Today I took the day off work to get my hair cut (taking immediate advantage of full vaccination!), but really spent most of the day with Benji and Mom enjoying an almost -3 foot low tide at a private-access beach. Mom has connections. Anyway, after my hair cut, we drove down to Burien, where we’d access the beach.

We had some extra time, so we planned to eat lunch there first. The restaurant Mom had in mind was closed, so we picked a random place that was open.

Low Tide Beach Lunch Out
My first meal at a restaurant, albeit outside, in over a year.

The less said about that meal, the better. Suffice it to say that we waited nearly an hour and found the food more than a little disappointing. Still, it was my first meal “in” a restaurant since the pandemic started, so that’s another vaccination milestone.

Fortunately, the low tide didn’t disappoint! We arrived later than we intended, thanks to the slow service, but still made it by just a few minutes after the tide started to come back in. The beach didn’t offer much in the way of tidepools, so initially we didn’t expect to find much. But almost immediately we were proven wrong.

Here are pictures of the creatures we found.

Low Tide Beach: Anemones
Exploring sea anemones. We had to step carefully to avoid squishing the numerous critters.
Low Tide Beach: Moon Snail
“Wow, look at that huge shell!” turned into “Whoa, look, it’s still occupied!” I’d never seen moon snails before, but they were huge and surprisingly numerous on this beach.
Low Tide Beach: Sea Star
Sea star – a very uncommon sight these days, after the recent huge sea star wasting disease die-off. We weren’t sure this one was alive (it didn’t respond when we picked it up), but we tossed it back into the water just in case.
Low Tide Beach: no clue what this is
Honestly not sure what this creature is, but it definitely was alive. Mom thinks perhaps a sea cucumber, although I have my doubts.
Low Tide Beach: Deep Anemone
I think this is another anemone, but it was hiding in a hole a few inches deep, unlike the other surface-sited ones.
Low Tide Beach
Plumose anemones don’t look so pretty when they’re out of the water. I doubt they like it much, either. Fortunately they’re probably only exposed on this one day a year.
Low Tide Beach
Benji found this flatworm, which he described as a cross between an earthworm and a centipede — a description to give a person nightmares. Meanwhile Mom just got excited because she’d never seen a live one before.

I didn’t take any pictures of it, but Benji also discovered the joys of stomping near clams, which responded to the pressure by vigorously squirting water — often hitting not Benji, who had moved on, but someone walking behind or nearby. (Mom, multiple times.)

Overall we agreed that, despite being a sandy beach, we did find a gratifying number of interesting sea creatures thanks to the super-low tide.

Low Tide Beach
I found this very strange creature on the beach.

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