- Posted February 25, 2013 by
San Diego, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
TOURMALINE BEACH CLEAN-UP FINDS ODD ITEMS ALONG TIDELANDS
The annual event takes place every late February. The past two years of the clean-up have turned out to be rainy and stormy but this year, the weather was briskly sunny and pleasant.
Tourmaline is a very popular surfing beach that can get crowded out in the line-up sometimes. Tourmaline has a reputation for being the hang-out of salty old dog surfers. This ultimate surf hang-out also is renown for plenty of long boards and paddle boards.
I remember reading that Tourmaline is called "the prize hunk of beauty among local surfers." Truer words have never been spoken. This one mile long beach is as precious as a tourmaline--for which it is named. That precious stone is multi-faceted just like Tourmaline Beach with it's remote feeling of seclusion yet easy accessibility. The towering 75 foot high cliffs buffer it from the rest of the world but still it has a nice neighborhood feel to it. The Skeeter Malcolm Memorial Bench--in honor of the legendary surfer who died in 1993 at age 70--is a spot to check out the surf.
Skeeter's buddies sold T-shirts to raise the funds to place this stone bench and bronze memorial plaque overlooking the beach to remember him by. It was right here that Surfrider set up it's tables and signed in the volunteers who arrived to help clean-up the beach.
I always like to "work the table" at the Tourmaline clean-up and this time I was in charge of handing out plastic gloves, trash grabbers and bags. A big group of Navy folks showed up. Later I found out they were representing The CPO and FCM Mess of the USS Essex and seemed to have had a blast at the beach clean-up. There were lots of young kids and teens who are looking to get community service credits for doing environmental work. Most unusual: a group of volunteers from UCSD told us they found what they thought was a HUMAN LEG BONE buried in the sand I asked the college student if they tried to pull it out and bag it up? The UCSD student said that it was too heavy!
Another group came up with two of their youngsters rolling in a large rusty tire that had washed up near the rocks. Then someone found a Ralph's grocery store shopping cart and another man came up carrying two almost new stuffed animals he found laying in the sand.
All together, it was a great morning of ridding Tourmaline of refuse and debris. We all enjoyed a beautiful local jewel of a beach and helped to continue raising awareness of the need to keep our marine environments clean.