Now, Another Newport - our third!

Trip Start Jan 01, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Friday, May 18, 2007

After a quick stop at the Chamber of Commerce to pick up brochures and information about the area, we went exploring the beach and seaport in Newport, Oregon. This is the third Newport we've visited in the last year and a half (first was Newport Beach in Califoria, second was Newport, Rhode Island last summer, where Keri played beach volleyball!).
Our first stop was Yaquina Head, a narrow, coastal headland extending a mile into the Pacific. The Yaquina Head Lighthouse, still operational, was first lit in 1873 - it has been automated since 1966. It's a beautiful lighthouse, and is open, so we climbed ALL the way to the top - boy, are my legs screaming at me!
Each year, thousands of seabirds nest off the rocky beach at Yaquina Head - Pelagic and Brandt's Cormorants, black oystercatchers, glaucous-winged and western gulls all live here year-round. Also showing up in the summer are common murres, brown pelicans, surf scoters, pigeon guillemots, and rhinoceros auklets. The cacophony of sound coming from the big rock just in front of lighthouse was truly something to behold!
Another interesting feature of Yaquina Head is Quarry Cove - a unique rocky intertidal area built in the early 1990's from a former rock quarry.
After exploring Yaquina Head thoroughly, (including, of course, lots of pictures and even a couple of videos to capture the squawking birds!), we drove to Newport's Historic Bayfront, and old seaport with many, many, fishing trawlers, lots of crab pots piled up everywhere. As we walked down Bay Boulevard, we heard some very raucous barking, and walked out on a pier to look down on a dozen VERY large sea lions, most of whom seemed to take great pleasure in barking loudly at a younger one who wanted to get up on the wooden rafts on which the old guys were resting (after some research, I think this one, darker in color and not as large, was a seal, rather than a sea lion, so maybe it wasn't so much age discrimination as it was species/class discrimination! ). Again, I took lots of video footage, because they were so much fun to watch, and SO very loud in their "arguments" with the youngster.
I don't think my signal is good enough here to load pictures, certainly not good enough for videos, but I'll try as soon as I can.
We signed on for a "Discovery" 2-hour sea life cruise scheduled for Monday afternoon. It's the largest cruiser on the Oregon Coast, and the cruise covers Yaquina Bay, and goes into the Pacific, too, with a high probability of whale watching at this time of year. Hope to get many more pictures there (by the way, we upgraded my new 12X Zoom Camera with a new 1 Gig memory card last week, and a spare battery, so I'm in photo heaven!)
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