A Beautiful but Angry Pacific

I think everyone is familiar with the story of Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan’s small fleet entering a previously unknown ocean in November of 1520 and naming it Pacific for its calmness. But as anyone who has spent any time on the largest body of water on the earth which incompasses approximately 59 million square miles there are times when it can be angry. Perhaps he should have named it Com raiva. Or maybe the Angry Pacific?

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Behind the Photo

This was taken during our recent trip up the Oregon coast; specifically while exploring the bluffs of Port Orford Heads State Park. This is a jewel of a place and being off the beaten trail seems to be little visited. Not only were the views stunning but we got to watch California Sea Lions sun themselves on the rocks below us.

As we spent time exploring, the afternoon winds started to build and despite the continuing sunshine the ocean started to take a sinister tone. As I watched the white caps build from inshore to the horizon I realized that I needed to try to capture the beauty as well as the fuery in a photograph. I attempted this by framing the horizon as well as the sea stacks and a bit of foreground.

Port Orford Heads State Park

Located on a bluff above the city, the park has three main walking trails: the Cove, Tower and Headland trails. From each of these vantage points (at the right time of year) one can see commercial fishing boats, orcas, gray whales, California and Steller’s sea lions, and various seabirds. The Headland Trail offers an unrestricted view of Cape Blanco to the north and is a popular whale watching spot during the fall. The park is open for day use only.

As a bonus the park also is home to the Port Orford Lifeboat Station is a museum and interpretive center that was opened in 2000 by the Cape Blanco Heritage Society. Built in 1934, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places (as the Port Orford Coast Guard Station) and was used by the U.S. Coast Guard until 1970.[3] The museum includes the station’s refurbished, unsinkable 36-foot (11 m) motor life boat, and information about the Japanese bombing of the south Oregon coast during World War II.

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