Tag Archives: vacation

Patterns In The Sand

Another repeat of a previous theme.  Water flowing over the sand on a beach creates some interesting patterns.  The sand on Cannon Beach included a lot of very dark grains.  These made the visualization of the movement of the sand easy to do.  It also allowed you to see where the water was flowing deeper or shallower which helped when walking through the water running across the beach.

Backlight For A Seastack

During the evenings at Cannon Beach, we could see lots of lights out on the water.  Fishing boats were out at work and their lights were very bright.  I am not sure whether they only fish at night or not.  During the day, it would be hard to spot them without the lights giving you a clue since they were generally quite far out.  However, one boat was closer in than the others.  It was right behind on of the sea stacks near Haystack Rock.  With a lot of mist in the air, the light from the boat was diffused and provided a backlight to the rock.  It wasn’t lone before the boat came out from behind the rock and the effect was lost.

Pacific Fleet Home At Esquimalt

Across the water from Fort Rodd Hill is the Canadian naval base of Esquimalt.  This is the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet for the navy.  From where we were, you could see some of the ships in the harbor.  There were a few small patrol boats that were in use but the larger ships were tied up.

Short Sand Beach

We had a sunny, if chilly, day while down in Oregon.  We headed south of Cannon Beach to Oswald West State Park.  There was an easy trail down to a bay with a sandy beach, predictably named Short Sand Beach!  The parking lot was very icy and we wondered whether the trail would be okay but, once you were on the gravel, it was a good surface.  Coming out of the trees on to the beach, was a lovely entry.  You couldn’t see much until you got there and it was a gorgeous beach.

Plenty of people were down there.  It was popular with surfers and a number of them were out in the waves.  Headlands were on either side of the bay so the beach was sheltered from north and south.  The sun was low in the sky since it was December, so the south end of the beach was pretty cold.  Get a bit up the sand and out in the sun and it was a lovely spot to be standing and walking.  I imagine it will be very busy during the summer.

Ships Look Better From A Distance Part 2

A while back, I produced a post about the way in which ships look a lot rougher when up close compared to from a distance.  In that case, it was a Washington State Ferries vessel I was considering.  In the shipyard in Victoria that was across from where we were staying, there was a catamaran ferry undergoing work.  The bow of the ship was very close to the fence and you could see exactly the same thing.  The steelwork welds were easy to see at that range and remind you that these ships are heavy engineering.

Our Pet Gull

Our hotel room in Victoria was near to the top of the building.  The window was set into the roof line.  We had a flat space outside the window and it was popular with the local bird life.  On several occasions, we had a gull land on the space and stand there for a while.  It actually seemed interested in us rather than deterred by our presence.  No guarantee that it is the same bird but we started to feel like it was visiting us on a regular basis.

Driving Across The Hills In The Snow

Our trip to Cannon Beach got delayed a day by snow on the hills which you have to cross to get to the Oregon coastline.  When we did make the crossing, not only were we properly equipped (as shall be seen in another post) but the weather was transformed.  The sun was out, and it looked picturesque.  The snow was still heavy on the trees and the hillsides while the road was compacted snow.  Consequently, it was white everywhere.  We were on a major road that would normally be traversed at speed but, due to the traction devices fitted, we were limited to 25mph.  It made the crossing pretty protracted, but it did provide ample time to look around and see the scenery – and the occasional vehicle off the road!

Fort Rodd Hill

As the gateway to the west coast of Canada, the area around Victoria has a military history.  One location that is now no longer in service is Fort Rodd Hill.  It sits overlooking the entrance to the harbor with the navy base sitting a short distance across the water.  It is like many of the forts you find on the west coast with gun emplacements, bunkers, accommodation and spotting locations for the gunners.  The biggest threat you now face is the large number of geese that seem intent in getting in your way and also contaminating where you are walking!

The location is well maintained and, since it was a weekday when we re there, not terribly busy.  With the sun shining, it was a nice stroll to explore the facilities.  The walls were pretty substantial, and it might have been fun to get a drone up to look down on everything but a) I don’t have one and b) that close to the navy base probably means they aren’t allowed anyway.

Craigdarroch Castle

One of the places we saw mentioned in Victoria when we were staying there for Thanksgiving was Craigdarroch Castle.  It was described as being in the town itself so we decided to swing by as we were heading out of town towards some other locations.  The “castle” is a big house up on the hills.  It has a pretty good view across the town by the looks of it.  I am not usually terribly interested in the insides of buildings like this.  The outside is worth a look but the interiors are usually rather old and musty, so we skipped that and walked around outside in the sun.

The building is in the middle of a residential area so it is a little strange to be surrounded by houses but it was a sunny day and the building is interesting so we had a look around before heading off on our way.

Haystack Rock

Cannon Beach is well known but one of its most famous landmarks is Haystack Rock.  This sits on the shore just a short distance from where we were staying so we walked by it a few times and could see it from our balcony whenever we liked.  It is a sizeable thing!  It sits right at the tide line so, at high tide, it is in the water but, when the tide retreats, you can walk out to it.  However, it is a protected site so no climbing.

On gray and stormy days, it looks pretty bleak.  When the sun is out and illuminating it with that nice low winter light angle, it looks totally different.  I suspect, if I stayed there longer, I would probably photograph it a hundred different ways and still not be satisfied with what I got.  I won’t be alone, of course.  It has been photographed more times than anyone could count.