A whole lot of new adventure happened during our recent short visit to Long Beach along Washington State’s coast, but one of the most memorable happenings for me was just a simple, peaceful walk along the shore.
Not only is Long Beach long in distance, supposedly it is the longest in the world, but it’s also wide, meaning that walking from the first edge of sand to the first edge of water, even at high tide, is quite a trek.
After a day of driving and finally getting settled into our rental, the three of us were more than ready to kick off our shoes and feel the sand and cool water between our toes.
Though other visits over the course of the weekend proved to be different, this one sticks out because of Bergen’s reaction to the surf. He’s no stranger to the water, growing up in Seattle and also traveling to his fair share of beaches in his short 3 years, but still.
He made his arrival known by just going for it; with wild abandon.
As he swapped between wading in the tide (no worries of getting his clothes wet for this guy) and digging with his bucket and shovel, us grown-ups also started to notice some unusual creatures spread all over the shore–just to where the water hit its highest point. At first I thought they were jellyfish, and was cautious knowing that sometimes even dead, washed-up jellyfish can sting.
Lucky for me, I didn’t have to wonder too long though as my trusty travel companion had the information dialed up on his phone in no time. The creatures do not sting (or at least it’s not potent enough to be concerned) and are called “by-the-wind-sailors” or technically, “velella velella”.
Looking closely, they have a beautiful deep blue, almost purplish color (with clear parts too) along with a little fin or “sailor” on the top. Apparently, they are washing up in different amounts all along the Pacific coast here in the United States due to strong winds. Usually they just float along the surface of the ocean never to be spotted, but this summer they are making an appearance, and we’re happy to learn more.
A simple little beach walk with a marine science lesson thrown in, plus a completely engaged mini-traveler. My kind of adventure.
Been to the beach this summer? Tell us where in the world you got to dip your toes into the sand and surf!
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