Upcoming appearances by Curt Ebbesmeyer

None currently scheduled

“The ocean is forever asking questions and writing them aloud on the shore.”

—Edwin Arlington Robinson, Roman Bartholow

In the 13 years since publishing Flotsametrics, I’ve worked on answering the questions Robinson refers to above and discovering what flotsam tells us about playing the game of life. Some of that pondering finds its way into the Beachcombers’ Alert!

Published three times per year, Beachcombers’ Alert! features reports and articles concerning newly-discovered flotsam and other interesting beachcomber finds. A sample issue can be downloaded here. Subscribe using the form/info below!

Beyond Flotsametrics:

How music of the ocean’s gyres predicts life’s 7 turns

Beyond Flotsametrics is what I’m calling this grouping of eight recent issues of Beachcombers’ Alert!, available for download right here. Contents of these issues function as an accompaniment to my book Flotsametrics and the Floating World and proceeds to interpretations of the ocean gyres as music via flotsam and revelations on how ocean gyres parallel each person’s life stages.

The grouping consists of Alerts from Autumn 2020 through Winter 2022-23, or issues 98-105:

Print copies - US Address, $20/yr

Print copies - Non-US Address, US$25/yr

Digital copies - $15/yr


If you like these issues of Beachcombers’ Alert!, please consider subscribing. Alerts are published three times per year, 12 color pages each.

There is no staff here—the Beachcombers’ Alert! is written by me, layouts are done by Tim Harrison of Constellation Design, and Jim White and Tim keep the mailing lists. Susie and I mail the printed copies over several bottles of wine.

There have been 105 Alerts published during the past 27 years. I would like to collect all 105 issues into a single bound volume, but have no funding to do so. For that to happen, we will need to add approximately 600 more subscribers and/or receive more donations.

If you would like this work to continue, please donate to the cause!

Subscriptions and donations can be managed online via Paypal (buttons at right) or you may mail a check, made out to B & O I A (Beachcombers’ and Oceanographers’ International Association) in $US to:

Beachcombers’ Alert
6306 21st Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115-6916

Contributions welcome and encouraged—please send news clippings concerning drifitng objects! Catalog debris on your beach. Long-term observations are key to documenting ocean pollution. Contact Curt with your findings!

—Curt Ebbesmeyer, February 2023

Books by Curtis Ebbesmeyer and co-authors

Flotsametrics and the Floating World

By Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Sigliano

Part oceanography lesson, part memoir, this cheerful book examines Ebbesmeyer’s life and work as a pioneering oceanographer (the first to work for Mobil/Standard Oil, in 1969) and connoisseur of beach-combed artifacts. His primary interest is ocean currents, especially gyres—great circular, interlocking currents that sweep the Earth’s waters with clockwork regularity—and the flotsam they carry around the planet. Everything from athletic shoes and bathtub toys to messages in bottles and corpses have provided data to help Ebbesmeyer trace currents. He recounts how flotsam guided colonization and exploration, from Norse explorers to Christopher Columbus (the first to master the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre). Today, Ebbesmeyer says, the human propensity for creating garbage has also made flotsam an environmental concern, with too many studies neatly filed away and forgotten. This account, made lively with the help of journalist Scigliano (Puget Sound), might encourage many readers to dream of rounding the gyres like Ebbesmeyer, searching out the world’s trashiest beaches.

—Publishers Weekly

Adrift: The Curious Tale of the Lego Lost at Sea

by Tracey Williams with Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Mario Cacciottolo

In 1997 sixty-two containers fell off the cargo ship Tokio Express after it was hit by a rogue wave off the coast of Cornwall, including one container filled with nearly five million pieces of Lego, much of it sea themed. In the months that followed, beachcombers started to find Lego washed up on beaches across the southwest coast. Among the pieces they discovered were octopuses, sea grass, spear guns, life rafts, scuba tanks, cutlasses, flippers, and dragons. The pieces are still washing up today.