Tag Archives: ocean

From Neskowin to Newport

My sister came to visit for the weekend. We packed a lot into a short time, including a night at the coast.

We went to Neskowin, where we’ve been going since we were tiny. I must not have been here for this high of a tide, you couldn’t even step onto the beach. Pretty, and we just wanted to see Proposal Rock before heading into Lincoln City, so that worked.

The next morning Brian had a few meetings so we left him and went to Newport. My sister is looking for some art and there is a gallery there I thought might have something. They didn’t but we stopped to say hello to some of my favorite residents:

I never get tired of watching them squabble and clown around.

Warm water orcas

Orca Mural on Alaska Way in Seattle.

Orca mural on Alaskan Way in Seattle.

I’m pretty interested in the orca pods they found in the Gulf of Mexico. They were a myth to some people, and others swore they existed. Four pods were documented recently (they feed on tuna rather than on seals) and they think there may be 500 or so whales in total. Orcas generally prefer cold waters, such as Puget Sound and other places in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s a nice change to hear good things about whales rather than all the awful things we’ve been doing to them lately.

Whale tale

Whale tail

Whale tail

Whale watching was awesome. The people who work at Island Adventures are really nice, I can see why my cousin Scott has repeatedly gone on tours with them. I’m going to go back in the summer to do their orca tour.

We saw three gray whales, all of which the naturalist Katie identified. #49 or Patches, #531 and #56. It was amazing to be so close to these animals. I learned that gray whales are left- or right-baleened, just like we are left- or right-handed. I also learned that you smell their breath when they come up. I didn’t go into the heated part of the boat for four hours so I am glad I wore as much clothing as I did. We also saw some harbor seals, sea lions and bald eagles. I am definitely someone who is happier around the ocean, I wonder what my life would have been if I had signed up for the Coast Guard (one thing I was super super close to doing before college) or going to school for Marine Biology (something I have looked into every few years since I was 15).

It was great to see my cousins too – they are both married with children now, but in some ways it felt like the vacation we took as teenagers to Carmel-By-The-Sea in California. Except with not enough Gretchen.

It was one of our neighbors’ birthdays last night so we went over for wine, cake, and ice cream. I can’t even imagine being able to do that in my old neighborhood. I had high hopes when we bought the house in Madison of settling down a bit and getting to know the neighbors, but it didn’t really happen that way. We already know most of this neighborhood a million times better than we knew the Johnson St place, which is cool, but sad since we are “only renters.”

The people at Timothy’s party were interesting – everyone is so over-educated here, which makes for interesting conversation. No one is lazy here it seems. I was listening to a U of O professor talk with a Union rep about unionization as a means of enforcing equality, which was a fascinating conversation. One of our neighbors across the street pulled up his lawn this year and planted native grasses and plants, and we talked about how long it would be until it matured. He’s already given away his lawn mower – something I entirely approve of doing. I dislike lawns and lawn care, and will definitely do an alternate solution when we finally get a house here (Please God soon!).