Date of visit: July 16, 2018
Our first stop was the Oregon Coast Aquarium – really it is the reason we picked Newport as our destination. We seem to remember visiting here years ago when the kids were young; perhaps driving the 95 miles from Manzanita during a week at the coast there. But I had forgotten most of what we had seen. Too bad I wasn’t blogging back in the 1980s!
Since we got to the aquarium early we spent the morning moving from exhibit to exhibit as the handlers and feeders handled and fed the mammals and birds on their regular schedule. The first stop was the sea otters – they were cute and fun but we know they can be real pests. We have friends who own a waterfront vacation spot on the Seattle Sound. Sea otters got in under their house and set up their living arrangements. It took some work to evict them, then they had to build a concrete block foundation to keep them away. It was a MESS.
Next stop was to see the sea lions. I was able to get one or two decent pictures here.
If I remember correctly, all he animals we saw were injured or orphaned making the aquarium the only viable place for them to live. This was certainly true for Jojo, the brown pelican who had a permanently injured left wing.
What a beautiful bird – I was delighted to see one so close. You can see how they are descended from dinosaurs – it reminds me of a pterodactyl.
We then wandered through the sea bird aviary. I think the first two pictures are of puffins. Maybe? I’m no birder but I know what is pretty. Frances and my other birder friends – can you help me out with identifying these guys and gals?
Update July 20, 2018. Frances gave me the lowdown which I’m adding as captions. Thank you Frances! You are a peach – even if you aren’t from Georgia!
The sea life in the aquarium is amazing but it’s difficult to get decent pictures through the thick plexiglass needed to keep the water where it should be. I was able to get a pictures of tide pool life.
So that’s what I got. Eight pictures from the aquarium and none are of fish.
After lunch we headed down to Yaquina Bay to see the smaller lighthouse.
From this vantage you can see the intent was for this lighthouse to mark Yaquina Bay – which is now spanned by a US 101 bridge. We enjoyed a small self-guided tour where we learned it was only in operation for three years. Unfortunately, its light was reflected by a fifth order Fresnel lens which wasn’t strong enough to be useful to passing ship traffic. The larger Yaquina Head lighthouse – which I wrote about in my previous post – took over the duties of this smaller one.
The good news is that it escaped demolition.
.What a beautiful bridge – it is representative of quite a few US 101 bridges on the Oregon coast.
We enjoyed out two tours of Newport landmarks. We headed back to our place for the afternoon to prepare for a night on the town. More on that in my next post.