Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Depoe Bay -- Smallest Harbor in the World and Whale Watching

We visited Depoe Bay today, a small, beautiful harbor about 9 miles north of Newport. We took the HHR tow car, which was a great idea since there really was not enough room to turn the coach around.

Not a big surprise, since Depoe Bay is the World's Smallest Harbor! There are several overlooks to the harbor and the small mouth to the harbor as seen below. The mouth of the harbor is a channel only about 50' wide -- and is an opening between SOLID rock! Wow -- I would not want to be running a boat through there if a large swell is running.

While we watched, the Coast Guard was training using their rescue boats. The practiced towing one boat with the other and towed the "dead" boat right into the harbor. This made for some precise navigation as you can see!

The entrance to the harbor is very short, perhaps 200', and goes directly under the bridge carrying Hwy 101. Naturally, the channel, although short, is rather twisty and surrounded by rock walls. Here, the two Coast Guard ships tow into the inner harbor. Clearly something you want to practice on a nice day so that when the emergency comes and the waves are high, your crew is ready to tow the stricken boat to safety.

The inner Harbor is fully protected against waves from the ocean and is beautiful, but small!

Depoe Bay's other claim to fame is that it overlooks areas that are frequented by whales. In the summer, grey whales seem to be prevalent and there is a whale overlook area right next to the 101 bridge for you to try your luck and see if you observe a whale.

Amazingly, Rick was fortunate enough to actually seen three whales (or one whale three times) as they surfaced, blew, and then dove to feed. Wonderful! The whale was just off the coast in the picture above and was feeding in the kep bed areas. We had a great day in Depoe Bay!


Margie M. said...

Margie again....I had time today to look at & read your entire blog. Wonderful! I was very into the postings/photos from So.CA since hubby & I were born & raised there. Moved to WA state in '94. Always interesting to read travel notes about So. CA from new visitors. I'll "follow" your future postings. Oregon coast is fantastic, isn't it?

Happy trails - Margie

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