Mile 228 Report

August 8, 2020
by dwhite

Location:
Lincoln
Rocky Creek State Wayside, Whale Cove
Conditions:
Saturday 1:30 PM
66° F
Wind:
Calm/Light from the N
Tide Level:
4.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
People:
17
Dogs:
1
Activities:
Playing in surf:
2
Sitting:
4
Frisbee, volleyball
Concerns:
Fire·Litter
Disturbances:
Vehicles:
Activity Comments:
Fire 0n beach was out and from a previous day. Beach is surrounded by private property and USFW Wildlife Reserve, so all vehicles were parked on private property. The beach was occupied primarily by people renting one of the larger houses overlooking Whale Cove. They and their friends were celebrating a birthday. (very unusual to see so many people on this beach).
Notable Wildlife:
Many harbor seals lurking in the cove. Seal population in the Cove is about 175+. Surprisingly few birds. Several gulls noted.
Dead Birds:
Total:
0
Signs of oil:
0
Entanglement:
0
Stranded:
Total:
0
Fish & Invertebrates:
Driftline:
Kelp or Algae·Shells·Wood pieces·Land-based debris (picnics, etc.)·Plastic pellets·Styrofoam·Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.)
New Development:
Modifications:
Natural Changes:
The bottom of the ladder leading down to the beach was bent and a step is missing. This likely occurred during a king tide storm. A king tide storm in the winter of 2019 took the entire ladder down when it launched large driftwood against the bluff. The replacement ladder experienced this new damage.
Comments:

All debris seen was removed, including a door to a small refrigerator with Japanese (?) text, apparently from a boat. Other sections of a fiberglass boat hull were found and removed.

Summary:

Excluding by sea, the entry to Whale Cove beach requires passage on private property and an easement provided by USFW, so it was unusual to find such a collection of beachgoers. The beach is normally quite clean as it was this time, but with two unusual findings: the door of a small refrigerator with Japanese (?) writing (probably from a boat, and pieces of a fiberglass boat hull.

Also noted was damage at the bottom of the ladder leading down to the beach. This likely occurred during a king tide storm. A king tide storm in the winter of 2019 took the entire ladder down when it launched large driftwood against the bluff. This replacement ladder is bent at the bottom and a step is missing.

  • Tree root exposed on beach bluff
    Tree Root over Whale Cove Beach. Reference photo. This tree will fall eventually.
    August 8, 2020
  • Debris refrigerator door
    Refrigerator door on Whale Cove beach
    August 8, 2020
Other Mile 228 Reports (35)

2018

October 23, 2018 - dwhite
All human activity was at the Rocky Creek wayside, not Whale Cove. The most notable change was on the Whale Cove beach where a dead sea lion was seen in June (not reported then, but see picture below...
May 5, 2018 - dwhite
Both the Whale Cove beach and Rocky Creek wayside were in good condition as usual, however there were rubber surf boards and a downspout that were found both on the beach below the houses on the...
January 18, 2018 - dwhite
Although not king tide level, high waves at high tide on Jan 18, 2018 reached all the way into the inner reaches of Whale Cove's sandy cliffs. The beach is normally exposed at high tides (king tide...
  • High Waves in Whale Cove 1
  • High Waves in Whale Cove 2
  • High Waves in Whale Cove 3
January 2, 2018 - dwhite
Coast Guard and Depoe Bay fire crews rescued a 19-year-old male hiker in the vicinity of Whale Cove, after he reportedly suffered seizures and became immobilized Tuesday evening. Sector watch...
  • Whale Cove Rescue

2017

October 15, 2017 - dwhite
Both Whale Cove and Rocky Creek were in good shape and quite free of debris. The colony of 150+ seals were visible on the rocks at the southeast end of Whale Cove (see photo). Two whales were present...
March 19, 2017 - dwhite
There was a notable increase in driftwood and debris that had washed up onto the Whale Cove beach. This was minor compared to other, more accessible and exposed beaches.A small portion of the...

2016

November 21, 2016 - dwhite
No significant changes to Whale Cove. Some styrofoam fragments were noticed, but the beach remains quite clean.  Higher tide level meant that the seals were unable to perch on the rocks at the east...
September 25, 2016 - dwhite
Whale Cove has recently acquired its Wildlife Refuge designation, so the intrusion of humans is now more difficult and development prohibited. The portion of state beach (not part of the Wildlife...
February 26, 2016 - djohnson
There is very little human activity on the Whale Cove beach now for two reasons: 1) Much of the surrounding land is now owned and controlled by the USFWS and only a limited number of people have...

2015

January 23, 2015 - djohnson
Big news on Whale Cove! The undeveloped land on the west, north and east side of the cove is now owned by the USFWS.Our neighbor, Bryce Buchanan, purchased the land in 2005 with the sole purpose of...

2014

December 22, 2014 - djohnson
I took a look at the north side of Whale Cove at the peak of the "King Tide" to see if there was anything unusual. Other than the water being up into the driftwood logs, there was no damage or...
  • Condition on the beach on the north side of Whale Cove precisely at the maximum tide.
January 24, 2014 - daveincamas
Wow that is awesome news about the transfer of land to the USFWS! Please pass on my gratitude to Mr. Buchanan.I grew up in Newport and visited Whale Cove several times as a kid. I think I scrambled...

2013

July 13, 2013 - [email protected]
MP 228 Description65% (northern part) of the mile consists of a cove (Whale Cove) which is a half-mile wide breach in a basalt headland. The basalt is a narrow barrier with cemented sandstone inland...
  • MP 228 Looking North from Rocky Creek State Wayside at the north ern part of the grassy slope north of the parking lot.Entry to Whale Cove is visible.
  • MP 228 looking South from Rocky Creek State Wayside at west end of fence NW of parking lot.

2012

December 14, 2012 - [email protected]
Mostly sunny day with light winds at noon. Made observation during December "King Tide" period. A 10.6 foor high tide occurred at 11:50 am. No unusual activity or conditions to report.
  • Photo taken at 11:44 am, facing ESE from the north beach section of Whale Cove.
June 12, 2012 - djohnson
There are no current problems at Whale Cove. For about three weeks we had a molting elephant seal on the beach. We contacted Jim Rice of the Marine Mammal Institute, OSU and he came by on May 16...
March 20, 2012 - djohnson
There has been no significant activity on the Whale Cove beach and there are no problems such as cliff erosion. All's well!!!!

2010

December 19, 2010 - djohnson
There have been no noticable changes around Whale Cove, so the only item of interest is the temporary presence of Sea Lions as noted above.
November 12, 2010 - [email protected]
Beautiful late fall day on the central Oregon coast. Recent high water has moved woody debris and kelp to the upper beach line.No wildlife observed.
  • View looking east along north beach of Big Whale Cove
November 4, 2010 - TMarie
Not much going on as it was a very foggy day with about 800 feet of visibility. Lots of gulls resting on the road's asphalt pavement. Paths were muddy due to recent rains. Waves were 8-10 feet.
June 25, 2010 - djohnson
There is little change in Whale Cove. There has been some activity on the beach, but none causing problems. The dealings relative to conservation easement establishment around the cove is moving...
May 13, 2010 - [email protected]
I hiked over the saddle from LWC to Big Whale Cove and strolled along the north-side beach from west to east and back. In between the beached logs are numerous plastic water bottles and scattered...
  • View is west
April 15, 2010 - TMarie
Rocky Creek continues to be a favorite place to pull off, park and walk north on the path to get a superb view of Whale Cove. The rock shelf where the gray seals rest is not visible, but seals are...

2009

December 20, 2009 - djohnson
There is no visible change to the beach at Whale Cove. The high tides with recent significant storm surges have cleaned the beach and moved the driftwood logs around, but there do not seem to be any...
December 3, 2009 - TMarie
Human activity at Rocky Creek state Park is diminishing.
August 27, 2009 - [email protected]
Excellent weather for shoreline exploration. Relatives were visiting us at Little Whale Cove and we took the opportunity, at low tide, to circumnavigate the small cove, climb up on the hill...
June 22, 2009 - djohnson
The development of 20 dwellings or so between Whale Cove and Highway 101 is currently dead. The owner intends to list the property for sale when the economy warrants it.
March 26, 2009 - TMarie
Spring break week always brings more people to Rocky Creek State Park. Several families were using the newly-renovated picnic benches. The northern-most picnic bench is still missing a top and seats....

2008

September 16, 2008 - djohnson
There is little change at Whale Cove and the light problem from Whale Cove Inn seems to be pretty well under control. As mentioned above, any new development in the area is on hold, as it has been...
June 11, 2008 - TMarie
The day was overcast a bit a bit chilly; localized rain showers on and off. use of the park was low, probably because the weather was not especially pleasant.
April 11, 2008 - TMarie
The Inn at Whale Cove continues to be a source of night light into the cove and a nuisance to some adjoining neighbors. The night lights shine into the windows of adjoining neighbors, in violation of...
March 25, 2008 - djohnson
The only change of note is the completion and opening of Whale Cove Inn. This has not impacted the isolation of the Whale Cove beach area, however, and the peaceful, scenic cove is unchanged.

2007

December 20, 2007 - djohnson
The beach at Whale Cove is very clean. The 9-unit up-scale hotel being built to replace Whale Cove Inn is nearing completion. It should be complete in the next few months. The issue of a bright...
September 18, 2007 - TMarie
A Whale was sighted just off-shore.
July 15, 2007 - TMarie
It was a warm, enjoyable day on the coast with mild winds and little wave action.
June 5, 2007 - TMarie
Lots of gulls on the rocks. since this is a basalt rock cliff, there is no opportunity to see tide pools or beach where seaweed and invertebrates are visible. No problems so there is no action.