"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

October 22, 2015

Pacific Coast Lighthouse

"Man must behave like a lighthouse; he must shine day and night for the goodness of everyman." ―Mehmet Murat ildan

One of the things we like looking for when we are cruising are lighthouses. We don’t go out of our way to find them but we do enjoy them when we are close. Some lighthouses are easier to see from land and some can only be seen from the water. The west coast has a lot of interesting lighthouses; unfortunately we missed a few we were close to because of fog, restricted access or time. We covered 3000 miles on our Pacific coast adventure, that’s about the same or even more than some of our entire cruising seasons. It’s amazing how much of the countryside you can cover in one day when you travel by car compared to a slow boat, but when we travel on the boat we absorb so much more…we have more time to soak it all in. This was a fun adventure, but I think I prefer traveling on our boat. That way no matter where we are…we’re home.

We've seen 200 lighthouses while we've cruised the coast of the United States, Canada and the Bahamas. You can see those pictures at this link.

The Yaquina Head Light, also known early in its existence as the Cape Foulweather Lighthouse was built in 1871 and opened in 1873. It’s located near Newport, OR. The tower stands 93 feet tall and is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon. It was built in Paris and shipped to Oregon.
The Yaquina Bay Light was built in 1871 soon after the founding of the city of Newport, Oregon. It’s located on the north side of Yaquina Bay. Newport was the most populated port between Puget Sound and San Francisco at the time.  The light was active for only three years due to the establishment of the Yaquina Head Light in 1873 which is located 3 miles north of Yaquina Bay. 
Cleft of the Rock Light is a privately owned lighthouse located 1.8 miles south of Yachats on Cape Perpetua, it marks the spot for vessels sailing the coast between Coos Bay and Yaquina Bay. It was built in 1976 by former lighthouse keeper and noted maritime historian Jim Gibbs, Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse takes its name from the hymn by Fanny J. Crosby, “He Hideth My Soul in the Cleft of the Rock,” which is based on Exodus 33:22.
Heceta Head Lighthouse is a working lighthouse built in 1894. It sits 205 feet above the ocean and the light can be seen from 21 miles out to sea. It's the brightest light on the Oregon coast and said to be the most photographed lighthouse in the United States. It’s located 13 miles south of Yachats, OR and 13 miles north of Florence, OR. 
The Umpqua River Light was built in 1892 and first lit in 1894. It is located at the mouth of the Umpqua River on Winchester Bay, OR. 
Coquille River Light was built in 1895 located near Bandon, OR.  It's located in Bullards Beach State Park at the end of the beach access road. 
Cape Blanco Light was built in 1870 and located on Cape Blanco, near Port Orford, OR. It stands on Oregon’s farthest west point of land and is the oldest lighthouse continually operating in Oregon. 
After modern counterparts replaced the original fog bell and Fresnel lens at Trinidad Head Lighthouse in 1947, the Coast Guard donated the historic artifacts to the Trinidad Civic Club for display in a planned memorial park overlooking Trinidad Bay, CA. In 1949 the club built a concrete Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse which is an accurate replica of the original Trinidad Head Lighthouse.
Table Bluff Lighthouse was built in 1892 and is located on Table Bluff just south of Humboldt Bay close to Eureka, CA 
Fisherman's Memorial in Eureka, CA
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October 21, 2015

Sea Glass & Glass Beaches

"One man's trash is another man's treasure..."

Through a little research I’ve read there is a difference between sea glass and beach glass. Sea glass refers to salt water glass and beach glass refers to fresh water glass. The difference being that glass slowly dissolves in salt water, which gives sea glass a satin-like patina, while it does not dissolve in fresh water. Long ago stories were told that these types of glass were “Mermaid Tears”. It was said that every time a sailor drowned at sea, the Mermaids would cry and the sea glass was their tears washing up on the shore. 
Sea and beach glass can be found everywhere in the world, because people have used the oceans and water bodies to dispose of trash. It was natural for waterfront communities up until the mid 1960’s to discard their trash in the water because the water carried it away. A hundred years ago landfills were considered a health hazard, filled with rats that carried diseases.  

Sea Glass value is partially determined by its color. Red, blue, lavender, purple and pink are rare because fewer items were stored in container made of these colors. Cobalt Blue, the "sapphire" of the beach, came from such apothecary items as Milk of Magnesia, Vick's Vapor Rub, Noxzema, Nivea, and Bromo Seltzer bottles, along with some prescription bottles. The extremely rare red pieces, or "rubies" of the beach, may come from perfume bottles, the tail lights on old automobiles, lantern and traffic light lenses. Gemological terms like "inclusions", "clarity", "color", "facets" and "purity" also relate directly to sea glass, except that inclusions and "impurities" are a good thing in sea glass.  

Pinks, lavenders, purples, lime greens and other rare shades came from things like perfume bottles and art glass. Some lavender and pink glass were originally clear, but over time the sun causes the magnesium and selenium in the glass to oxidize, creating these pretty colors. I seem to find these colors easier in Texas where the sun is more intense and the weather hotter.
Glass beaches (the kind found in Fort Bragg, CA or on Kauai) are close to areas that were originally used as dumps, but sea glass can also be found on lots of other beaches because of storms, dumping from ships and glass that is drawn off the beach by the sea and distributed by the "longshore currents". The best beaches to find sea glass are those where few people can get to, beaches accessible only by boat. 
There are three Glass Beach sites in Fort Bragg where trash was dumped into the ocean between 1906 and 1967. Site Two (1943-1949) and Three (1949–1967 - "Glass Beach") are located at the end of the path that begins on the corner of Elm Street and Glass Beach Drive. These sites are accessible by foot and a short climb down the cliffs that surround the beach. Between 1,000 to 1,200 tourists visit Fort Bragg's glass beaches each day in the summer. Most collect some glass. Because of this and also because of natural factors, the glass is slowly diminishing.  
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October 20, 2015

Oct. 15-16 – Northern California

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” —Seth Godin

We spent our last two days of our Pacific adventure driving down the California coast and winding our way through part of the Redwood Forest. It was beautiful countryside, where the mountains meet the ocean. The roads twist and turn around and over the mountains, producing wonderful vistas of the valleys and ocean. We visited several more beach including a glass beach and stopped at few of the large redwoods to take pictures.

Our final destination was Los Gatos near San Jose. We drove by vineyards and small ranches on our way towards San Francisco and Berkeley…beautiful countryside on a beautiful day. We spent our last afternoon doing a little shopping in Los Gatos and enjoying the company and hospitality of our daughter in-laws grandparents. It was a fantastic vacation, we saw a beautiful area of the country plus we got to enjoy some delightful time with family. It’s definitely a place we will visit again.

Redwood Forest in Northern California
We found big foot!
 The country side around Anderson Valley in northern California
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October 19, 2015

The Oregon Coast (Day 2)


“To move, to breath, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live” —Hans Christian Anderson

The scenery along the coast our second day was just as spectacular as it was the day before. We did several hikes...first to find Thor's Well, the second was to the Heceta Lighthouse and our third was along the coast near the Port Orford Liveboat Station. All were wonderful and worth our effort. It would definitely be a different place to cruise, nothing like where we've been, but we did find there were of places we could get into along the coast. Maybe some day we'll need a boat on the west coast.

Morning mist along the coast
Thor’s Well is a part of Cape Perpetua, located just south of Yachats. This gaping sinkhole is a natural wonder of the world. The site is said to be most spectacular at high tide, or during storms when water washes violently over the rocks and falls back through the hole, but it was still impressive when we were there at a lower tide. Thor’s Well releases jets of water which are pumped into the air via the power of the ocean tide and waves. 
Spouting Horn is an "ocean geyser", it puts on its best show during high tides and storms. Incoming waves funnel air and water into the cave, building pressure until the water explores in a geyser-like spray. The sight and sound of the Spouting Horn resembles a whale exhaling, which is called a "blow". Unfortunately we were there at low tide so the show was as spectacular.
One of the many beautiful bridges that cross the inlets, chasms and rivers along the Oregon coast.
Lake Marie near the Umpqua River Lighthouse
Charleston, OR - We love being back on the coast and we visited every harbor we could find. Charleston is a quaint fishing village just eight miles from Coos Bay.
Nellie’s Cove near Port Orford held the boathouse that was part of the U.S. Coast Guard station located here from 1934 until the 1960s. A concrete breakwater constructed between the rocks allowed safe passage through the narrow channel to open waters towards the south.
Port Orford Head State Park - It was a great hike with wonderful views
Beach a little south of Port Orford, OR
Harbor...were we spent our last night in Oregon
Check out our trip map at this link to see where we stayed and the places we visited.

Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.