Being a Midwestern boy, I was totally unfamiliar with oceanic tides. It was a marvel to me how the water line advanced and receded at different times of the day. At low tide the bottom of the Izembek Lagoon appeared as a black, smelly muck. Once, not long after I had arrived in Alaska, I stepped off onto that bottom. "Yikes!" I promptly sank in to my knee. Luckily, I was able to scramble back out of the stuff. However, my shoe and pant leg were covered with that goo, and stank horribly! After smelling that muck on the bottom of the lagoon, I was grateful for the incessant wind at Cold Bay, for it must have kept the odor away from the site.