Saturday, May 21, 2011
Cape George is a large residential development west of Port Townsend. It faces northwest across the mouth of Discovery Bay, looking out over Protection Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Were it not for Protection Island, I suspect the shoreline would look very different, as the island is appropriately named (by George Vancouver back in 1792).
The community's primary link to the beach is a marina and community center built on an old spit and salt marsh - littoral drift is from north to south and sediment that bypasses the jetty is periodically dredged from the channel and placed on the beach immediately south.
The high bluff around the corner to the north has been active this winter, encouraged by the wet weather and stratigraphy that lends itself to hydrologically induced mid-bluff failures. There are massive clays or silts at the toe of the slope - in most cases, the slides have come down from above, although farther northeast, it looks like some historic slides may have cut deeper into this unit. There is a nice contrast between the heavily deformed fine-grained unit at the base and beautiful horizontally laminated sands higher in the bluff.