Sunday, June 29, 2008
One of the more intriguing things about Homer's beaches is the presence of coal. At one time, coal was mined along the high bluffs north of town - particularly near Bluff Point. Coal is light and must have different transport characteristics than other sediment, but it should come as no surprise that it gets carried by drift and spread out on beaches from Bishop's all the way to the tip of Homer Spit (also called Coal Point, because that's where it was once loaded on ships). It reminds me a bit of the chunks of peat on Whidbey Island's beaches, but the BTU content is probably far better. One guy on the web reports driving out to the beach and loading up his car with it -- saving him big bucks on winter fuel costs. I saw a man filling buckets in the back of his pickup with a shovel at Bishop's Beach one day - maybe it was the same guy?