Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ship Harbor

Ship Harbor is a north-facing cove just east of the Anacortes Ferry Terminal. It's a swash-aligned barrier beach and marsh with a long and complicated human history. It's basically a pocket beach trapped between Shannon Point and the ferry terminal to the west and the old railroad grade on the east. There may be some sediment trickling in from adjacent shorelines, but certainly no way for it to get out, except by gradual attrition or perhaps some loss offshore.

The shape of the beach is altered a bit by the remains of the old cannery -- metal slag (old tin can cuttings?), concrete foundation piers, and a forest of piles - each with it's own gull. The sand and gravel segregate themselves, both across the profile and along the beach. There was a sandy berm encroaching on the vegetation at the east end, suggesting some accretion there recently.

I'm not sure how the wetland drains - through the berm or through a pipe somewhere out of sight? There is a small "stream" bubbling from a concrete vault on the east end, carrying storm water from the new subdivision on the hill. It forms a small low tide delta -which is probably the sink for any extra sediment that makes its way to this end of the bay.

Ship Harbor, February 2009

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