In March my dad took his 20' pontoon boat on a 16 day voyage down the Intercoastal waterway (ICW) - a trip that left me not a little bit jealous. Not wanting to miss out on the ALL of the fun I made arrangements to visit the east coast, and during a 9 day visit I was able to get four nights on the water. Granted, we didn't quite make it to Florida, but the trip was priceless all the same. Besides, given that the title of this post is an homage to my father's dietary proclivities while journeying, perhaps its for the best that we didn't go longer than four days. I had a serious craving for spinach by day 2, and even hopped off the boat in tiny South Mills, North Carolina (or was it Virginia?) to look for something green. No luck. If we had travelled to Florida I would definitely have had scurvy by the Cape Fear River.
Besides the obvious fun of messing about on boats, the trip provided me with a professional opportunity to observe a coastal landscape so different from any on the west coast. I can't quite fully grasp the processes and timescales that make the east coast so different from the west, but I took endless pictures that, I am sure, will be revisited as my mind masticates. The low swamplands that define so much of the coastal plain through which we passed are incredible - haunted by history, hum with productivity (and, as it turns out, mosquitoes) and form the ideal passage for a small boat.
I took the opportunity to learn how to transfer GPS data to Google Earth, and the novice results are what you see here.
As the Coastal Hazards Specialist for Washington Sea Grant I spend my time on research, education and outreach on topics like chronic erosion, climate change, tsunami and other coastal hazards. Current projects include:
1) monitoring the shoreline of the Elwha River delta to detect changes due to the Elwha Dam Removal
2) Assessing the influence of climate change on the resources of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
3) Evaluating the impact of debris from the Tohoku tsunami on the shorelines of the Olympic Peninsula