When the stars align and the beach gods smile…

One of the first things we learned when we became coast kids was how much we had never experienced in our visits to the Oregon Coast.

Like most, we would come in the spring and summer, we’d be hoping for nice days, no rain and great sunsets. We would always have our gortex JUST in case, but we’d be happy if it was shorts and shirt sleeves during our stay.

We had no idea, ok had no idea (Michelle grew up her  so she knew), about storms, high surf warnings, sneaker waves or king tides! They have taught me that fall and winter are the BEST times to be here! This weekend, was one that will live in memory.

First off, lets explain a king tide.  It is the highest tide of the year. It happens in the winter when the earth is closest to the sun, and the moon is full. It means that at hight tide, the water is higher than normal, MUCH higher.

This time though, due to off shore storms, the high tide coupled with a high surf advisory on Saturday.  Waves up to 30 feet high were predicted.  The combination of this promised to be an epic show.

But now we get the the stars aligning and the gods smiling. This could all have occurred at midnight.  Or it could have happened on a bad Monday when I was chained to my desk. Or the rain could have been so bad we just wanted to hunker inside…

NOPE!  It was on Saturday, high tide was high noon, and the weather gods, though not warm by any means, took pity on us!

At about 9 AM I decided to go for a quick walk. We were going to head out closer high tide to take pictures, so I had time for a quick couple miles.

I walked down to Taft along the Siletz Bay. I stopped to watch for second, and then decided it was time to stop. What I saw was this…

Now before you look, realize something. This is the mouth of a good sized creak, Schooner Creek. This is what is looked like in May at Sunset.

Since January 1 though, we have had over 6 inches of rain. This is one strong stream pushing hard to get to the ocean.

However, with the King tide and high waves, THIS is what I saw. ( I had may cameras with me!)

After I saw that I knew the walk was over! I phoned home and Michelle came down

and she got some great stills of later surges.

Just when we thought a bigger wave couldn’t happen, it would.  Michelle and I, made a point to find high ground WELL away from the logs near the water. There were people who thought the logs would protect them, but it aint so.

More to the point check out this big log.

When Michelle and I first got there, this big fella was way in the corner near Mo’s (the building in Michelle’s shots above.)

The big waves pulled it out from its corner and soon it was being push UPRIVER under the Taft Dock.

It was last seen heading inland….

Folks, I gotta tell ya, traffic was nuts down there! Every parking spot was taken, and more cars were circling looking for a spot (we know of a close overflow lot and avoided them).

Shoot, even the Morton Salt Fisherman was there to watch.

This was NOT the only show in town though!!

Remember an earlier post when Michelle was almost swallowed by foam?

Well check out King Tide, High Surf foam!! (this is NOT the beach its a parking lot.)

Check out this one from Michelle.

And this one I titled “Foam Tsunami!”

There was foam blowing through the air, into our eyes and yep our mouths. Never have I EVER seen so much foam!

We went back after high tide and hung out for the rest of the afternoon. What a day! What a show….

BUT wait…

Today was a King tide as well, though the waves were a bit less intense.

I had to run an errand to Newport and it was just about at high tide. I was hoping to stop in Depoe Bay to check out the spouting horn. Sadly, I think EVERYONE has the same idea.  Depoe was full up!  Too bad too, the Horn was spraying so hard it was splashing the side walk clear across HWY 101! Maybe next time…

However, I WAS able to stop at Devils Punchbowl!

In the summer, it looks like this


Today was a different story.

It would have been cool to see yesterday as well, but you can’t be everywhere at once!! I am glad I made the detour.

Work is a necessary evil most of us have to do. It pays, the bills, feeds the cats and keeps my camera in batteries. A lot of times it gets in the way of being somewhere or experiencing what is going on out there in real life.

That’s why when the stars do align and the beach gods smile, Michelle and I do our damnedest NOT to miss it!

As an aside, there are those who have asked if we are bored yet living in a small town. With free entertainment like this, how can ANYONE be bored??

Like the wind!


Trust me, of you are ever at the beach and the foam is airborne, keep your mouth closed!!  I speak from experience…. It aint good….

4 thoughts on “When the stars align and the beach gods smile…

  1. That foam! Wowsers! It’s ocean snow! Incredible!

    Glad you got to experience all this, and glad you’re still loving living on the ocean. 🙂

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