Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another sunny day in Oregon!..although the sun didn't materialize until well after noon, it still was a welcome sight. So, we decided it was time to explore more of the Newport area. We started with the Yaquina Lighthouses. There are actually two lighthouses in the Newport area, Yaquina Head and Yaquina Bay.  We also spotted some whales making their way up the coast and a pier that made it's way across the ocean from Japan to Oregon.

This is the Yaquina Head Lighthouse just north of Newport. It originally was called the Cape Foulweather, so named by Capt. Cook on his third trip around the world in March 1778, due to the extreme bad weather he encountered in this area. It is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon.


Originally, the light on this lighthouse was lit with oil. In order to do that the oil vat at the top had to be filled. Several times a day light keepers had to climb the stairs to the top carrying cans of oil. Each can weighed about 8 pounds and had to be carried up 110 stairs to the top. We were fortunate enough to be able to climb those same stairs although we didn't have to carry the oil !

I stopped about half way up to shoot this picture of the bay below. There were Cormorants all around the rocks below.

The lighthouse still uses its original 1868 French-made, 1st order, Fixed Fresnel lens. It is visible almost 20 miles out to sea. It no longer has the oil fired lantern of many years ago. Today, it is powered by electricity.

Each lighthouse has a lighting sequence which is called it's signature. At any point within 15-20 miles from the shore, a sailor can see at least two lighthouses. By identifying the two lighthouses, he can use triangulation to determine his location on the open sea. Now, don't you wish you paid more attention in your trigonometry class...?? Triangulation is simply the determination of a distance using triangle properties.

The lighthouse operates 24/7. I was able to get a picture with the light off and the light on. This lighthouse's signature is two seconds on, two seconds off, two seconds on, and 14 seconds off.

This picture was taken from the lower section of the lighthouse area looking southward toward Agate Beach and Newport.

While we were enjoying the coastal area in this beautiful weather we spotted a large object in the water about 300 yards off the coast. Since we were not in Scotland, I knew it wasn't Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster....seconds later, we spotted the warm moist air being expelled from it's blowhole. Yep ! Whales....making their way up the coast. This one was in no particular hurry and wandered around in circles for quite awhile.

Unfortunately, I had left the SD card for the camera in my computer back at the motorhome, so I had to use my Iphone for these pictures.  After watching this guy for awhile, we made a trip back Wally World in Newport for a new SD card. Now I have a spare...

After spending some time north of Newport, we decided to stop at Agate Beach for some beach fun. Here we found the remnants of a huge dock on the sand. This section of pier is 66' long, 7' tall and 19' wide, and is covered with reinforced concrete. It was discovered washed ashore on June 6, 2012. There is a plaque on the side written in Japanese. Investigation revealed this was a section of a floating pier from the Port of Misawa in Northern Japan. It had been torn away and washed out to sea with the huge Tsunami Japan experienced in March 2011. Fifteen months later it survived it's trip half way around the world and landed on our shore. Interestingly enough there were starfish, found only in Japan, clinging to the pier when it washed ashore.

With a little encouragement, very little I might add, Joshua climbed onto the pier for a Kodak moment.

Now it's time to play catch me if you can.....

As all good things must come to an end, this day finally ended. We were all tired from climbing up the lighthouse tower and frolicking most of the afternoon on the beach. After some Olympic style games at the clubhouse we returned to the coach for dinner and relaxation. Here Josh is enjoying his campfire while talking to his friends on the phone. I'm trying to catch up on my blog writing and Debi is creating her stitch cards.....

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