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Mile 125 Report
December 17, 2011
This was an eventful Coast Watch excursion.
This was an eventful Coast Watch excursion. The1945 wreck of the George Olsen was still visible,due to little storm activity at the time of myvisit on 12/17. Other than two very large treetrunks being deposited on the beach, there waslittle evidence of the usual winter wave action Ihave seen in other years. Then a second wreck,the New York, which ran aground after taking onwater 10-24-11. I learned a great deal about thecost to the state of clean-up when the boat owner is uninsured. Our local Coast Guard was on thescene within minutes to help the 3 man crew, andto begin cleaning up the pollutants that went intothe ocean so close to shore. I found no evidenceof oil sheen or globs, no birds that appeared tobe oiled. I rode through the wreck area a weeklater, and it is possible the sea had reclaimedany casualties that were effected by the leakageof gas and oil; however, the Coast Guard pollution investigators' response was immediate, and I'm sure averted a tragedy for wildlife on Mile 125. We are very proud and thankful to have them stationed here in Coos Bay, and all along our coast. State Parks and BLM officials have increased work of all kinds when an uninsured vessel is lost. The second vessel lost in the same area only a month later, is a sad reminder of the power and capriciousness of the ocean we all find so beautiful and restorative.
Cloud Cover: Cloudy. Wind Velocity: Calm/Light. Wind Direction: NW.
Number of people: 7. Number of dogs: 1. Walking or running: 2. Other Activities: 5 horseback riders. Much debris from the wreck of a 57 ft. fishing vessel remains on the beach and foredune approx 1/4 mile from the north jetty of Coos Bay. The New York ran aground on Oct. 24 after taking on water. The three fishermenaboard swam to shore. 300 gallons of diesel, 15 gallons of hydraulic oil, and a half-gallon of oil were on board, according to the captain. He carriedno insurance. Coast Guard pollution investigators responded and developed a cleanup operation. Calum Stevenson of Oregon State Parks told me that the pollution clean-up was successful.
Cars/trucks on beach, allowed: 1.
small amount of bull kelp, Sanderlings looking for lunch,1 Western Grebe tossed onto the beach by surf, captured and taken to wildlife sanctuary.gulls overhead
Total dead birds: 6. 4 Western Grebe, 1 crow, 1 gull.
Stranded Marine Mammals
Total stranded mammals: 1. deceased baby mammal, partially eaten,believed to be a seal.
Dead Fish or Invertebrates
Unusual concentration. young salmon shark, about 1 1/2 ft. long.
Seaweeds and seagrass, Animal casings (e.g., crab, shrimp molt), Land-based debris (picnics, etc.), Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.), Shells, Styrofoam. The wreckage of the New York is still scattered around the beach and foredune where it went aground.
Actions & Comments
The Western Grebe mentioned above was wrapped in my jacket,placed carefully into my saddle bag and had an interesting afternoon, I'm sure. The next morning the bird was taken to Free Flight Sanctuary in Bandon whereI left him with our area's experts on seabird rehab.My horse was able to drag about 35 feet of thick nylonrope, very heavy with sand, to a stationary sign on thebeach where I tied it, and notified BLM of its whereabouts for pick up. 2 bags of litter hauled off. The 10-24 boat wreck was not cleaned up as requested by State Parks. The stern has remained at the original location, but the bow has been carried about 1/2 mile north by the surf. Much debris was pulled off the beach, but still sits on the low foredune, looking like the leftovers of a rummage sale. A more recent wreck of a fishing vessel in the same location remains underwater, and that debris should eventually come ashore in the same location. That wreck, unfortunately,involved one fatality.
All Mile 125 Reports
9/19 was spectacularly beautiful, perfect for a Coast Watch report.
June 20 was an absolutely beautiful day with a very low tide that made riding there on the hard sand a joy.
Miles 124 and 125, those just north of the north jetty on Coos Bay, must certainly retain their title of the filthiest miles in Oregon.
May 6th was as perfect a day as Nature can provide for enjoying our beautiful Oregon Coastline: cobalt blue sea, waves to 3", picture perfect waves crashing into blazingly brilliant white surf, all enjoyed at low tide.