Seasonal observations of an ever changing coastal landscape 
by Bold Bluff host Tamar Griggs 

Gathering Kelp

Date: 8/8/02
Time: 11:36:55 AM
Remote Name:


We've been having extreme low tides the past few days. Our abundant mud-flat - barnacly cove goes way out to an eel grass meadow that lies flat in the exposed tide - nearly all the way to our 92 foot wharf! The gang plank is steep and the pilings are tall as the tide falls and exposes masses of sea anemonies and purple sea stars clinging to the old pilings. Then as the tide laps up the beach in the late afternoon, the gang plank becomes nearly flat and the pilings look squished flat like pancakes. It's about a 12 foot verticle tide these days.

I've been gathering masses of bull kelp that get tangled around the wharf pilings. It's a hard heave to get them out of the ocean with their "hold fasts" wound round and round with the kelp ropes. I love the sunlight filtering through the big amber fronds and the scent of sea weed. I grunt and laugh as I pull the bounty out for my garden, and get sopping wet! Sometimes I simply can't get the tangled mass of seaweed out of the ocean, and I cut the long stems with my trusty thumb nail and let the hold fasts drift down to the bottom of the sea.

Kelp crabs look stunned as they are so rudely brought up to the wharf, and I gently kick them overboard and watch them float down the green water with legs and pincers out like parachutes to brace their slow fall down. There are thousands of tiny fish in the open aquariums of our wharf. You'd think all is well with our oceans, but you know this is not the case.

       Last changed: January 26, 2012