Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sneaker wave danger is more than just water

A personal account of the dangers of sneaker waves, by Robert Smith Oregon State Parks Management

"For over 20 years we have enjoyed the Oregon coast. We have walked the beaches and scurried away from larger waves as they mysteriously climbed the beach. One of our favorite Oregon beach activities is to get out of the constant wind by sitting on the south side of the jetty at Winchester Bay. High up the beach with the warm sunshine beaming down and the lulling roar of the ocean makes it is easy to drift off into a wonderful, peaceful nap.

NOT a good choice.

Even though we were a good 20 yards or more from the ocean we were awakened to find ourselves engulfed in a sneaker wave. Sneaker wave.... well it would better to call it a mini tsunami. It is a small, surging wall of water that carries a huge concentration of sand. Your clothes are instantly saturated with water and sand that increases your weight exponentially - way beyond your level of strength. You are engulfed in a surge mixture of water and sand like liquid cement so that your attempts to free yourself are somewhat futile as it rushes back to the ocean.

What saved us? The fact that this sneaker wave or little tsunami was just one wave and small enough the we could stand up, grab the jetty rocks and stay on the beach. An illustration of the weight gain is that the extra large beach towels we were sitting on seemed to weigh about 30 to 40 pounds each after the wave hit. So that coat you wear to shield yourself from the wind can become a weighted anchor or your death shroud if you are engulfed in a sneaker wave.

Moral of the story: Better to nap in the car or have someone serve as a lookout... and yes, like they say, never turn your back or close your eyes on the ocean."

Four inches of water can lift a five ton log...  Stay CLEAR OF LOGS

Editors Note: Via - Coastal Waves 2/11

Large Smiling Sard Agate found.

Agate collector Nancy, of Sacramento was beachcombing here on the Oregon Coast when she found this beautiful  smiling 3" sard agate weighing at just under ½ pound with fortification banding surrounding a crystalline pocket.   Congratulations Nancy on another wonderful find.

Oregon's Fossil Guy & Beachcombing in the Snow at Newport

Scott's trophy's a large agate weighing in at almost a pound and the fancy jasper was around a half pound.  The smaller images were pictured wet to better see their beautiful colors.
Scott beach combing in the snow
Greeted by winter snow & hail storms that rivaled the Rockies...Our "Oregon Fossil Guy" hit the beaches early Thursday with  our friend Scott & both were awarded excellent results on the rock/fossil gathering sides.  Below are a just a few of Guy's trophies: the large one at the top is a sizable 3" piece of agatized wood  weighing over a ¼ pound.  The lower left piece is a nice piece of myrtle wood and the remaining piece is a very nicely preserved fossil clam shell.
Photo was taken wet to better show the colors.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Beautiful wood found on the Oregon Coast

It is beautiful, sunny and bright today in Newport for a 3 day weekend at the coast.  These beautiful specimens of wood were found recently by two different fellows beach combing here on the Central Oregon Coast.  Ken  found the beautiful agatized wood specimen.  The Myrtle wood was found by Nathan of Neotsu  and it weighs over 14lbs.  and just over 12" across. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Congratulations Ben on your Crystal lined fossil!

Ben of Lincoln City found this fancy jasper while beach combing on the Oregon coast: 8" tall weighing in at just about 7½ lb and it contains a fossil clam shell lined with beautiful quartz crystals .  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Beach Combing at Newport...

A fully agatized gastropod (snail like) shell on the left
and an usual agate to the left.
Don't let yourself or your loved ones be an other causality of the dreaded sneaker waves!  Please be careful when you are on the beach by staying off the rocky jettys, ledges,  or logs, and never turn your back on the water. Always know which way  to go, to get off the beach and  away from this fast moving water.  This combination of cold water, sharp rocks and fast moving water is a deadly combination. 

On a happier note...Frank, the president of the Oregon Coast Agate Club was out beach combing and found this fossil, of possibly a seal or otter.  He also found a couple of nicely formed agates to share with you.

The minus tides have been quite helpful...

The minus tides have been quite helpful to our guest and Michael of Portland just found this fossilized Radius/Ulna in a tide pool of a large creature possibly an extinct large mammal the Desmostlus something like a marine hippopotamus or sea cow.

Here is a size able fancy agate another one of our guest found this week.   Two really nice finds for our guest beachcombing on the Central Oregon Coast.