Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Outside of the Shipwrecked Cement Boat

the shipwrecked cement boat at Nisqually Reach
(picture taken by my 12-year-old son)

the cement boat sits on a sand jetty -- see it at the end?
(picture taken by my 12-year-old son)
Earlier in June our family went to DuPont, WA on a warm, sunny day to check out Sequalitchew Creek Trail.  The trail runs through a beautiful canyon bordered on each side with lush green plants and trees.  At the end is a short tunnel, and when you pass through the tunnel you reach a large rocky beach on the Puget Sound.

After we reached the shore, we travelled south along the beach to a sand jetty that juts out into the water and then walked out to the end of the jetty to the old shipwrecked cement boat to explore it. We timed our visit to occur at low tide because otherwise the waters of the Puget Sound cover the sand jetty on which the boat rests.  You can see what it looks like when the water has risen on this video that Fred404 posted on Youtube:  Cement Boat at Nisqually Reach.

barnacles and mussels on the side facing the sun
Because of the ocean water that comes in with the return of the tides each day to surround and fill the inside of the old shipwrecked cement boat, it has a lot of interesting creatures living on its hard walls. One side of the boat (I'm not really good with directions, but I think it's the side facing toward the southeast) gets a lot of exposure to the light (and sometimes warmth!) of the sun, and that side looked dry.  Many barnacles and mussels covered the bottom half of it.

walking on the sunny side

dripping with water!
one side of the cement ship sits in deep shadow
(picture taken by my 12-year-old son)
The other side faces away from the sun and sits in deep shadow.  The boat leans in that direction, and the sides dripped with water. Quite a few star fish had attached themselves down underneath the ship on that side, plus the wall of the ship had seaweed, large and small barnacles, mussels, and really interesting soft, wet creatures (I am not sure yet what they are called) on it.   The soft creatures (you can see their pictures at the bottom) were fun to observe. My younger son gently touched a couple to see their response and was fascinated to see them shrink back and seem to grow shorter.






Another amazing thing we saw on the shadowy side of the ship was a large barnacle sticking out it's legs. We've only seen little barnacles covered by water doing that, but never before had seen such a big one doing it.  It was especially surprising because it wasn't covered by water.


mussels and a barnacle
You can see the legs come of of the barnacle in the short video below.
video
large and small barnacles on the ship

seaweed on the shady side; there is a starfish at the bottom
(this pic taken by my 12-year-old son)

starfish!

2 comments:

  1. This is very interesting. I think the creature you saw pictured in the third photo may be a sea anemone. They fold their tentacles inside themselves when they are out of water at low tide. I'm not sure about this because the anemones we have where we live are red but it looks similar. I love watching barnacles feed. It's amazing, there is a whole other world at the low tide mark. Have a happy 4th of July. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Serena! I had wondered if it might be a sea anemone. I enjoy watching barnacles feed, too! :) Seeing the creatures at low tide is wonderful -- it really is a whole other world, I like how you put that. :) You have a happy 4th of July, too! Thank you so much for your comments. :)

    ReplyDelete