Thar she blows

Thar she blows

As soon as it got beyond the protection of the Ediz Hook breakwater, our tour boat bounced in the waves, driven across the Strait of Juan de Fuca by a stiff wind out of the northwest.

The captain pointed the bow of the Island Explorer 4 toward Constance Bank, in Canadian waters south of Victoria, as our whale-watching tour began.

My family and I were aboard the whale-watching boat based in Port Angeles. We would spend the afternoon in search of whales during what has become a...

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Puffins on the Haystack

Puffins on the Haystack

The birds I am seeing way up on Haystack Rock, at Cannon Beach, might be puffins. I’m not sure. It’s 6 o’clock on a gray, wet morning, and there’s no one around with whom I can talk birding.

The tide is bringing in a curtain of mist, blurring my binoculars. Even on a clear day, though, I would probably be doubting myself. My eyes aren’t what they used to be, certainly not as keen as they were 30 years ago, when I started taking bird-watching...

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Summer whale-watching is underappreciated

Summer whale-watching is underappreciated

Spring is a good time to see whales along the Oregon Coast, when an abundance of these magnificent creatures, adults and babies, are cruising up to Alaska, close to shore. But summer is a good time, too.

I can’t recall the number of times I’ve spotted whales while walking the beach, only to be doubted by a passerby. “This time of year? It can’t be.”

Many people believe that once whales have passed by Oregon, traveling to their summer feeding...

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Between a rock and a hard place

Between a rock and a hard place

It's been a backdrop for movies, TV programs and commercials, and a favorite subject for painters and photographers. It's also been the setting for novels and music videos — check out country singer Tim McGraw's "Not A Moment Too Soon."

But the Battery Point Lighthouse in far Northern California's Crescent City has served a starring role as a literal beacon of hope for sea vessels since its lights were first lit in December 1856. Although it was decommissioned by the U.S. Coast.....

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Halibut in the Hood

Halibut in the Hood

BROOKINGS — Larry Hood had already caught three halibut and released a smallish one when his lead weight and herring bait stopped bouncing along the ocean's sandy bottom near the California border.

"The halibut jerk on the line a few times, but this time there was no jerking," says Hood, 76. "This one felt more like a skate, which is a trash fish."

Several minutes later, the trash turned to treasure when Hood gaffed and boated son-in-law Mike Morroll's 84-pound Pacific...

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