The Adventure Begins in '10' (2010) travel blog

10:05am-This photo shows the wave surges - See the two or three...

10:09am-Here is Seal Rock, showing how low the tide was

10:09 - close up of seal on Seal Rock

10:10 - Just to the right is Lion's Head - also shows...

10:20am -Here's the water trying to be High Tide (ten minutes later!!)

One of two crows trying to get to Rick's sandwich before he...

1:30pm -Here's a view of Agate Beach showing how much beach is...

It is now ten minutes to five in the afternoon and we have experienced what the Tsunami had to offer Newport, Oregon.

Our day started at 1 am when Jeff (Rick's son) called to let us know about the earthquake in Japan and the expected tsunami affect to the west coast of the United States. We watched the local television channel for over an hour before going back to bed, attempting to sleep for three or four more hours. By about 5:30 we were fully awake and by 6 traffic began to flow through the entry gate the moment it was unlocked; a few of the cars and trucks thought they might try parking in our camping area. Closing the single-arm gate solved that problem. Some of the people were from local motels/hotels and others citizens trying to get a look at what might or might not be happening.

We weren't sure exactly what was expected of us in this kind of emergency so by 6:30 we were on the phone to our boss (Kath), who had been evacuated from her home in the bay front area. We also woke up our neighbor volunteers to make sure they were ok. Kath was so glad that we called her because she did not have our phone numbers in her cell phone, therefore she had no way to warn us. She said to report into work at 9 and get directions regarding the tide-pool area from the BLM rangers on staff today. She also stressed that she would hope that the rangers would close the road to Quarry Cove and properly block visitors from getting down the stairs to Cobble Beach.

Before 7am Rick drove down to the lighthouse parking area to see what he might be able to do to keep visitors safe before other staff members started arriving to work. Some of the staff, like Kath, had also been evacuated from their homes so we weren't exactly sure who we would be seeing and when.

The television news was reporting that the tsunami was scheduled to arrive around 7:15 to 7:30. One of the maintenance guys was puting up a rope barrier to the stairs when Rick got there. Soon after one of the rangers showed up (Tim, the big boss) then a second ranger (Jay). Safety is number one around here so each of the rangers had to see for himself that everything possible was being done. The maintenance guy couldn't stick around so Rick stayed there to keep visitors off the stairs. When Rick talked to the rangers he offered to stay there even though we weren't scheduled to report to work until 9.

It wasn't long before a group of about 30 showed up in the parking lot. 'Turns out they were a Christian school group from California that got evacuated from South Beach campground. They had no place to go because the Marine Science Center was certainly not going to be open for their appointment and the boat ride they were scheduled for wasn't going to happen either.

They stuck around for a while, got cold and didn't see anything spectacular so they drove up to Interpretive Center {IC} where I was working.

Shortly after the group left Rick (about 9:30) he saw his first tsunami phenomenon.(Did I spell that correctly?) Rick saw the water recede all the way back to Seal Rock - which hasn't come close to happening since we got here in late January...even with all the low tides we've seen. There was so little water left you could have walked out to see the Harbor Seals without getting your feet wet. It went out in record time (about 2 minutes). He could watch the water leave the beach exposing all the rocks and sea grass like someone had pulled the plug in a bath tub. A minute or two later waves came crashing in, covering everything that just got exposed and then onto the cobble stone beach.

Rick radioed all of us in the IC, explaining how incredible it was, stressing how it would be so nice if everyone could witness it for themselves. He felt like we were all missing a historic event (and we WERE!).

Rangers Tim and Jay headed out to see it for themselves, then Melissa. As soon as Tim got back he told me he'd watch the front desk so I could witness the awesome power of nature.

I got to see it for myself - absolutely amazing!!!

Low tide was set for 10:40 so the tide was trying to recede but the tsunami wasn't letting it stay out; it just kept rushing onto the beach, over-powering the tide. It would have been much much more spectacular if it was trying to be HIGH tide, but thank God it wasn't. Keep in mind that this total in-and-out action typically takes 6 hours (the time between high and low tide) and it was happening about every 9 minutes. Also the wave action of "normal" tide transition only moves about 5 to 10 feet total with each wave...not the 50 to 100 feet with each wave that happened today.

At 11 Rick radioed to see if I could relieve problem! I got to see amazing tide movement, but never as severe as he got to experience. It was like the ocean was confused....'I want to be low tide.....wait, no let me be high tide...' I stayed there talking to the visitors until I was relieved at 12:45.

We haven't heard of any damage right here in Newport, but some "idiot from Idaho" had to be rescued by the Coast Guard after he got himself perched on one of the jettys at Newport Bay with no way to escape. When Sheriff Deputies told Rick about the "idiot" there was no way in hell he was going to admit to being from Idaho. There was fair damage at Depot Bay to the north, and Waldport to the south.

So...we have had yet another great through a tsunami!

We are very sad about Japan...please keep them in your prayers - all those families that have lost loved ones... hopefully the death-toll won't be nearly as bad as the one in Indonesia several years ago. ...So sad...

We hope that the pictures express properly what we saw.

Thanks to every one of you that worried about us...the calls and texts mean a lot to us...

Miss you all - we'll be back to Idaho before you know it. (Only three weeks left)

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