Glimpses of a Crazed Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) – It's been a week or more of impressive wave action along the Oregon coast, sometimes in the darnedest of places. Meanwhile, not all these days were dark and stormy ones: some presented the striking visual dichotomy of explosive displays during days of sun and blue skies (above: waves smash into rocks at Arch Cape near Cannon Beach on Wednesday).
It all climaxed this week with a variety of surf warnings from NOAA. The huge waves even showed up at Rockaway Beach. The tide there is normally 100 feet or so from the vegetation line and bluffs of the town. But Brian Williams, Rockaway Beach resident and owner of Big Wave Cafe, said the waves were actually exploding against the massive boulders that make up the rip rap on those bluffs.
Wednesday, at Arch Cape, near Cannon Beach, you can see the craziness immediately. The structure known as Queen Vic, sitting a ways offshore, is being quite battered by the waves. Huge, monstrous chunks of water wallop this basalt landmark with remarkable intensity. It's downright jawdropping.
All this wild stuff started a couple weeks ago. Such as here, near Lincoln City, at Fogerty Creek State Park.
Nearby, just outside of Depoe Bay, the tidal monsters were much larger in height. This spot, called Rodea Point, is especially dramatic in this regard, as the rocky shelves create places where huge pockets of air get blown apart along with this explosions of ocean, creating these massive boom noises. It's noisy and rather wet in this spot, and it's one of the more spectacular locales on the Oregon coast for this kind of storm watching.
Other areas where the drama is intense include down by Yachats, at Cook's Chasm. The spouting horn is a tidal behemoth, firing off in a diagonal explosion of sea water always accompanied by a giant “woosh” sound. At the right times, this small chasm creates a cavalcade of other oceanic displays around the basalt structure, as seen here, where it's shooting off in many directions at once.
Earlier on Thursday, this was the scene in Manzanita. Even after the surf warnings ended the day before, large, tumultuous breakers pound the shoreline, often moving much farther up the beach than usual and leaving these impressive chunks of foam.
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