Scenic USA - Oregon

Depoe Bay

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Depoe Bay - Oregon

Photos by Denny Barnes
Denny's Better Photo Gallery

     Halfway between Lincoln City and Newport, Highway 101 travelers will find Depoe Bay a great stop along the central coast. As tiny as it is, Depoe Bay - Oregon the town lays big claims as the Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast. It also boasts of having title to the smallest navigable harbor in the world. Lining each side of U.S. Highway 101, the town of Depoe Bay does its best to cover two square miles. This small fishing village is decorated with a line of colorful art galleries, restaurants, stores and gift shops. And under advisement from the locals, don't leave without sampling some with the tastiest saltwater taffy you'll ever find. Here, Depoe Bay Antiques - Oregon it's quite possible to find just about everything a coastal visitor could want.
     Centered on a crease in the coast, the narrow harbor entrance allows passage for boats up to 50 feet in length. During the heights of tidal changes, boats moving in and out of the harbor face boiling currents, known to resident mariners as shooting the hole. Measuring around 350 feet wide and 750 feet long, the harbor is only 100 feet from open water. Throughout the year, charters set out for cod, rockfish, salmon, halibut, and Dungeness crab. The 2011 tsunami that rocked Japan and the Pacific Rim also made its way to the Oregon coast. Here at Depoe Bay, repeated surges destroyed the docks closest to the mouth of the bay. Dock repairs took over two years, with the replacement of pilings, dock sections and new finger piers, the project totaled over 400,000 dollars.
     Depoe Bay, founded by Charley DePoe of the Tututni tribe, is home to one of Oregonís newest state parks, the Depoe Bay Whale Center. Depoe Bay Harbor, Oregon During winter and spring, pods of gray whales pass in large numbers during the migration period. Some resident gray whales spend the summers in the waters just off the coastline, often less than one-half mile from shore.
     On a solemn note, Depoe Bay also hosts a Memorial Day service known as the Fleet of Flowers. Marking an ill-fated rescue attempt by Roy Bower and Jack Chambers in 1936, an on-shore ceremony is followed by a procession called the Fleet of Flowers. Laden with flowers and wreaths, a line of boats make their way out of the channel beneath the U.S. Route 101 Bridge. Forming a circle just offshore, their floral tributes are cast on the water. The ceremony continues with a Coast Guard helicopter dropping a wreath into the center of the circle, and ends in a thundering finale of military aircraft passing overhead.

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