Eureka – Finding California

The Land – part 6

Washed Ashore

Dead things float. And things that float get washed ashore. Then they smell.  You smell them long before you see them. The concentration of death on the shore gives a good indication of what’s lurking beneath the surface off any given stretch of coast.  Endless empty crab exoskeletons.  A lobster from time to time. Seals with large bites taken out of them.  Sometimes the sharks that take large bites out of whatever they please.

What’s really neat is to walk a stretch of coast far enough away from any civilization so that where anything that washes up will remain where it lies until nature runs its full coarse.  If you slow down and really start to look closely at the flotsam and jetsam and rock and driftwood and seaweed, you’ll be surprised at how many bones you will find.  Cool bones too.  Sometimes skeletons with vertebrae still in tact, but most often loose and scattered bones worn smooth from tossing about in the shorebreak.

Far down one stretch of coast there’s a grove of trees where, if you were to venture that far, you’d find massive whale vertebrae and all manners of ocean bones hanging from the tree branches, suspended by whatever ropes their mysterious makers found on the shore, in fantastic multi-faceted arrangements.  The beautiful display of death confirming that this coast is indeed alive.

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