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Tsunami tides and tears

May 3, 2012 - Bill Speer
Remember as a child writing a secret message, placing it in a bottle, and throwing it out into the lake or ocean?

While certainly not the smartest environmental move each of us ever has made, it certainly was fun dreaming of who might find it, the path it might take, and the places it might visit on its journey.

The residents of the Pacific Northwest are expected to make many discoveries of their own on the beaches of the Pacific coast in the years ahead. Instead of excitement an joy of discovering a message in a bottle, however, their discoveries will be more like that this week - tears of a tsunami.

According to an Associated Press story, Canadian Peter Mark found a Harley Davidson motorcycle along the beach of Graham Island, British Columbia, in mid-April. Since the motorcycle had a license plate on it, he was able to track down the owner, who confirmed that indeed, the motorcyle was his. The Japanese owner had lost three family members in the tsunami and still today lives in temporary housing.

Earlier this year an Alaskan resident one day discovered a basketball on the beach, and the next day, a volleyball that had drifted across the ocean. Both were identified from Japan as they had the owner's name and address on them.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials predicted that residents in Canada and the United States Pacific Northwest, as well as Alaska, would begin seeing a lot of tsunami debris wash up on shores beginning in early 2013, and continuing until 2014, although some could begin showing up as early as this year.

Obviously, the first wave has begun.

Tears of a tsunami.

The sadness still will linger longer.


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Imagine the wild ride this Harley went through.