Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yaquina Head and the Port of Newport RV Park

We moved from the Pacific Shores Resort to the RV Park and Marina run by the City of Newport. This RV Park is right in the harbor and we enjoyed the view of bridge and marina from our site. 

Our site was very nice with good parking, hookups and nice folks around. We enjoyed our stay and the chance to meet other RVers in the area. In fact, the folks directly in front of us were also fulltimers "from" SD. 

The marina was just a step away and was a great place to walk in the evening. There were all kinds of boats in the harbor as this is a very protected spot within walking distance to town. 

On one of our walks we saw this fellow who seemed to think he owned the fishing dock. We saw all kinds of birds, including gulls, cormorants, and even a couple of eagles. 
Located just north of Newport is the fabulous Yaquina Head lighthouse and wildlife area. The lighthouse was built in 1873 and stands 93' tall and is one of the tallest on the Oregon Coast. Using a first order Fresnel lens which is the most powerful light system, this light marked this particularly treacherous part of the coast. 
The Fresnel lens, invented by Augustin-Jean Fresnel back in 1823. The lens arrangement directs the light into a specific pattern so that it focuses in a direct line, making it ideal for lighthouse operations. 

The Yaquina Head lighthouse also had a light keeper's house as part of the installation. The light keeper job was a tough one and required keeping the light burning regardless of weather. This involved fueling the light (which was a real flame back then), maintaining the station, and much more.

 This is still a major shipping area and the Coast Guard is very active as a result. In fact, while we were exploring the lighthouse area, this Coast Guard chopper flew over returning to base. Doesn't have much to do with the lighthouse, but Rick thought it was cool!

The surf was pounding in, even though it was a very calm day. We learned that in stormy weather, the waves will break completely over this rock, which would be very, very impressive!

Yaquina Head is also home to quite a variety of wildlife. These harbor seals were enjoying the warm (and apparently rare) sunshine as they rested on the rocks just below the lighthouse. 

 The tops of the rocks were covered by birds -- mostly the common murre, which is a diving seabird that is black with a white front. This is a major breeding area and there were thousands of them. We learned from a researcher that eagles dive into the flock to grab a bird, causing the rest to scatter. When the scatter takes place, the seagulls swoop in to steal the murre's eggs from the nests. We thought that was a pretty sneaky technique on the part of the gulls!

No comments: