The sunsets at Tofino were beautiful and I included some shots of those in this post. Sunrise was also pretty impressive. Winter means the sun is pretty far south so the position it comes up is not so far off that in which it sets. It does provide a very different light to things with some of the headlands that we could see from the hotel now having nice light on them. When you wake up to a view like this out of your hotel window, you know you are a lucky guy and are likely to have a good day!
Seeing logs on the shore is not unusual. Plenty of logs get washed ashore. However, when taking a walk along the beach at Shoreline over the holidays, there was a tree trunk that had become lodged on the water’s edge. It had become wedged in amongst some piles in the water with the roots of the log still out in the water. Usually the logs appear to have been cut but this was a tree that had got washed out into the sound. Everyone was taking a look at it or climbing out on to it. It was pretty big and finding a way to convey the size was something I pondered at length.
Walking along the beach at Tofino, you see some interesting patterns in the sand. He movement of water across the sand causes various ridges in the surface. There is also water draining down the beach from the land behind the beach. This water gathers behind the ridges but ultimately needs to drain further. When it finds a weak spot, it cuts through the ridge. Once it does so, the water all flows through this breach and it starts to take some sand with it. It expands the cut and then deposits the sand further down as it slows down again. This can result in some cool formations in the sand.
Head up the shoreline from the center of Aldeburgh and there is a beach area with an interesting sculpture. Called the Aldeburgh Scallop, it is a stainless steel sculpture, funded by public donations. It is two scallop shells that interlock. It is nearly four metres across and dramatic, sitting as it does on the open shingle beach. Very cool.
Perched above the beach at Lepe in Hampshire, overlooking the Solent, is an old bunker. It is surrounded by fencing and there is signage about the purpose of the bunker. You can see the hatch to access the bunker as well as some of the vents for the space below. I’m not sure what the bunker was designed to survive. It is close to a huge oil refinery and close to the headquarters of the Royal Navy. In a shooting war, there would have been some large detonations nearby. I doubt it would have provided sufficient protection to its occupants.
Wood on the shoreline is usually pretty interesting from a texture perspective. Spending a bunch of time in the water getting beaten by waves and any other debris in the water tends to smooth out the surfaces and also emphasize the flaws in the structure of the wood. I saw a bunch of wood on the beach at Shoreline when walking along the shore there and one in particular caught my eye.
The walk along the beach in Deception Pass State Park starts out in amongst a lot of people. The West Beach near the parking lot had a lot of people enjoying themselves while we were there. However, they didn’t want to go too far it seemed as, when we started walking along the shoreline towards the North Beach, we rapidly found ourselves a lot more isolated. There was the occasional person passing the other way but we were, for the most part, on our own. Standing on the shore and looking out across the water on a sunny afternoon was really relaxing.
The moisture in the air along the Oregon coast can catch you out at times. On one drive south out of Yachats we rounded a bend in the road where we looked down from quite a height along the beaches stretched beneath us. It looked most impressive, but we were then on the way down a twisty road and had missed the pull off. I made a note to come back another time. This I did but the conditions had changed a lot. There was now a lot more mist in the air and the beaches were disappearing into the glare from the sun. Even so, it was still a very pretty location.
Yaquina Head got two visits from us during our stay in Oregon. We were in Newport on one of our early days and headed up to see it. Shortly after paying to get in to the park, the rain started to come down. I did a quick recce of the place but rapidly became more interested in the interior of a warm car (which Nancy had wisely elected not to leave in the first place). The entry was good for a few days so, with better weather forecast for later in the week, we decided to come back.
The weather dutifully obeyed and improved and we returned on our next trip to Newport. When its not raining, things definitely take on a more appealing feel. We wandered up to the lighthouse and took a look around it and out to see where some gray whales were passing by, if a little distant and happy to stay below the surface most of the time.
From the headland, there were stairs down to the beach which, when the tide was out (as it was while we were there), revealed a lot of rocky tidepools. People were encouraged to explore the tidepools to see the wildlife that is within. You could go quite a way across them but, given the number of creatures that were clinging to the rock surfaces, I was a bit reluctant to go trampling across them. Instead, I maneuvered around on the edges where I could avoid crushing some poor creature.
Plenty of things were living in the pools. While the crustaceans were everywhere, I was particularly drawn to the anemones. The way in which they close up when out of the water, keep themselves damp internally and then open up once they are back under water is impressive. They are also so varied in their colors. They are quite the interesting creature.
The shores of Puget Sound provide plenty of places to explore. One of these was a beach in Shoreline, a town that is quite appropriately named. I was actually about to head back to the car when this event occurred. As I walked up the path I saw people coming in the opposite direction. I thought they had a dog with them and that it was swimming in the water alongside them. Then I realized that the head in the water was not a dog but instead was a sealion.
The sealion was very close in to the shore and seemed to be quite interested in what was going on. I turned back around and headed to the water as it came closer. There were some old wood pilings in the water and the sealion came in to those, almost as if they provided a measure of protection. Then it paused before turning around and swimming back in the other direction. Shortly thereafter, it dipped under the surface and swam away. By this point, a few people had stopped to watch its progress. A sealion is hardly a rarity but it is interesting just how much attention it garners all the same.