a day at sea

During my dad and step-mom's recent visit, Matt and I did something we'd both never done before - gone on a boat in the ocean! Billed as a "marine discovery tour", we went to sea hoping to spot some resident gray whales off the coast of Newport, Oregon. We'd actually seen a few whales from shore, the day before - much closer than we saw

last winter

when they were migrating down south.

We set off from the harbor, which was bright and sunny - as we passed under Newport's Yaquina Bay Bridge, all that changed. All week, as we travelled up and down the coast, we'd pass from a pocket of fog to bright sunshine and back within a mile. Apparently this kind of fog is totally normal at this time of year.

Once we passed the bay bridge, everything was grey. The ocean and sky were almost the same color, which made it feel as though we were on a very small expanse of water instead of the largest one on the planet. There were a few good-sized swells (10 feet), but everything felt so serene.

You probably won't be surprised to hear that we didn't spot any whales. Luckily, our ex-Bering-Sea-fisherman captain was prepared for those kind of circumstances and took us on a nice trip around Yaquina Bay and up the Yaquina River for a bit.

As you can see, it was much sunnier when we went inland - I saw my first bald eagle ever! There were also a bunch of cute harbor seals lounging on an old oyster pier. In the end, not seeing whales wasn't disappointing at all - the nice ocean ride itself was completely worth it.