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CoastWatch Mile 178
CountyLane
DescriptionCape Cove, Sea Lion Point, Sea Lion Caves
Boundaries N 44° 7.886', W 124° 7.496' to N 44° 7.141', W 124° 7.532'
Google MapsNearby Roads, Directions to/from, Google photos, Satellite image, Terrain overlay
OPRD MapHeceta Head to Lily Lake, to Sutton Creek
Vehicles• Motor vehicle travel is prohibited from the Lincoln County-Lane County line (44° 16.5774', Mile 190), southerly to the Siuslaw River (44° 00.9720', Mile 170).
WeatherCurrent Weather Conditions at nearby stations (may take a minute or two on a dialup connection)
TidesThe NOAA Tide Predictions site may be found here. Click on the station nearest to your location to see predicted tides in graphical and tabular formats.

Photo


More   11/14/09
Friend of Strawberry


17 REPORTS FOR MILE 178:
Brien M
May 31, 2014 8:30 AM
 
It was a minus tide, and it allowed me to observe the invertebrates living on the "off-shore" rocks. There was a huge presence of purple shore crabs climbing about on every boulder. They were hard to photograph because they would scatter and hide when ever they would detect me. There were also many sea stars covering the rocks. Unfortunately, they didn't look as healthy. It seems the sea star wasting syndrome has also taken hold on this part of the coast. Sea stars had the appearance that looked as though they were "melting". Very sad. Tsunami debris was also very evident today. Lots of buoys, and plastic bottles w/Japanese writing littered the drift-line.   MORE 
 
Sea stars   
Description:These two sea stars don't look healthy, and the inverted one in the background has already expired.
Crabs   
Description:I love these Purple shore crabs, but they are sure hard to take pictures of. There were seven crabs in this scene, but only two remained by time I clicked the photo.
Tsunami debris   
Description:I packed some of these buoys home.
Brien M
Mar 22, 2014 10:00 AM
 
It was an awesome morning on the Oregon Coast for the annual Spring beach clean-up. There was lots of garbage on Cape Cove beach. I got a head start on the clean-up last weekend by hauling out two bags of trash. This morning, packed out two large chunks of Styrofoam and four more bags of trash, and I could have filled four more if I had them. There was evidence of a recent rock-slide. This seems to happen every time we have a sub-freezing event. The Central Oregon Coast had quite a bit of that in January and February.   MORE 
 
Recent erosion   
Description:The moisture and freezing temperatures the coast had recently, caused this large boulder to break off the side of the cliff. Notice the dark colored area on the cliff where the boulder used to be.
Location:Cape Cove
This morning's trash collection.   
Description:I requested four trash bags from the volunteer at the local beach clean-up HQ. I had no problem finding enough trash to fill them. But is it my imagination, or are the SOLV bags getting smaller?
Location:North Cape Cove
Brien M
Feb 12, 2010 11:00 AM
 
It is early 2010, and I can now access my beach, because the sea lion invasion is over. The sea lions left lots of evidence about their presence, and it was not pretty. There were six dead sea lions on the rocks, in one spot, there was one carcass on top of the other. There were a couple of live sea lions remaining, but they were in distress/dying. One sea lion I thought was dead, was actually still alive, but dying because of a huge flesh wound on it's back, perhaps from a boat propeller. Another sea lion was in distress because it was fouled in fishing tackle. see photos.   MORE 
 
Wounded sea lion   
Description:This poor animal was barely alive. A large wound like that may have been from a collision with a boat propeller.
Location:Lower beach, Cape Cove
Entangled sea lion   
Description:Notice the large piece of fishing tackle dangling from the monofilament wrapped around it's neck. I wish I had a tranquilizer gun to sedate it, then use my pocket knife to cut it free.
Location:On the rocks at Sea Lion Point
Brien M
Dec 2, 2009 10:30 AM
 
It's New Years Day 2014, and I am finally back on the cyberspace grid! I've resolved to get caught up on my mile reports. I am gonna start by going back about four years. Mile 178 was making headlines around the nation when thousands of visiting sea lions crashed on Cape Cove beach. There was a theory that these mammals were part of a mass-exodus that left San Francisco Bay earlier in the year. I wanted to get a close-up look at these critters to see if I could notice any identification brands, or tags, that could connect them to that SF population. So, in stealth mode, I went down to the beach to get a good look. I was able to get up close to the crowd on the North end, but after carefully observing the sea lions in my view, I never did see any of the ID markings that I was looking for. Of course, the sea lions have since left, and it still remains a mystery where they came from.   MORE 
 
Sea lions    
Description:A ground-level view of the visiting population of sea lions in Fall of 2009
Location:North end of Cape Cove
Date:Dec 2, 2009 12:00 AM
Roamer
Dec 1, 2009 2:30 PM
 
As previously reported by FriendOfStrawberry on November 14, there's a huge collection of sea lions on the secluded beach just north of Sea Lion Caves. A Eugene Register Guard article on December 1 quotes Jim Rice, "It happens every few years." It's still amazing.   MORE 
 
Sea Lions at Cape Cove Beach   
Sea Lions, the Group Portrait   
Description:Closer view of the sea lions at Cape Cove, close enough to see their faces.
Friend of Strawberry
Nov 14, 2009 12:30 PM
 
There is an overlook between Sea Lion Caves and north to the tunnel where a number of cars can park and look north to see Heceta Head Lighthouse. Today about 12:30 pm we saw thousands of California Sea Lions on the remote beach and water below. Unbelievable number of sea lions!!! From what I understand, only the male California Sea Lions come up the coast. They leave the females and pups in California. There may be some Stellar Sea Lions in this bunch (they are the ones that like Sea Lion Caves) but it is hard to tell there are sooooo many animals!!! Tried to upload more photos but had trouble and they did not upload.   MORE 
 
Sea Lions   
Date:Nov 14, 2009 12:00 AM
Heceta Head Lighthouse   
More   
Brien M
Sep 22, 2009 11:00 AM
 
Hey folks, I am still trying to play "catch up" with my mile reports. This one goes back to fall of 2009, just before the famous sea lion invasion. It was Fall Beach clean-up, and my daughter and I picked up five bags of trash between us. One alarming thing we discovered was a huge cedar log smoldering in the drift-line. With plenty of containers (plastic bottles) at our disposal, we put the fire out with tide-pool water. I also made a spectacular discovery on one of the boulders on the high beach. In the middle of it was a fossil of a 12 inch fish. The boulder weighed about a hundred pounds, so I decided to stash it in a secure spot, and come back with some help at a later date to retrieve it.   MORE 
 
Fish Fossil    
Description:This is the most spectacular fossil I ever found. It is a fish, about 12 inches long. And the rock, about three feet long, and 100 lbs plus.
Location:South end of Cape Cove
Driftwood fire   
Description:This big chunk of Cedar was actually still burning. I don't know how it could have ignited, but my guess is that it was human-caused
Location:Middle of Cape Cove
Firefighter   
Description:My daughter and I drowned the smoldering wood with tide-pool water till it was completely out.
Location:middle of Cape Cove
Brien M
May 31, 2009 2:00 PM
 
I was treated to another beautiful late Spring afternoon on the Oregon Coast. Two months after the Beach Clean-up, the beach was still pretty clean. Some crabbing gear washed up and I brought it home. Most unusual wildlife sighting today was a group of turkey vultures circling overhead and some on the rocks at the Northern end of Sea Lion Point. As I proceded I was almost certain that it meant that I would be stumbling upon a dead sea lion or something. However, I didn't see, or even smell one. I wonder what it was that the vultures were so interested in. Maybe it was just the weather or the majestic view, I don't know, but it was definitely out of the ordinary.   MORE 
Brien M
Mar 28, 2009 11:00 AM
 
It was beach clean-up day on the Oregon Coast, and as usual, it was held in tandem with the "Whale Watching Spoken Here" event, of which one viewing location is along mile 178. When I checked with one of the volunteer staff, she said whale sightings were scarce, but there had been five confirmed ones so far that morning. There were no surprises with litter volume, as I was just there the week before and had a preview of what to expect. Myself, my daughter, and my Dad collectively filled five bags. It was typical litter; styrofoam, plastic bottles, marine debris. With our eyes focused on the ground looking for litter, we ended up finding numerous good sized agates. We also picked up some litter along the highway. With just a few exceptions, all the sea lions seemed to be in the caves again, with 200+ reported inside.   MORE 
 
Brianna   
Description:My 14 year old daughter has been doing the beach clean-ups with me here since she was eight. Here she is filling another bag.
Location:Cape Cove
Up the cliff   
Description:This is the hardest part, packing the bagged litter up the cliff. It's necessary to use the series of repel ropes to get up and down, so if you need to pack more than you can carry in one hand, you may need to make multiple trips.
Location:trailhead at North end of Cape Cove
Heceta Head   
Description:Heceta Head Lighthouse taken from the hwy 101 turnout by Sea Lion Caves. The seagull in the foreground was greeting visitors for the whale watching event taking place from the same place.
Location:Hwy 101 turnout by Sea Lion Caves.
Date:Mar 28, 2009 12:00 AM
Brien M
Mar 20, 2009 11:00 AM
 
On my visit to the beach today I found one thing to be most out of the ordinary, it was the complete lack of sea lions. There were none to be seen on the rocks or in the water. Typically, there is a constant background noise of sea lions barking, but not this time. I stopped in at Sea Lion Caves on my way home and inquired about the sea lions presence in the caves and was told they were plentiful inside. The count was about 220. The erosion issues I have been monitoring at every visit hadn't escalated much since my last visit. The wave action has been scouring the cobble beach however, thereby exposing previously unseen agates. I was not making as fast of headway on my hike because of bending over picking up agates. I gathered a pocket full, also carried back some fishing floats that had washed up.   MORE 
 
Sea Lion Point   
Description:Waves coming in and pounding on this monolith of a rock on a relatively calm day. The Northerly entrance to Sea Lion Caves is on the far left.
Location:Sea Lion Point
Agate   
Description:One of the several agates I picked up today. There has been some heavy discussion this past week on the Lane County listserve about shotgun shells washing up on the beach, so I thought it would be appropriate to take one that I found and use it for a size comparison.
Location:Cape Cove
Date:Mar 20, 2009 12:00 AM
Heceta Head Lighthouse   
Description:Looking Northward at the lighthouse with rocks of Sea Lion Point in the foreground.
Location:Sea Lion Point
Floats   
Description:A couple of 12" diameter plastic fishing floats. The orange one was heavily laden with marine growth; goose-neck barnacles,red acorn barnacles,mussels, and even some kind of small crab. It must have hitched a ride somewhere on this float's journey from Japan. The bright blue one is exactly the same color as the trim on my house, so it's gonna look good hanging on my deck.
Location:Cape Cove
Brien M
Feb 28, 2009 10:00 AM
 
I had all kinds of weather on this visit. Shoreline wildlife was scarce. I had to travel as far South as Sea Lion Point to encounter any sea lions; they used to be so thick on Cape Cove Beach that I couldn't do my normal rounds because they would be in my way. There was however, a long-necked black sea bird, looked out of place just standing on the beach, usually they frequent the tops of the off-shore rocks. It was not in good physical condition, (see photo). I was able to approach close enough touch but I didn't. Wish I could have done something for it; I need to learn the proper protocol for such situations. Litter was one thing that was not scarce today. The beach is getting an accumulation of garbage of all sorts. I picked up some crab pot floats, rope, and a cast aluminum trawler-ball fishing float. The rest of the garbage I will get no later than the up-coming spring beach clean up in about four weeks.   MORE 
 
Heceta Head Lighthouse   
Description:A view of Heceta Head Lighthouse, looking North, from Sea Lion Point.
Location:North end of Sea Lion Point
Injured Sea Bird   
Description:This poor bird seemed to have an injured foot, and to be blinded in it's right eye,(it was cloudy white in color). I know this is a very common sea bird, but I am afraid to try and name the species, as birds are not my field of expertice, if anyone could identify it for me, please shoot me an e-mail and tell me.
Location:Cape Cove
Crab pot floats   
Description:Some more crab pot floats and rope that washed up on the beach in Cape Cove.
Location:Cape Cove
Landslide   
Description:This is a photo of one of the landslides that took place in January. When compared to the photo of it taken back then, it's possible to notice that more soil/mud has washed out since then. This fashion of time-lapse photography is a great way to illustrate the physical changes in the dynamics of the bluff over time.
Location:North end of Cape Cove
Sea Lion   
Description:Lastly, no report for mile 178 would be complete without a sea lion's portrait. I snapped a photo of this guy enjoying a brief moment of sunshine on top of a rock on Sea Lion Point.
Location:Sea Lion Point
Brien M
Jan 18, 2009 11:00 AM
 
The sea lions weren't so stingy with the beach today. Maybe it was the gorgeous weather. I was able to explore to the southernmost end of Cape Cove, a place I haven't been in a while, because the sea lions have been congregating there since last fall. There wasn't much in the way of flotsam on the south end, as the southerly winds we have had seem to blow everything into the north end of the cove. I did, however, find another one of those large light bulbs that are being reported washing up everywhere. Unlike the other two I found, this one was clear, not red. The threads were missing, so I couldn't plug it in to see if it worked. The final verdict is in on the other two I reported last time: one works, the other didn't. This probably eliminates the theory that these light bulbs were discarded after use on a fishing boat. I know that is how a lot of them are beached, but this time I think a fellow CoastWatcher hit the nail on the head when she suggested that they were part of a shipment lost at sea. It is reminiscent of the mid-Nineties, when all that hockey gear washed up on the coast, or a few years before that when all the Nike shoes came ashore. The natural erosion on the cliff along this beach has gotten me very concerned about the highway directly above it. A couple more landslides took place in as many weeks; see photos.   MORE 
 
Red light bulb   
Description:One of the two red light bulbs from off the beach actually worked!
Location:Living Room
Sea lion pup   
Description:I didn't notice this sea lion pup until it noticed me first, so I took its picture and didn't seem to cause it any alarm.
Location:Cape Cove
Interesting Agate   
Description:It was in the morning when I took this picture, so I could not get the sun in behind this agate, therefore, this photo does not do it justice. I liked it because it was three different colors; white, orange, and amber. It was pretty good sized too, as it would barely fit into my jean's front pocket.
Location:Cape Cove
New landslide   
Description:A view of one recent landslide looking South
Location:Cape Cove
New landslide   
Description:The same recent landslide, looking North.
Location:Cape Cove
New landslide   
Description:Again, the same landslide, only looking upward and to the East. Notice the inverted, dangling tree at the top of the slide area.
Location:Cape Cove
Brien M
Jan 5, 2009 1:00 PM
 
The beach was not as congested with sea lions as it has been in the past,so I had a little more beach to myself. There were about 40 or 50 of them on the rocks on the South end,so I had to stay away from them. Sadly,there has been a lot of real estate sliding off the bluff after the recent rain/wind storms. If it keeps up,and it will, Hwy. 101 could be threatened. In the past week, I've found two large red light bulbs wash up on the beach, one here,and the other on Baker Beach. Another CoastWatcher also reported one. I wonder what the story is behind these things. They both look to be in top shape. I'm gonna try to plug them in and see if they work!   MORE 
 
Sea Lion   
Description:I was sneaking up on this sea lion to get its picture and then I left, without it noticing.
Location:Cape Cove
Red light bulb   
Description:What is up with these red light bulbs? This is the second one I`ve found.
Location:Cape Cove
Dead Cormorant   
Description:One dead Cormorant, along with crab pot and guard rail bumper.
Location:Cape Cove
Crab pot and Guard Rail bumper   
Description:The guard rail bumper is the remains of the year 2000 landslide.
Location:Cape Cove
Landslide   
Description:This landslide just happened a few days ago. This must be equivelent to two dump trucks full. The white stuff is not snow,it's surf foam.
Location:Cape Cove
Brien M
Dec 21, 2008 2:00 PM
 
For the past three months I have not been able to observe my entire beach because there have been from one to two hundred sea lions hanging out on the South end of Cape Cove. As everyone knows, it is not advisable (or legal) to disturb these mammals. It was really nasty weather today and I thought I would try my beach again, thinking that the sea lions would be seeking shelter inside of Sea Lion Caves to the immediate South, and I could have the entire beach to myself. Well I was wrong, there were about a hundred of them there today. Fortunately they were all crowded on the South end as usual, but the trailhead is on the North end. I went down to the beach and just kept my distance. Lots of sand had gotten scoured off the beach so far this season. This has made for some good agate hunting. Agates, light in color, are easy to spot when they are laying on top of a substrate of black "coble" rock. This beach has consistently been an excellent producer of trophy-sized agates. Commercial crabbing season started about three weeks ago and evidence is washing up on the beach. Three commercial crab pots have washed in and gotten destroyed on the rocks. I found a couple crab pot bouys with the new ODFW tags on them that identify the boat, and the crab season (08-09). I also found an 8" plastic Japanese float ball. I've asked Santa for a digital camera for Christmas so maybe I'll be able to upload photos for my next report. Happy Holidays everyone!   MORE 
Brien M
Mar 29, 2008 11:00 AM
 
Well it was Beach Clean-up day, so my daughter and I hit the beach with four trash bags in hand. We filled them all, quickly. It was the usual stuff: plastic bottles,styrofoam,fishing float fragments,footwear, etc. The only thing I salvaged was about twenty fathoms of crabbing rope. Kudos to all you others out there who participated in this event in less-than-ideal weather. Also, a big thank you to all of the businesses and organizations that sponsored it. In my zone, I would like to thank Fred Meyer for furnishing the refreshments. The "Whale Watching Spoken Here" event was held the same day and same hours as the beach clean-up. One of the sites is on the bluff right above my beach. I asked and was told there were some sightings of whales that morning, but they were scarce. It turned out that many binoculars were focused on a couple of people (us) picking up litter on the beach a few hundred feet below. I am sorry we were probably not quite as entertaining to watch as whales are.   MORE 
Brien M
Jan 13, 2008 2:00 PM
 
Given the proximity of this beach to Sea Lion Caves, there are numerous sea lions off shore and on the rocks. This concentration could also be the reason that more often times than not, I will stumble upon a dead sea lion on the beach. Most of the time the trail head of the beach is on the down-wind side, so I can usually smell it well before I see it. There are several lineal feet of repel ropes secured along the trail where it becomes very steep. Near the bottom, there was evidence of a recent landslide, as the repel rope was covered under several cubic yards of debris. This landslide also took out "Petroglyph Rock", which is now crumbled and in pieces. Fortunately, I took pictures of it back in 1992. I gave a picture to the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum to see if they could find a local person of Indian heritage who might be able to interpret what the drawings signify. I will try to scan a copy of this photo and upload it here. Several lengths of guard rail bumpers are still on the beach. These were the result of the major landslide in 2000 that closed 101 for about four months.I try to remove what I can if I am feeling ambitious and don't have my hands full with something else. If I come upon any fishing floats, usable lengths of rope, net, and of course, glass balls, I'll take those home.   MORE 
Brien M
Sep 29, 2007 10:00 AM
 
My daughter and I have been doing the beach clean-ups twice a year at this site since 1997. This is the first time I've reported here. The gist of this summary can be found on the previous three pages of this report. I'll include photos and a better summary next time.   MORE