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Covering 160 miles of Oregon coast travel: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.

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Oregon Beaches Raising a Stink

(Oregon Coast) – It’s a case of the good, the bad and the smelly this week along much of Oregon’s north coast. Parts of the central coast and the north coast were until Tuesday reeking of a fishy smell that was freaking out some beachgoers.

Extraordinarily beautiful weather has been partly to blame, but the main culprit is a huge abundance of a creature called velella velella – or “purple sails.” Last week, the beautiful, small purplish discs washed up in droves from Cannon Beach to Rockaway. As typically happens, however, these jellyfish dry up, lose their color and begin to rot on the beaches, creating an unpleasant odor.

The Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce reported that the number one question they’d been receiving from visitors was “what is that fishy smell?”

Sun and fun this past weekend on the North coast

The pungent odor didn’t keep many away from the beaches, as this weekend saw sunny weather and cloudless skies since Saturday. Many motels and restaurants along the coast reported being “slammed” all weekend. Brian Hines, owner of San Dune Inn in Manzanita, said he was sold out on Saturday, and Sunday was close to full capacity at his small, 12-room motel.

That sun and the resultant balmy temperatures hastened the rotting of the purple sails, making the beaches of Cannon Beach, Arch Cape and Manzanita very strong in odor, but also quickening that rotting process enough so that the smell wasn’t too bad for too long. On Tuesday, the smell had already receded considerably, with crunchy, purplish piles of small objects that looked a little like flower petals all that was left of the velella velella.

Seaside received no strandings of the purple sails, although the “cove” area at the southern end of town had some, and thus also had an odor. Rockaway had some, but there were none on the beaches of Oceanside, some 20 miles south.

“Purple Sails have clear a ‘sail’ that helps them catch the wind,” said Tiffany Boothe, with the Seaside Aquarium. “However, when the wind blows out of the Northwest, these little guys get stranded on the beach. Unlike the more common jellies, the purple sails do not sting. They capture their food while drifting on the surface of the ocean with small, sticky tentacles. They feed on fish eggs and small planktonic copepods.”

Boothe said they can be found in most oceans of the world, preferring warmer waters. They can reach sizes of four inches in length and three inches in width.

The odor of the velella velella is still present along many of the beach towns on the north coast, but once you begin walking on the beaches, you’ll find the presence greatly decreased.


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Oregon Tourism Alert: Spring Rarities in Newport Much is new in Newport, especially in the natural world






STARFISH POINT is located on the Central Oregon Coast - in Newport - and offers only the finest in luxury condominium lodging. At Starfish Point, every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.
All of the units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens, wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private decks - surrounding you in soothing relaxation. We have a friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795.

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In Awe of AstoriaASTORIA
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
Serenity in SeasideSEASIDE
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
Cavort in Cannon BeachCANNON BEACH
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
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Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Time Trip Around Tillamook BayTILLAMOOK BAY
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
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The hidden secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
Miles & miles of unbroken beaches, Cascade Head, Neskowin and many manmade attractions
Divine Depoe BayDEPOE BAY
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Nature in NewportNEWPORT
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Staggering Seal RockWALDPORT / SEAL ROCK
Pristine, even secretive sands and wild geologic landmarks
Aargh, there's no alliteration with Yachats - but it IS unbelievableYACHATS
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged & upscale
Unsurpassable Upper LaneUPPER LANE COUNTY
25 miles of deserted beaches & oodles of wonders
Fine Times in FlorenceFLORENCE
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes


Cannon Beach Ecola Creek Lodge

Ecola Creek Lodge, Cannon Beach. In a quiet neighborhood, this longtime coastal landmark boasts a koi/lily pond, spacious lawns, gardens, stained glass windows and wireless internet – all in a slightly Victorian vibe. With some rooms pet friendly, you are a couple minutes walk from town and close to the beach. Guests also get access to a full recreational and exercise facility. Wild bunnies provide an adorable addition to your stay, making for an especially serene coastal experience. 208 5th St. www.cannonbeachlodge.com. 800-873-2749.