Thursday, July 26, 2012

Depoe Bay - Smallest Harbor in the World

Just a few miles north of Newport is the harbor of Depoe Bay, which is known as the smallest harbor in the world. We are not sure if this is actually true, but the 6 acre harbor is pretty small and one of the most interesting harbors we have seen. 

 The harbor is very close to the Pacific Ocean, indeed, it is just under the Hwy 101 bridge seen above. The harbor is a beautiful spot and offers nice calm water for boats.
The harbor was always small, but used to be pretty shallow, causing boat owners significant challenges in getting the boats through to the ocean. 

As a result, the entire harbor was drained in 1950 and dredged to allow operation at any tide level. This must have been quite an operation, but was certainly worthwhile. 

 After the dredging operation, larger boats could use the harbor, as well as for a  Guard station as shown above. Today, there are quite a few boats coming in and out of the harbor, so they stay pretty busy.

 The harbor is not just a place for boats, but also for harbor seals such as this fellow who was really enjoying a nap on the bed of kelp. We thought perhaps we was part of the Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce! We also learned that whales are often seen just off the bay, but we didn't see any during our stay.

 The harbor mouth is very narrow, with waves coming right in from the open Pacific. Boats, such as this one, make sure to enter with plenty of speed for good control. 

 Immediately after entering the harbor mouth, the boats have to make a quick turn to the port (left for the landsmen). Notice how close to the rocks they have to run -- this would be a terrible place to have engine trouble.
Next, the boat slips under the bridge and into the small harbor. Now, the water is calm and life is easy! Again, notice how narrow this channel is. 

A few minutes later, another boat zips out into the Pacific among the breakers and rocks. You would have to be a very good Captain to routinely transit this channel.

Depoe Bay is a great place to visit and fun to watch the boats and wildlife in the area.

1 comment:

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Great post. Love that nautical stuff:)