[Tweeters] Tides of Night Report

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign15 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 28 12:52:09 PST 2018


Having done my civic duty by posting a PSA about low-tide at night on
midnight last Monday, I figured I ought'a get down there myself to see what
I could see. The weather forecast wasn't promising.

Sure enough, after a nap I woke up at 11pm to rain and wind at the
window."Aw, it a'int *too *bad" I thought, as I geared up with my
close-focusing binocs, rubber boots, a warm coat and my cane, and drove the
long ten minutes down to Point Hudson. PT just about a ghost town at that
hour.

You see, in the last few years I've acquired a case of Parkinson's Disease
(is it a disease or a syndrome? I don't know, but it is a hassle) and
that's what the cane was for; the big PS (oh, and by the way, your balance
now sucks!). Oh well. Walking helps.

Actually it wasn't too bad, at least not cold, and the rain stopped. But I
didn't account for the wind in my plans - my eyes soon teared up badly, and
it was hard to see clearly. I could've used some safety glasses. Binocs
were useless. "Well i'm not leaving 'till I see some tidepool critters!" I
said to myself. So I staggered carefully down the dark and windy beach to
the bouldery beach at Chetzemoka Park. Where I found some tide pools. Most
of the water, while clear, looked like a fast moving stream in the wind,
but I found a few sheltered behind tall rocks, which helped.

I did see a few things; a cool Sea Anemone, a pretty green Shore Crab with
strikingly patterned carapace, and lots of shrimp about 1 1/2 " long with
eyes glowing orange-red in the flashlight beams. Since binoculars were
useless in the wind, I got down on my knees for a close look and saw many
tiny amphipods swimming around - they, the crab and the various types of
shrimp more active at night- that's the fun part for me. After a few
minutes of this, I'd enjoyed about enough of this wind and watery eyes as I
could stand, and staggered into the wind back to the truck.

One thing I did note, which was unusual. A bird called briefly - once - and
it sounded alot like a male Wigeon, but just called once. I heard exactly
the same sound when doing my last night beach patrol several years ago here
in PT, at North Beach. It also only called briefly. I've never seen Wigeons
either place, on open salt water, in daylight that I remember, but of
course many on sheltered brackish water at Kah Tai, and China Pond. Any
ideas?

Next time, I'm gonna get some of them trekking poles for balance amongst
the slimy rocks, and a good headlamp to free my hands for binocluar use.
What kind of nut uses binocs in the dark you might wonder. Well,
close-focusing binocs (6' or so) combined with a good light, allows great
looks at tidepool stuff, at least on a calm night,

Jeff Gibson
the trembling tweeeeter
Port Townsend Wa
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