180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
Sneaker Waves Mar Oregon Coast Stormwatching
By Tiffany Boothe, Seaside
|Big waves smash into a rocky ledge near Depoe Bay
(Oregon Coast) - Now that the surf has picked up and winter
storms loom on the horizon, it is time to remember beach safety. Many
people flock to the coast to view these magnificent storms, but some are
unaware of the danger.
Sneaker waves are common and often catch people off guard
while standing onshore. You can't see them and they are impossible to
predict. These occur when smaller waves pile up on top each other to form
one large wave – sometimes twice as large as the previous sets.
Also, they can carry large pieces of debris with them such as logs, which
present a whole set of other dangers.
Sneaker waves are a universal coastal phenomenon, although
they are known to be more common in some areas than others. In the United
States, northern California, Oregon and Washington are particularly affected.
They can occur at anytime, even if it is calm and the surf is small.
|A sneaker wave pile-drives its way towards the cliffs
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years a favorite of Seaside
visitors. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated.
Suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes,
one or two bed family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining
rooms. Oceanview cottages sleep anywhere from two to eight, w/ two
bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens. Heated outdoor
pool, enormous grounds w/ picnic tables - all at quiet southern
end of Seaside. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.
There were a couple of incidences last winter where people
were injured or swept out to sea by sneaker waves. That includes a pair
of women at Gleneden Beach, near Lincoln City, whose bodies were never
found after a walk on a stormy beach ended in tragedy.
Even cars were damaged in recent years. At the cove in
Seaside, during large storms when the surf is huge, enormous sneaker waves
have come up into the parking lot, abruptly and without notice, littering
it with large cove rocks and debris which have dented cars in the past.
|Seaside's cove area is incredibly beautiful and can produce spectacular
waves, but these have been known to dent cars
Safety during the most spectacular of storms is always
a big concern, according to Newport beach expert Guy DiTorrice. He referenced
various folks who had to be rescued on the beaches or in the water in
the winter of 2005, including a pair of teens who disappeared from a central
coast beach in the early part of this century. “Just remember: keep
your butts well above the surf zone,” DiTorrice said. “Had
at least one novice surfer discover how these waves can take a person
offshore just as quickly as it moves one near shore.”
conditions can be a bit hard to spot sometimes as well, calling for further
“Exercise extreme caution on the beach between storms,”
he added. “Skies might be cleared up and the tide table predicts
low tide, but offshore conditions and ongoing nightly winds are building
surf conditions that are limiting bar access on most rivers and not providing
much room for safe beachcombing.”
Have your beach access available to you at all times. A
big wave can come right up to a seawall, leaving you no path for safety,
getting you cold, wet and possibly swimming when you don't want to do
any of the three.
|Beach accesses like this one - Grace Hammond Access in Lincoln City
- are safe places to watch the broiling surf as it far above the beach.
Stay on accessible high ground when storm-agitated surf
is on the beach. Oregon State Parks maintains dozens of safe roadside
parks and campground access points right along Highway 101 where you can
get great photos of dramatic winter surf without endangering yourself.
Tall cliffs or high vantage points may give you a seriously
faulty, bad sense of security. As engaging as they are – and tempting
because you’re away from the tidal madness - they pose even more
danger in wet, stormy weather. Stay clear of coastal bluffs. They can
collapse and cause injury.
If, for some reason, you’re on a beach during stormy
weather, never turn your back to the ocean. You may be swept off coastal
bluffs or tide pool areas and into the water by waves that can come without
warning. This is also quite true of normal weather.
|Beach accesses like Oceanside can also produce spectacular waves,
but even the parking is too close to the melee at times
Do not climb up onto logs on the beach. While they look
heavy and sturdy when climbing on them, the smallest wave will roll it
over you or a child. Killer logs are real. It only takes an inch of water
to move a log several hundred pounds.
Be aware of sneaker waves, even on the calmest days. Don't
turn your back on the ocean and keep your eye on the surf. Avoid "Killer
Dress for the weather. Layer your clothes to provide you
warmth and comfort. And carry along your rain gear to keep you dry when
it does drizzle.
Some other friendly reminders:
|Cannon Beach: where the frightening power of the surf becomes evident,
with all the dangerous debris tossed onto one access
- Learn to swim.
- Never swim alone.
- Supervise children closely.
- Don't rely on flotation devices, such as rafts.
- If caught in a rip current, swim sideways until free. Don't swim against
the current's pull.
- Alcohol and swimming, surfing, windsurfing or boating don't mix.
- Protect your head, neck and spine. Don't dive into unfamiliar waters.
- If you are in trouble, call or wave for help.
- Follow posted regulations.
- Swim parallel to shore if you wish to swim long distances.
- Scuba dive only if trained and certified - and within the limits of
- No glass containers at the beach - broken glass and bare feet don't
- No beach fires except in designated areas.
. Report hazardous conditions.
Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family
vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with
over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection
of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses
– from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln
City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds
of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces,
beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers.
Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com.
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Free, fresh baked
cookie upon check-in is just the start. All rooms beachfront and
up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach: the D River.
Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and
balcony or patio. Some w/ gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players;
movies to rent come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa,
and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep from two, four
to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates orspecial
occasion packages. www.dsandsmotel.com.
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
Paradise Suites & Vacation Rentals - Seaside
Unique Luxury Accommodations in Seaside. 1BR Suites,
1BR & 2BR Duplex Units and 3BR Houses, units for 2-8 people.
Rent entire property for 20-26. Close to beach, river and Broadway
Suites are designed for two adults; vacation rental units for families.
All units have kitchen and many have fireplace, deck and jetted
tub. Comfy robes, slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality linens
and more. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691. www.SeasideSuites.com
Cape Property Services.
Dozens of homes in that dreamy,
rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch
Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with
a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces,
decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials
that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com
POINT Newport - Offers only the finest in luxury condominium
lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the
All units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens,
wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private
decks. Friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer
service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795.
City Vacation Homes
Something for everyone: smaller homes
with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All are either oceanfront
or just a few steps away – all with a low bank access and
fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to
the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies: fireplaces,
multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs,
cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another
sprawling home has two apartments. Pets allowed in some homes
– ask first. Each comes with complete kitchens. Most have
seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230
per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s
and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a
double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck.
Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person
romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate
oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family
reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect
to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly.
523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. Lincoln City’s only resort
hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled
against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine
in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight
dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other
Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range
from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and
refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise
room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game
room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms
for that inspirational retreat; extensive wedding possibilities.
4009 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161.
at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south
end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by
the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach
strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering
gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms.
Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly.
Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine
and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At
Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built
like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean
front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun
(nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent
smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood
burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive
book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet
breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select
rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies.
888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon.
for Freaky, Creepy Mole Crabs on Oregon Coast Beaches The
little critters make the tideline bubble and feel really weird as they
run across your feet
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Found on Oregon Beach May Be 80,000 Years Old - They
are the remnants of a forest apparently 80,000 years old, found at Hug
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports
- Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings,
along with weekly lodging availability reports
weekly updated info on lodgings and accomodation reviews, see
the Travel News section