Mile 93 Report

June 1, 2011
by John Hull

Location:
Coos
Mouth of New River, Fourmile Creek
Conditions:
Wednesday 9:00 AM
Sunny
55° F
Wind:
Calm/Light from the SW
Tide Level:
2.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
People:
2
Dogs:
1
Activities:
Walking / Running:
3
Concerns:
Apparent Violations:
None observed
Disturbances:
Vehicles:
Cars/Trucks parking:
0
ATVs/OHVs parking:
0
RVs/Buses parking:
RVs/Buses parking: 0
Cars/Trucks on beach, allowed:
0
ATVs/OHVs on beach, allowed:
0
Cars/Trucks on beach, prohibited:
0
ATVs/OHVs on beach, prohibited:
1
Activity Comments:
Beach WalkWednesday, June 1st, 2011.I started out for our dinghy, the Second Sea Sprite, at eight-fifty in the morning under sunny skies and mild temperatures and breeze. Blaine had told me she would meet me at the east bank of the New River. My faithful dog, LucieAnne, the Bassett, followed me at a distance, as is her wont, through the grass which was now up to chest deep, probably due to the wet Spring.We got the boat into the water and rowed down the Lower Fourmile Creek and into the New River. The Lower Fourmile is over six feet deep, but the mother river is shallow enough that I think I could have waded across. I tried several different landing spots and finally found one a little north of the Logan’s property line where I could get the boat right up to the land. There are several large objects, perhaps water-logged logs, laying on the bottom of the river that guard various promising looking landing spots on which my boat high centered.Blaine joined us but by then Lucie had climbed out of our craft. She wound up swimming across. Unusual for a Bassett. I made for a little sandy beach on the West bank where I assume waves had overtopped the dunes in the past and was rewarded with another good spot to beach the boat so Blaine could disembark. Lucie, on whom I was keeping a sharp eye lest she experience any difficulties on her swim, joined us and we all walked over the dunes to the beach.The waves were noticeably larger than on our previous visit, four feet from trough to crest and beautiful, with spindrift blowing back over them as they broke. We headed South.The beach was about seventy-five yards wide from edge of the dunes to the water and evenly sloped for the most part with a slight hump midway between the grass and the surf in spots. We walked South for twenty-five minutes under sunny skies and in a slight breeze (less than five miles an hour) from the Southwest.As a consequence of the size of the surf, the spindrift created enough mist that the rocks and peninsula around Cape Blanco and the haystacks in front of Old Town Bandon were visible but thru a haze.Unlike our previous visit a little over a week before, the driftline contained pieces of bull kelp every couple of yards. I saw only a couple of signs of other seaweed, decomposing patches of something vegetable and reddish on the wet sand.Again there were plenty of crab carapaces but no whole sand dollars, although many pieces of that echinoderm were present. We saw one nearly entire crab, perhaps six inches across its shell but dead. We saw no jellies nor sea stars. Haven’t seen either of them since we got here is early March.On our way south we saw only one bird, a gull. I was a little surprised to see ATV tracks in the sand near the surf about halfway along our walk. It was a single set, and I assume they belonged to the predator control guy or perhaps the biologists that visit this stretch of the desolate Oregon coast. The tracks made a loop as the driver turned South after heading North.The wet sand was fine for the most part with the coarsest being only about the size of a period at the end of a sentence in the newspaper and less than a third the size of a grain of white uncooked rice. There were small rocks here and there, at those locations perhaps one per square yard, up to the size of a golf ball.I prefer to take my barefoot walks on the hard packed wet sand near the surf as it is firm and easier to walk or jog on. Blaine spent some time up on the dry sand where there was a consistent line of drift wood and crab carapaces and shells and an occasional crab float. There was also one seat, presumably from a boat.We walked past the BLM post labeled “Information” and continued down to a place where the dunes are knocked down, I assume by a dozer. I wish that dozer would come and knock down the dunes in front of the Lonely Plover, our home. There we walked across the dry sand up to one of the stakes which said that this was a Snowy Plover nesting area and we should not enter. Lucie obediently turned back from exploring beyond that point, and we all returned to the wet sand.As we walked back we saw one other gull. We also were intrigued to see white objects floating in the water beyond the surf. We saw dozens, but they were too far away to figure out what they were. I figure they were birds, but none ever took off nor did any land. So, Blaine and I are puzzled as to what they were. We saw them off and on all the way back to our starting point. If we go again we’ll try and remember to take the binoculars.There was an interesting sighting as we drew back toward the northern terminus of our walk. Nine to twelve little birds were flying low above the dry sand and landing on it. They were too far away for me to be sure, but I think they were the type of swift or swallow that live at our house and build nests made of mud. The ones at our house are insectivores, I am pretty sure, and fly like super fighter pilots thru the air twenty to forty feet above the ground. So, I am not sure if the birds I saw at the beach were the same species, as they were close to the ground, not more than five feet or so above the sand. I don’t recall seeing them at the beach ever before. The ones at our house have forked tails and, when viewed up close, have some purple feathers and light tan tummies. And, in the past, they have taught their young to fly off our deck.On our way back we walked across the dry sand and up onto the dunes to the BLM post and past it to their little kiosk. There we left a note using the pen and form the government had provided; answering their questions about how often we visit the beach and our address. I trust someone will retrieve it in the future. We took a little card they provided with advice and instructions for using the outdoors (“leave no trace, etc.”). I am not making light of their advice, it is all good and we should all observe it.I dropped Lucie and Blaine off on the East bank of the New River. Partly because I accidentally pushed Lu out of our boat while rowing. It was hard rowing South against the wind and, in the lightened skiff, made my way back up the Fourmile Creek. Along the way I saw some of those swallows or swifts. I suspect they get the mud for their nests along the banks of the creek. I also noticed one muddy slide coming down into the water. I wonder what animal was responsible. It looked too wide to me to be the work product of river otters.All told it took us about an hour and a half. We brought back two pieces of drift wood, one very small, and three crab carapaces, and one sand dollar, and two little interesting rocks. We will give them to two boys, Little Anthony and Nicholas, we know at Lake Tahoe.It was warm enough that I made most of the walk without a tee shirt, donning it and a sweat shirt only for the boat ride back as the wind on the New River had picked up.
Notable Wildlife:
2 gulls, 9 to 12 little birds I think were swifts or swallows
Dead Birds:
Total:
0
Stranded:
Total:
0
Fish & Invertebrates:
Crab carapaces, mussel shells, sand dollar fragments
Driftline:
Kelp or Algae·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Shells·Small rocks
New Development:
Modifications:
None new
Natural Changes:
None new
Comments:
None
Summary:
Driftline had pieces of bull kelp every few yards. Plenty of small crab carapaces. Two gulls over an hours walk, both flying over the surf. Nine to twelve small birds that I think may have been swifts or swallows. One set of ATV tracks, perhaps predator control or biologists. Unidentified white objects floating in the water beyond the surf. No other people on the beach.
Other Mile 93 Reports (38)

2014

April 30, 2014 - John Hull
We set out at eleven in the morning with me rowing the Second Sea Sprite, our eight-foot Walker Bay dinghy, down the Lower Fourmile Creek and across the New River to its West Bank.  With me were...

2012

November 10, 2012 - John Hull
Beach sand wide and clean with a few jellies on the wet sand. Found a dead perch. Single large crow/raven on sand (first time I've seen such a thing). Deep widely spaced tire tracks in sand,...
September 21, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Two Japanese bottles, otherwise the beach is quite clean. Three people on the beach.
September 19, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: SOLV bag still against the boat dock. On mile 94 a small, dead shark, approximately 3 ft. from snout to tip of tail, black-gray back and white underbelly....
September 10, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Placed against the washed -up boat dock a large yellow SOLV bag filled with plastic material and several large Styrofoam pieces; altogether too much debris to...
September 7, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report:North end of mile 92/south end mile 93 - on a length of about 1/5 to 1/10 of a mile, approximately 10 plastic bottles, half of which have clearly identifiable...
August 31, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Beaches (Miles 93 and 94) are empty, no trash and no people. Pleasant walk in nice weather.
August 24, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Beaches (Miles 93 and 94) are empty, no trash and no people. Pleasant walk in nice weather.
August 20, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Beaches (Miles 93 and 94) are empty, no trash and no people. Pleasant walk in nice weather.
August 19, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Beaches (Miles 93 and 94) are empty, no trash and no people. Pleasant walk in nice weather.
August 12, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Beaches (Miles 93 and 94) are empty, no trash and no people. Pleasant walk in nice weather.
August 8, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Beaches (Miles 93 and 94) are empty, no trash and no people. Pleasant walk in nice weather.
July 29, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: One metal drum (10 gallons?) with Japanese letters on EAST side of the dune, i.e. towards New River.
July 22, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Not more trash than before. Footprints on the beach but no people seen.
July 15, 2012 - H Witschi
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Slightly more unidentifiable trash on beach. One dead sea lion pup (2 feet long).
June 29, 2012 - H Witschi
The first of a series of short reports to provide baseline information concerning the possible impact of Japanese tsunami debris on mile 93-95 of the Oregon coast: a floating dock was found on the...
June 7, 2012 - John Hull
Beach was pretty clean and narrow (due to high tide). One dead sea bird of unknown species (no head or chest present - do have photo). No signs of snowy plover protection areas. Shells on the dry...

2011

November 11, 2011 - John Hull
Perfect weather, sunny and still. Coarse sand with pebbles. Largest waves, about five feet trough to crest. Mist over the water. Large clumps of bull kelp, a few gulls, a large flock of ducks over...
June 24, 2011 - H Witschi
Beach was remarkably clean with only crab carapaces and few rocks. To see people with dogs at the north end of Mile 93 was actually unusual for this isolated beach. Most of the time, this beach has...
May 3, 2011 - John Hull
Beach had no visitors but me. Wet sand was clean with very few individual bull kelp, shells, crab carapaces and sand dollars. One dead bird Western Gull)on the beach. Flocks of seabirds migrating...

2010

September 27, 2010 - John Hull
The wet sand was pretty clean. There were numerous jellies and feathers, many small and white as well as larger one in darker colors. There were clumps of bull kelp here and there on the dry sand...
June 12, 2010 - John Hull
No people or signs of recent visits by them save ourselves. Driftline very clean. Found a glass float. Only about eight birds (gulls), one jelly. Plastic shards on dry sand and round plastic...
April 18, 2010 - John Hull
Shells, animal casings, kelp/algae, small rocks,ocean-based debris, Styrofoam and about 50 round, plastic fishing floats in the driftline. One stretch of beach had a lot of crab parts. Three...
April 9, 2010 - John Hull
Broken shells, animal casings, small rocks, Styrofoam, ocean-based debris including three large incondescent light bulbs and two (linear and round) florescent bulbs and 20-50 plastic fishing floats...

2009

November 1, 2009 - John Hull
Unexpected ATV tracks. A few shells, crab carapaces and an occasional kelp/algae in driftline. Only two plastic bottles, one piece of styrofoam, one small car tire half buried in wet sand and no...
October 22, 2009 - John Hull
Lots of driftwood at base of dunes. Four pieces of plastic (two retrieved) on dry sand. One piece of wood (two feet by four)and small auto tire on wet sand. Twenty to thirty gulls and an equal...
July 13, 2009 - John Hull
Very little on beach where water met the sand, no seaweed at all, few crab carapaces or clam shells, no flotsom or jetsom. Only signs of human activity there (besides the three of us and my dog)...
July 6, 2009 - John Hull
Beach very clean and except for short ATV tracks (probably predator control) and snowy plover nesting site postings. Very few shells and crab carapaces and four crab floats in driftline. No signs of...
May 26, 2009 - John Hull
Shells, animal casings, kelp/algae, small rocks, wood pieces, one small live fish and ocean-based debris (glass bottle, 6 fishing floats and plastic one-gallon containers) in driftline. Removed 4...
May 7, 2009 - John Hull
Few shells (clam and mussels), animal casings and clumps (crab) and clumps of kelp in driftline. Small amount of debris (plastic bottles, aluminum can, 4 glass bottles and fishing float). Bottle...

2008

November 21, 2008 - John Hull
This is my first report on what I think might be mile 93, jogging south from the entrance of the Lower Fourmile Creek into the New River for fifteen minutes.Very little litter or shells, some kelp....

2007

December 12, 2007 - H Witschi
No driftline or stranded or dead animals on beach. Low human impact (0).
November 5, 2007 - H Witschi
Very clean and untouched beach. Driftline rare and spotty and very thin. Two unidentifiable old bird carcasses. No human impact whatever.
September 16, 2007 - H Witschi
New River begins to fill up again, in places 100 to 150 feet wide and up to 4 feet deep (where it could be crossed without getting wet at time of last report). People seen crossed river by kayak or...
June 25, 2007 - H Witschi
New River at its lowest since winter 2000, can be crossed in several places without getting feet wet (between access point and river mouth to the north).Place looks the same as it did 12 years ago,...
March 21, 2007 - H Witschi
Road from parking lot to access point still flooded in places (see mile 94/95 from 3/17).New River can be forded with "ease", but water reaches at deepest point up to three to four feet. Driftline...

2006

December 2, 2006 - H Witschi
Kelp, algae and animal castings in driftline. Dead birds: 1 Western Grebe and 2 Common Murre. 1 entangled dead Northern Fur Seal, reported to Marine Mammal Stranding Network and they collected the...
September 9, 2006 - H Witschi
No wrack line. 5 dead birds (2 Common Murre). Fewcrab shells. Very little trash. Low human impact (0).