Memorial Viewpoint where onlookers watched the packs of seals and sea lions take breaks from their feast. The lighter colored water is not typical. The PT Leader has a great description of what’s taking place:

“The CWI’s Anne Shaffer explained that “white water” is the colloquial term for the milt sprayed by males to fertilize the newly laid eggs.

“Scores of marine mammals and thousands of birds congregate to feed on the thick carpets of eggs laid on eelgrass and Sargassum seaweed along the shore,” Shaffer said. “The eggs are still developing but will soon hatch, marking the beginning the 2020 spring plankton season that, in turn, supports the rest of our Salish Sea food chain.”


It’s an amazing sight and I WISH my better camera was working right now.

We’ve noticed a few paddle boarders trying to get a close look at the sea lions and seals.

 

Flood of Debris Hitting our Shores

UPDATE 2/14/2020: Scroll below for more photos by our Intrepid Reporter, Scupper. We have also added a link to the My Coast app under Swell Links. 

Anyone else noticing the increased amount of wood debris along the shores of Beach Drive lately? I could hardly believe my eyes when I gazed out at the low tide this afternoon…

BDB confirmed with both King County & Washington State Dept of Natural Resources that the main contributor is likely from the recently flooded rivers in the region.

According to a spokesperson for DNR’s Aquatic Restoration, all the clean, non creosote soaked wood will be allowed to settle on our local beaches to help contribute to the natural habitat. The person that I spoke with mentioned that they were just out at West Seattle beaches removing toxic coated wood & debris off the beaches. She encouraged us to help promote their new app named “My Coast” that allows anyone to send a picture of toxic debris floating in the sound for cleanup.

The really big stuff floating out neat the shipping lanes is the responsibility of the Army Corp of Engineers. We spotted them picking logs onto a large barge yesterday morning.

Photos from February 14, 2020

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Big Changes for Short Term Rentals along Beach Drive and Alki

If you or someone you know owns or operates a vacation rental along Beach Drive or along Alki, you may want to let them know about regulations that are going into effect January 1, 2019 that will prohibit short term vacation rentals on waterfront homes and potentially including homes within 200 feet of Puget Sound.

We believe this is an unintended consequence from the City of Seattle labeling short term vacation rentals as “commercial lodging” which is not permitted per the shoreline code. This includes detached single family residences, condos, apartments and homes that are within 200 feet of the high water mark of Puget Sound (homes across the street from Puget Sound could be included). Other areas may be included as well if they are within the shoreline management restricted areas.

From the City of Seattle – one of their many pages regarding Short Term Rentals (aka “STR”s):

“Floating on-water residences, waterfront residences, and other areas where lodging activities are prohibited by the Shoreline Code

We have owned and operated a short term vacation rental on Beach Drive for a couple of years. We are saddened that it looks like we will no longer be able to offer Beach Drive Bungalow as a vacation rental. Many of our guests over the years have been from neighbors and other Seattle-ites with visiting families.

Many who have owned and operated vacation rentals near the shoreline in Seattle may not know about this snafu. To our knowledge, there has been no notifications from the vacation rental platforms, like VRBO/Homeaway or AirbNb nor from the City of Seattle (unless you visit their website and try to make sense of the shoreline code).

I reached out weeks ago to our City Council. Today, I received my first response from a representative for O’Brien who stated:

“Thanks so much for reaching out to Councilmember O’Brien on this issue.  I am sorry for the complicated and confusing nature of our code and that your property is no longer eligible as a STR.  After looking into it a bit, my understanding is that this is due to the shoreline code – lodging activities are prohibited in Floating on-water residences, waterfront residences, and in specific shoreline environments.  This was not a policy choice about waterfront locations specifically but rather just making it explicit that defining short-term rentals as a lodging use (and not a residential use) means prohibiting STRs where lodging uses are prohibited by the shoreline code.   To modify this would require amending the shoreline code which typically requires working with and approval by the Department of Ecology.

Sorry to not have a more hopeful response for you.  Have you considered renting the property as a long-term rental?”

No response yet from our West Seattle rep, Lisa Herbold.

We do plan on reaching out to the Department of Ecology.

If you have questions, you can email: str@seattle.gov.

Barking Dog Report: On Watch for Friday

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

If you’re a long time reader of Beach Drive Blog, then you’re most likely familiar with “the Barking Dog Report”. We issue a “Barking Dog Report” when we think there is a strong possibility that our Beach Drive home may flood from waves coming over the bulkhead. Sometimes, much like a neighbors barking dog (and the weatherman), we may be off and there is no issue. However, we think it’s always good to prepare for worse case scenario for those few times that flooding does occur.

For this report, we’re more of a concerned dog that’s sniffing the air for what may come this Friday. What has our ears pulled back this morning? Check out the current data from Wind Alert.


You can see by the bottom graph for this week that we’re going to be in for some stormy, windy weather… however, if Friday’s current forecast holds true, we could have gusts as high as 62 mph around 1:00 pm!

High tide is predicted to be 11.72 feet at 10:12 am on Friday, which is when the wind really appears to start picking up based on this morning’s chart from Wind Alert. At 1:00 p.m., tides are predicted to be around 10 feet…but with winds that strong, waves should be pretty intense.

Again, I hope we’re barking for nothing, just like your neighbor’s dog. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared for a big storm…just in case!

PS: You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter

PS PS: Stay tuned! Weather is such a moving target! As 12:54 pm (a few hours since publishing this post) Wind Alert is showing the strongest gust on Friday to be “only” 46 mph at 4:00 am.

UPDATE: As of 8:00 a.m. December 12, 2018, it looks like Friday will be a non-event. Thursday looks stormy but nothing like what we had originally shared on this post. 🙂

 

Buddhist ritual helps crabbing in Area 10

Although I’m not quite sure what the karma penalties would be for catching one of the dungy’s, it was a great sight to see this Taiwanese family repatriating 30 large crabs into Puget Sound.

The grandfather and father of the newborn (on left with mother) carefully remove bands from the claws before releasing the 30 crabs purchased from a local market.

This Buddhist ritual is meant to give good health and wellbeing to the newly born child and create harmony with nature. Pretty cool!

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Have You Seen a Missing Buoy

This email came in last night from a Beach Drive neighbor:

My neighbor’s large round mooring buoy broke loose last week. It’s white with black numbers. It floated away from the 5400 block of Beach Drive. She’s asking anyone sighting it to please call 206-734-5992.
 

No swimming or wading allowed at Cormorant Cove Park

 Yesterday the Seattle Public Utilities posted a sign by Cormorant Cove Park off of Beach Drive warning the public to not swim nor wade in the Puget Sound waters.

no wading
 

This happens to be near where the trimaran and power boat wrecked by the Harbor West Condominiums. However it is our understanding that the officials were originally called out for a possible sewage leakage from the condominiums and not for the situation with the boats.

tri fuel spill
 

Stay tuned.

National Weather Service Issues Coastal Flood Advisory through 11:00 am this morning

Did you wake up to waves pounding your bulkhead like we did? This morning’s high tide of 11.9 happened around 7:49 a.m. Seattle area tides will only go down to about a 7.9 at 1:41 pm and then back up to a 9.1 at 6:12 tonight.  The coastal flood advisory below says to add 1.5 to 2.0 feet to the tide table prediction.

The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood advisory for the Seattle area:

..COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM TO 11 AM PST THIS
MORNING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A COASTAL
FLOOD ADVISORY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM TO 11 AM PST THIS
MORNING.

* HAZARD…MINOR FLOODING NEAR THE BEACHES FROM TIDAL OVERFLOW AT
  HIGH TIDE THIS MORNING.

* IMPACTS…LOW LYING ROADS AND OTHER AREAS NEXT TO THE BEACHES
  AND TIDELANDS MAY SEE MINOR FLOODING AT HIGH TIDE.

* TIME OF HIGH TIDE AND PREDICTIONS…11.9 FEET AROUND 750 AM AT
  SEATTLE…12.4 FEET AROUND 750 AM AT TACOMA…8.5 FEET AROUND 840
  AM AT FRIDAY HARBOR…9.8 FEET AROUND 840 AM AT CHERRY POINT.

* EXPECTED TIDAL ANOMALY…ADD 1.5 TO 2.0 FEET TO THE TIDE TABLE
  PREDICTION
.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE

The Puget Sound Marine Forecast currently has 4-5 foot waves predicted most of this week:

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON…
TODAY…S WIND 15 TO 25 KT…RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. SHOWERS IN THE MORNING…THEN SHOWERS LIKELY.

TONIGHT…S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SHOWERS LIKELY.

MON…S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SHOWERS LIKELY.

MON NIGHT…S WIND 10 TO 20 KT…RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT…BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT.

TUE…S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT.

TUE NIGHT…SW WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT.

WED…S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT.

A Seattle area forecast also warns of possible coastal flooding until 11:00 a.m. today with southwest winds up to 30 mph:

…COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY FOR MINOR TIDAL OVERFLOW IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM TO 11 AM PST THIS MORNING…

TODAY…WINDY. SHOWERS IN THE MORNING…THEN SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE MID 40S TO LOWER 50S. SOUTHWEST WIND 15 TO 30 MPH.

TONIGHT…WINDY. SHOWERS LIKELY. LOWS IN THE UPPER 30S TO MID 40S. SOUTH WIND 15 TO 30 MPH.

MONDAY…BREEZY. SHOWERS LIKELY. HIGHS IN THE MID 40S TO LOWER 50S. SOUTH WIND 15 TO 25 MPH.

MONDAY NIGHT…WINDY…RAIN. LOWS IN THE LOWER TO MID 40S. SOUTH WIND 15 TO 25 MPH BECOMING SOUTHEAST 15 TO 30 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.

TUESDAY…WINDY. RAIN IN THE MORNING…THEN SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE LOWER TO MID 50S. SOUTH WIND 15 TO 30 MPH BECOMING SOUTHWEST 15 TO 25 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON.