Loc: Tillamook Bay
Dist: 25,4 km
Start: 8:10 End: 12:30
Not sure where all the surfers went, at least it seemed like no one also camped on the beach, and no one was bothering me. I slept in again, as today will be definitively a short paddling day! It was no problem to get out, as this morning’s surf was half the size of yesterday. The swell offshore also was noticable lower this morning! Windguru showed actually for yesterday 1,80 m. No wnder I felt a bit scared out there yesterday about landing on Indian Beach.
Tillamook Bay entrance looks well open and inviting to land and camp. Before shows the Nehalem River mouth up as an earlier alternative landing. BUT…when I arrived at Nehalem River mouth, it was a chaos of waves breaking heavily upfront the bar! It was the end of the outgoing ebb tide, and the water at the bar was obviously at the lowest, breaking with some loud crashing noise like I would never imagine! Scary! No way I could get in here on this time of the tide! Not really sure about the flood tide…I wouldn’t trust this one, as the jetties don’t stick much out to sea. Basically, at low tide the outer breaker line offshore just continuous, and breaks even worse with the counter current of the river running against it. No good river entry. Can’t find much of a busy harbor inside either.
I was watching a group of about 15 horse riders along the beach, like I saw another even larger group close to the kite festival. It seems to be a popular past time for tourists! But would that be fun, trotting one after the other, in slow pace, along a long wide beach…?
Tillamook Bay looks different. The jetties stick far out to sea, it is wider, and inside is a well used harbor. From the distance, I didn’t see much breakers, I arrived on the beginning flood tide, and at slack current. A larger fishing boat just over took me when I was about to enter, and showed me the path to take. A wide berth on the northern jetty, then entering a bit to the southern jetty, avoiding the breakers on the jetty head. then a slight turn to the southern jetty again, as some rippling current bar doesn’t look inviting. Actually, it was easy, still I was so scared of the view of the Nehalem river bar, I had my alarm high up.
On paddling in, the wind breezed up strong as forecasted for the afternoon, high time to get in! The bay I was aiming for was just at the southern end of the jetty, a bit of sand on low tide with larger cobbler higher up. I found some wonderful remote campsites on short grass between bushes right on top of the jetty’s end! A perfect view to the “civilized” side and the bay river, now with thick white caps.
I slowly made camp, as it was early. I am actually not really sure if and how to continue, as I have to check again the wind and swell fore cast for the last two days.
I made a 2 km walk out along the jetty, a wonderful small hike along dunes and low pine trees. A fox was running off, and I picked a few Black Berries. I climbed along the huge boulders of the jetty almost to the end, to have a look on the rollers on the beach and the bar conditions. The bar was still open on now maybe 25 knots nw wind, but the rollers on the beach behind the jetty were frightening! No shelter at all here…rather down the beach, the width of the breaker lines diminished, here it was probably 400-500 m wide. Horrible! No place to land…