Low tide reveals marine life in west Seattle

Low tide at the Fauntleroy ferry dock on July 13 was minus 4 and local marine life was exposed.

Photo by Kimberly Robinson

Being a largely beach-centric community on a peninsula means West Seattle takes the tides perhaps more seriously than many other places. Wednesday’s so-called “Buck Moon” is responsible for the larger-than-usual swings. So, at 2 a.m. on July 13, the moon reached its closest point to Earth for 2022: a perigee distance of 221,994 miles.

This resulted in a low tide at 11:00 minus 4 and on July 14 around noon an even lower tide of minus 4.04 at Alki Beach Park. Wednesday’s high tide was forecast at plus 12:07 p.m. at 6:51 p.m. with Friday at 8:14 p.m. at plus 12:37 p.m., Saturday the same high level will be reached at 8:54 p.m.

But at low tide marine life that you don’t normally see is revealed and many people are drawn to this otherwise hidden world.

A bright orange sea pen awaits the return of the tide.
Photo by Kimberly Robinson
moon snail egg shell
A moon snail egg shell made of saliva, sand, and eggs. Photo by Kimberly Robinson
moon snail
A moon snail about 8 inches long burrowing in the sand. Photo by Kimberly Robinson
leather star
A ‘Leather Star’ clings to a pier pillar. Photo by Kimberly Robinson
under the pier
An ex-crab has nowhere to go when the tide is low under the pier. Photo by Kimberly Robinson
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