After a five week journey to North Alabama helping family through surgeries and sneaking in a few visits along the way, I'm back at the beach. There's an odd disconnect one experiences after being gone for so long. In order to find myself again there has been lots of sleeping and simply "being," a couple of early evening Toddies on the Beach with the hubby, and yesterday...my first beach walk.
We've had an abundance of rainfall the past few days. Along with the rain drops came lightning and thunder, north winds and heavy seas. After the heat of early August I welcomed this change with open arms...and bare feet for my first serious walk. My goal was the green rocks of Fort Fisher. However, the universe had something completely different in mind for me.
Stepping onto the wet sand off our walkway the first thing I noticed were lines of beach flotsam and jetsam deposited by the sea. It was just past high tide, and these markers were high spots of deposits. There, amid the bits of shells, seaweed and bits of grasses were cigarette butts. Leaning down to pick up the first one I spotted 5 more. This continued for about a hundred yards south.
I never made it to the green rocks. After about 20 minutes my collecting bag was nearly full. Back aching, hip complaining I turned back to do a sweep on the way back and collected even more. North winds blowing my hair out of my eyes I could see more trash, even watching the waves deposit more as I walked. It was staggering, the amount of garbage. A personal best...er, worst for Kure Beach. More tourists on a smoking beach = more cigarette butts.
Kure Beach Trash Pickup: August 15, 2013; 1.4 pounds of trash
1 hour over a few hundred yards. Mid-afternoon, after storms and rainfall at high tide with heavy seas.
10 Children's toys
Over 50 bits and pieces of paper and plastic
2 tubes of chapstick
8 plastic cigarillo tips
1 complete empty bottle of water
1 Landshark beer bottle cap
1 plastic spoon
The letters "E" and "A" from something
22 bottle caps
448 cigarette butts
That last one bears repeating: 448 CIGARETTE BUTTS
This is plain nasty. I'm going to buy medical gloves for these beach pickups it's becoming so gross. This time I did receive pay for my efforts - one quarter.
I leave you with a pretty photograph of how a beach should look, sans trash:
...isn't this better?