Tsunami debris film screenings sell out quickly on Peninsula

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

When three Washington state kayakers decided to travel the North Olympic Peninsula coast, they thought they would make a little film for a film festival.

“It's gone quite a bit beyond that,” said kayaker Ken Campbell.

Instead, public interest in “Ikkatsu: The Roadless Coast,” a documentary filmed last summer along the mostly roadless coastline during four trips between Cape Flattery and Ruby Beach near LaPush, and around Destruction Island, has surprised the trio.

It wasn't just a pleasure trip: The trio of Campbell, Steve Weileman and Jason Goldstein counted and measured debris from the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami in Japan that had washed up on inaccessible areas of the coast.

Since then, they've been invited to keynote the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium in Sausalito, Calif., in January.

Before that, they will appear at a Dec. 6 showing of the film in a large theater in the coastal university town of Arcata, Calif., in redwood country.

In addition, two kayaking magazines have featured articles about the trip, they have been asked to create a debris curriculum for middle school science classes — and they've already sold out their first two showings of their film.

Both showings of the Wednesday premiere of “Ikkatsu: The Roadless Coast,” in Tacoma were sold out in early October, Campbell said.

A series of additional showings on the North Olympic Peninsula are scheduled for early 2012.

The first is expected to take place in January in Port Townsend, with screenings in Port Angeles and Forks in February, Campbell said.

Specific dates and locations are not yet available, he said.

The film's trailer can be seen online at http://tinyurl.com/pdn-ikkatsu.

In July, Campbell said, debris built up on the isolated North Olympic Peninsula Pacific coast with little or no dumping, monitoring or cleanup, so it was a good place to track ocean-borne flotsam and jetsam.

The debris traveled ocean and wind currents after the March 2011 tsunami in Japan that killed 15,854 people, injured 26,992 and left 3,155 missing.

Lightweight, windblown items from a debris field with an estimated 5 million tons of wreckage began to arrive about 14 months ago.

Seattle oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer has predicted that the main body of debris will begin to arrive this winter.

The Ikkatsu team reported that it found sports balls, plastic toys and what might have been a partially intact Japanese house before it was pounded into wreckage by waves on the beach.

The data gathering and sample collection were coordinated with members of the science advisory team, including Ebbesmeyer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coastal Watershed Institute.

Campbell is a writer specializing in the Pacific Northwest outdoors.

Since he returne from the expedition, Canoe & Kayak magazine published a story about the trip, and a longer feature will appear in the January issue of Sea Kayaker, Campbell said.

Goldstein is the team's cartographer and GIS specialist. Weileman is a documentary filmmaker and photographer.

The group will re-survey several West End beaches next month before heading north to survey Augustine Island in Alaska next summer, Campbell said.

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 12. 2012 5:43PM
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