On May 16, 2014 a fisherman / crabber caught this awesome video of an Orca whale swimming through Tillamook bay.
What an amazing sight to see such a big animal in the bay within view of Garibaldi.
The picturesque village of Depoe Bay on the Oregon Coast is great place to visit. The coastline here is rocky with little to no beach. An enormous sea wall runs the length of the downtown. Depoe Bay has several distinctions. It has the world’s smallest natural harbor. Plus Depoe Bay claims to be the whale watching capital of the Oregon Coast – and with good reason. The natural features here, for instance Arch Rock, the spouting horns, and sea cliffs, and whales dominate life this community.
If you enter Depoe Bay from the north the first stop of interest is Arch Rock. This amazing arch in the ocean a short distance from shore is a natural wonder. Next are the spouting horns. Waves enter the lava beds and create pressure. The water squirts through small holes and shoots high into the air. During stormy weather water can shoot up to 60 feet into the air.
Children will enjoy visiting the Whale Watching Center is located in the central part of Depoe Bay. It has exhibits that explain whale behaviors and depict the history of whales. During winter and spring school breaks, the Whale Watching Spoken Here program places volunteers and good whale watching spots along the coast and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department park rangers are available at the Center to answer questions about whales. The Whale Watching Center also has a free theater showing whale movies.
Just past the Whale Watching Center you will find the harbor where you can join one of the whale watching tours. Depoe Bay is fortunate to have a pod of grey whales that lives in the bay for 10 months each year. In addition to grey whales, you might also see Orcas, Minke, Humpback, Blue, and Sperm whales. These tours normally take about one and a half hours. As you head out to the open ocean to view the whales, you will also have the opportunity to see harbor porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles, seals and sea otters. Most of these tours are appropriate for children. At the harbor you can also make arrangements to go deep sea fishing. You can fish for Ling Cod and 20 varieties of tasty rockfish all year around. However, Chinook and Coho Salmon, Halibut, Albacore Tuna and Dungeness crabbing all have specific seasons.
At the south end of Depoe Bay you’ll find Rocky Creek State Wayside. The rocky shoreline provides explosive wave action during storms. When the weather is calm, you can set on a bench at the ocean’s edge and look for whales that often play in Whale Cove. This park has breath taking views, but be sure to stay behind the vegetation line. Powerful waves can sweep you off the cliffs and onto the rocks below. Be especially watchful of children.
Bring your whole family to visit Depoe Bay. The ocean, the whales, and the shops are waiting for you to come and explore.
Article written by Mary Boyer
For more information please check out these additional articles about Depoe Bay.
If you want a cozy place to eat a good breakfast in Rockaway Beach the Whale Spout does the trick. With a gas stove in the corner and an espresso machine behind the counter this is the place for a good cup of coffee and warm reprieve from a brisk morning walk on the beach. Located right in the middle of town the Whale Spout is perfectly beach themed inside with lots of fish, birds, and other sea creature replicas mounted on the walls including a huge hammer head shark. The breakfasts are good portions, but be prepared to wait to eat on a busy weekend. I have eaten at the Whale Spout in the middle of the week with only one or two other tables occupied and received my food very fast and have also been the 2nd to last table getting seated on a Sunday at 10AM and not received food for nearly an hour and had to get up and ask for a coffee refill myself twice. The food is priced well and again the portions are great and will fill you up for any activities you are planning on doing whether it is a hike up Neahakanie mountain or just a day of lazy antique browsing at the shops in the surrounding cities. My personal favorite is the Rockaway Potatoes which is a large scramble with tasty tatters, eggs, Tillamook cheese, choice of meat and few other veggies such as onions and bell peppers. The Pancakes are large and fluffy. We have tried there specials a few times and been pleasantly surprised as well from a blueberry compote on top of the pancakes to a breakfast burrito. The best thing in my opinion about the Whale Spout is the fact that they have an in house espresso machine and can serve up your custom coffee favorite or just a enjoy a good cup of the house blend, which tends to be a better coffee than the usual breakfast restaurants along the coast. Despite our encounters with some slow service the staff was very nice and apologetic and we would recommend the Whale Spout to anyone looking for a good breakfast in Rockaway Beach.
Looking for migrating whales off the Oregon coast is a unique Oregon experience and is going on right now. There are several species of whales that pass by off the coast that can be viewed from many different viewpoints, the most often sighted whales include: Gray, Humpback, and Sperm whales that are making their annual migration between Alaska and Baja Mexico a whale breeding site. You have to keep your eyes scanning the open ocean looking for the spout exhaling a large mist of air and water into the air when the whale is breathing. On a rare occasion you may observe a breach or the tail fluke exiting and entering the water. Wait to use your binoculars after you have seen a spout and then it is much easier to narrow in on the whales and you can watch them as they travel.
There is a great organization of volunteers that are available during the peak whale watching season from 10AM to 1 PM at prominent viewing locations to help visitors spot their first whale and learn about these magnificent creatures.
Here is locations that volunteers may be present to help you out.
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Ilwaco, Washington
Ecola State Park
Neahkahnie Mountain Historic Marker Turnout on Highway 101
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint
Cape Lookout State Park – 2.5 mile hike to site at tip of Cape
Inn at Spanish Head Lobby on 10th floor
Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint
The Whale Watching Center/Depoe Bay Sea Wall
Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint
Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
Don Davis City Park
Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center
Cook’s Chasm Turnout
Sea Lion Caves Turnout – large Highway 101 turnout south of tunnel
Umpqua Lighthouse, near Umpqua Lighthouse State Park
Shore Acres State Park
Face Rock Wayside State Scenic Viewpoint
Battle Rock Wayfinding Point, Port Orford
Harris Beach State Park, Brookings, Oregon
9th Street Beach, Crescent City, California
The state of Oregon has a great website with pictures of all of these locations. Check out these spots here:http://www.whalespoken.org/OPRD/PARKS/WhaleWatchingCenter/watch_site_views.shtml
For more information about the Whale Watching Center
A favorite North Coast viewing spot up on Neahkahnie Mountain just North of Manzanita.