Depoe Bay, Oregon

Saturday afternoon, after getting my tire issue resolved in Newport, I drove further north to this little town which sits right along the ocean.  While Depoe (pronounced d-po) Bay is small, it has two big things which bring people here.  Actually one big thing and one small thing.  Depoe Bay has the distinction of having the smallest navigable harbor in the world:

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Trust me, that’s it.  I took two more photos, one slightly left and one slightly right but they each show just a tad more water.

The Bay sits just on the land side of the concrete bridge which takes busy Highway 101 over it:

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That photo was taken from the pedestrian walkway which people can use to cross under the highway.  Here is a view looking towards the ocean from under the bridge:

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And looking from the outside in:

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And there is a reason why so many people park on the land side of the highway but want to be on the ocean side – and it isn’t to go to the beach.

The big thing Depoe Bay has going for it is REALLY big.  Whales.

The west coast of the United States is a great place to see whales migrate north for the winter and south for the summer.  Several of the places I have already been to in California and southern Oregon have places which are specifically designed to help people whale watch.  The signs I read in those places seemed to indicate that I was “between seasons” and I figured I wouldn’t see any.  Well, it turns out that there is a small population of, maybe 60, gray whales that live in this area year-round and Depoe Bay seems to be their favorite hangout.  There are numerous whale watching companies based here which ferry people out to sea to look for whales.  As I would learn on Sunday when I returned here, you don’t have to be out at sea to see whales.  Several came right into the Bay and I’ll post pictures of them tomorrow.

Here is a 3-shot panorama of the Bay as seen from the pedestrian bridge on the west side of Highway 101:

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