Friday, March 15, 2013

Boats, Skunk Cabbage, a Camel and Mangled Rock

Took a trip out to San Juan Island for a bit of work. The ride out was a good day for boat spotting.
 
Tanker and its escort tug with Cypress Island behind
 
Commercial ship traffic passes in bound on the east side of the San Juan Islands and out bound on the west side of the San Juan Islands. Most of the ships are heading to Vancouver or Tawasen in British Columbia, Canada or to piers at Cherry Point in Whatcom County Washington. The Whatcom County piers are for oil refineries or an aluminum smelter. The above passage may see increased ship traffic if a coal terminal is built at Cherry Point or an oil pipeline is extended to Vancouver.
 
Canadian battleship in U.S. waters
 
This Canadian battleship was plying the waters between Blakely Island and Lopez Island. Testament to our very cooperative and peaceful relations with Canada.

Propane delivery

Many San Juan Islanders stay warm with propane as natural gas (methane) is not available in the islands. Propane barges are a routine site.

Skunk cabbage in bloom

Once on San Juan Island I had the pleasure of traversing a skunk cabbage bloom in a forested wetland. The wetland is the result of concrete like glacial till underlying the site. The skunk cabbage a sign of early spring.

This was a surprise

Besides being a bit surprised seeing a camel, I am always a bit surprised at how big they are.

Mangled Orcas Formation
 
I did get to see some very cool bedrock geology as a secondary pleasure on this work venture. Got to spend a little time scratching my head over a nice exposure of really mangled and sheared Orcas Chert as mapped by Vance (1975).

2 comments:

Geoffrey Middaugh said...

I haven't heard the word "chert" used since I've been in the west. Was common in Missouri, but not beyond the 98 meridian. Are these nodules in bedded limestone or loose in till?

Dan McShane said...

The whole thing is bedrock and the block is a coherent block of chert surrounded by smeared out schist and highly distrupted thin chert layers. The site is located near a major tectonic contact.