Whale Watching Update

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Winter Whale Watch Week is in full swing, with volunteers staffing 26 locations along the Oregon Coast from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. through January 1st. There hasn’t been much action yet, with only 12 gray whale sightings reported so far. The sightings have been on the Southern Oregon Coast. Unfortunately, the coastal weather is not cooperating this week. The forecast is for rain almost everywhere on the coast. Calmer days are much better for whale watching!

I’m the eternal optimist, so I’m not giving up hope. Over 19,000 whales are expected to pass Oregon over the next five weeks, with about 30 whales an hour passing the Oregon Coast. The Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay keeps records of whale sightings on their website at www.whalespoken.org. The site also has tips on how to spot whales and a map to the Whale Watch locations.

New Year's Eve at the coast

Monday, December 22, 2008

It’s hard to believe that New Year’s Eve is next week! My how time flies…..Last year, I spent a quiet evening at home with my sweetheart. This year, we’re planning on getting dressed up and going out to ring in the new year. The hard part is deciding what to do and where to go. Just about every town on the coast has something fun to do. Right up the road from me in Gearhart, the new McMenamin’s is hosting a party with live music. Portland blues guitar slinger Robbie Laws is playing at the Shilo in Seaside. The local Parks and Rec district in Seaside is hosting a kids sleepover party on New Year’s Eve, so parents can go out and not worry about finding a sitter. In Manzanita, the locals have a wacky New Year’s Eve Midnight Parade. Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City is hosting “Around the World Bon Voyage” parties throughout the casino and in the restaurants. The Three Rivers Casino in Florence is having a dinner dance in the event center. I’m sure there are lots of other events scheduled up and down the Oregon Coast. Since the weather has been a little unpredictable lately, I think we’ll probably stick close to home.

Winter Whale Watching

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some people think that Winter is a bad time to visit the coast, but I disagree. Storm watching is always fun, beachcombers can find interesting treasures washed up by the winter surf and it’s a great time for agate hunting. One of my favorite winter activities at the coast is whale watching. The Winter migration of gray whales is going on now and Winter Whale Watch week is scheduled for Dec. 26th-January 1st. The Whale Watch Spoken Here program will have trained volunteers at 26 sites during whale watch week along the Oregon coast to help people spot whales. I’m heading to the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay on Highway 101. For more information on whale watching at the Oregon Coast go to www.whalespoken.org.

Dreaming of a Beach Christmas

Monday, December 15, 2008

This holiday season, I’m not dreaming of a White Christmas. After living in snowy Central Oregon for the past 20 years and growing up in Pennsylvania and New York, I’ve seen enough snow for a lifetime!

I moved to the Oregon Coast to get away from the snow and so far I haven’t missed it. I have many fond memories of family ski trips during the holidays, but now I’m looking forward to creating new holiday memories at the beach. One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2009 is to travel to every town on the Oregon Coast. I decided to get an early start this month.

Right now I’m planning a trip to Florence. We are going to stay in a vacation home or condo instead of a hotel so we can cook, bake cookies, sit by a cozy fireplace, do some storm watching and find other fun things to do.

I’m looking forward to visiting the Heceta Head Lighthouse. They are hosting the 13th annual Victorian Open House Dec. 20 and 21st. From 4-7 pm, the Light Keeper’s house is open to the public for viewing of the Christmas decorations. Local musicians will be performing holiday favorites, and they’ll be serving warm drinks and goodies, with Santa appearing every evening from 5-6. The Heceta Head Lighthouse and Keeper’s house are circa 1894. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are located halfway between Florence and Yachats on highway 101.