Pacific Sea Nettle

Pacific Sea Nettle

The Oregon Coast Aquarium offers an opportunity to learn about many things related to the sea. For example, one sign indicated that the United Nations estimates  that there are more than three million shipwrecks worldwide. It was interesting for me to learn about two of them. The “beeswax shipwreck” in Nehalem Beach is likely to have involved a Spanish galleon in 1693. In October 1913 the Glenesslin crashed into Neahkanie Mountain. It was interesting to see representative fish in the Sandy Shores, Rocky Shores, and Coastal Waters displays. A spotted eel surprised us with its length and ugly face. In contrast, I was enamored with the ethereal Pacific sea nettles. We watched honeycomb rockfish and vermilion rockfish before entering the seabird aviary. There we enjoyed watching both tufted and horned puffins. A black oystercatcher was less frightened by our presence than some of the other birds. The graceful sea otters move too quickly to capture on film. We did get to see their feeding. We also learned about the brown pelicans in an educational program. We watched the harbor seals swim from a below ground viewing site. As we exited through the impressive Passages of the Deep, I especially liked the colorful leopard sharks.

James Cook is said to have made landfall on March 7, 1778. He was the first European in the Pacific Northwest and named it Cape Foul-Weather. We visited the Yaquina Bay lighthouse which was only in operation from 1871-1874. This was a combination home and lighthouse.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

The Yaquina Head lighthouse is four mile north of the Yaquina Bay lighthouse. It is Oregon’s tallest and was built in 1873. I climbed the Salal Hill Trail for great views in all directions. The wind, however, was blowing hard all day.

During our stay in Newport, we also visited both the Bayfront area and the Nye Beach District. There re some interesting homes. The Yaquina Bay Bridge is also an impressive engineering feat.

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