I took the classic summer trip with the children earlier this week. There is an adorable little town called Edmonds on the Puget Sound that is about 35-40 minutes away from me. A dear older friend grew up there and wanted us to meet her, her daughter, and her grandson for a day where the tide was really low. Her grandson and my son are the same age and on previous visits have hit it off pretty well. Well at 11:15 Monday morning the tide was a minus 2 feet! Basically that means that is was at least 2 feet further out than a normal low tide. We got there about 30 minutes before and headed out into the water.
Having grown up in the Puget Sound area my first surprise was just how nice and sandy the beach was, hardly any rocks. We did have shoes and long pants on just in case as there was a lot of shellfish and seashells. We got to see so much in the tide pools. Highlights of the tide pools included several kinds of crabs, a sea anemone, several different colors of sea stars/starfish, some tiny little fish, barnacles which were alive and huge, large mussel shellfish colonies growing on the piers, several small snails, some sand collars which moon snails lay eggs in, and a weird slimy slug type thing. We also saw a local group of students that were out studying sections of the beach for crabs and other animals. Of course there was a lot of seaweed and rocks with barnacles. The boys picked up many red rock crabs and a spider crab. My children got soaked almost completely, had a blast jumping waves, looked at all sorts of things in the tide pools, and picked up an entire huge bucket of seashells. We had lunch just before it really started to heat up and then went out while the tide started pouring in! I was surprised at just how fast it came in. It was so nice and cool in and next to the water but above the tide lines it was scorching. Wading with your feet in the Sound kept me nice and cool along with my large straw hat.
When it was time to head home we attempted to keep the amount of sand to a minimum. I also had the children put most of the shells back and just choose a few special ones. Of all the shells we brought home the large moon snail shell was probably the neatest. The children also like the cockle shells that were still attached and hinged together as well as some of the shells that had a hole in one part ideal for making into necklaces. It was such a pleasant trip to the beach. I almost cannot believe that it was the first time I had actually taken my children in several years. When you live so close you often take it for granted.