Nature Travel Specialists
nature tours & travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Australia, Southeast Asia, South America and Alaska
PELICAN SPIT POST ISAAC
I walked to the end of pelican Thursday morning. It’s a mess. Maybe 30-40 of the vegetation gone or under sand, most of the high dunes gone, especially about 60-80% of the way along the island, and I think it’s about 150+ yards shorter – there’s no hook at the end anymore, and there is dune vegetation under water about 50-60 yards east of the current end. The wave action indicates the deeper dropoff is not for at least another 100 to 150 yards. It’s also overall much narrower than before, when you walk along much of the south side from about 1/3rd of the way along you are walking on over-sanded vegetation, which is now the tide line. In some places it’s only about 40 yards across. All three mudflat pools – the ones that start about 200 yds from the pier – are gone, filled in with sand. “Beach” is now twice as wide there. Similarly further along a huge plain sand area has been created, then suddenly water cuts into the vegetation. As you recall the swale area for much of the island was a line of small dunes, then a lower area, then another line of higher dunes on the north side. Now about 30-40% of the north side dunes remain, but with lots of big gaps, but nothing on the south side, and the inner area is mostly under sand.
about the middle of pelican looking east. To the far left you can see the start of the small peninsula traditionally used by birds to loaf. Tide was about 2/3 full. photo taken from near current south shoreline. Previously the north side could not be seen from the south due to dunes. Although it looks like there is much dune remaining, that's illusory. The black dots on the peninsula are pelicans, to give an idea of height. Foreshortening makes it look like there is more dune than is actually there. The area in the foreground was previously heavily vegetated, and the small clump of dunes mid ground is all that is left of all the dunes that were previously on the south side.
The next four photos sweep from north to south from one place.
The loafing peninsula on the north side, previously hidden by dunes from the south side; all this area was vegetated as can be seen from the remnants.
looking east along the middle of the spit. This vegetation was part of the central swale protected for the most part by small to large dunes north and south.
looking east continuing to swing south. Vegetation previously in the swale.
looking south east. Previously this area as a very narrow strip of sand with water washing around the base of the dunes at high tide.
This is a couple of hundred yards past the small bay and point on the north side; the point and the bay can be seen upper right. Again, this couldn't be seen from the south side other than the top of the vegetation due to dunes, but now the center is bare and open, and the dunes gone. The south side used to have a wide beach here whereas the inland vegetation, or what's left of it, is now in the water. Prior to the storm this photo would have shown beach out to about below the lefthe condos on the left.
Closer shot showing vegetation destroyed and at water's edge; previously it extended further south, then there was beach.
This was taken - again allow for foreshortening - from what was last week about 1/4 to 1/2 way along the second lagoon. The first, very shallow and ephemeral lagoon would have been on the other side of the dark area.