After two fun months at the Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center (WWC), we have moved inland.
I've attached a few parting shots from the coast. Photo #1 is of our toilet paper thief outside the WWC. The sidewalks and rocky shores around the WWC are loaded with a variety of brown squirrels. This one kept us entertained for a few hours one day as it ran back and forth from it's hole in the ground to a nearby porta-potty. She would run under the door, climb up next to the seat, stand on her hind legs and get the roll of TP spinning and then just shred the heck out of it with her front feet. She would stuff her cheeks with the shredded paper and run back to her nest with it. She attracted quite an audience and we were able to open the door a crack and watch her, but she worked so fast that I wasn't able to get a photo of her in the act. What a luxurious nest she is building!
Photo #2 - The Fleet of Flowers has been held every Memorial Day for over 50 years to commemorate those who have lost their lives at sea. Local residents decorated 19 boats with over 4,000 cedar boughs and flowers. A one-hour ceremony is held in the harbor (a prayer service and presentation of military flags and a band playing the theme songs of all branches of the service, a twenty-one gun salute, singing of our National Anthem and Amazing Grace). Then lead by the Coast Guard, the boats pass one by one under the bridge and out into the ocean where they form a circle just outside the bay. A Coast Guard helicopter then flies above the circle and lowers a diver down to place a wreath in the water. All 4,000 of the boughs are then tossed into the ocean. It was really quite impressive and emotional.
Photo #3 is of another boat that participated in the Fleet of Flowers. But mainly we included this one just to show you the Zodiac that I (Kris) got to go out whale watching in a few weeks ago. This boat is owned by a local whale researcher named Carrie Newell. She teaches Marine Biology at Lane Comm. College in Eugene and has written several books about the gray whales. She offered us both free tours whenever she had space available, but only had room for one the day I went out. Unfortunately, we only spotted one whale spout and never saw the whale but it was still a lot of fun.
Now, about Lowell Marina....we love this day use park. We spent four months hosting here in 2007 and we really like the Eugene area. I won't go into a lot of detail about the other four photos as they are pretty much self-explanatory. I will only add that when we were last here, the grass was brown due to a shortage of rain. It is now lush and green and covered with a lot of goose poop.
We are looking forward to some exciting activities over the next two months. Next weekend is the first of two 3-day drag boat racing events to be held while we are here. We have already been in touch with some of the racers and can't wait to see many of them again. And, of course, the park will be packed on July 4th for picnicing and boating, followed by a great fireworks display. Hopefully I will get some good shots of these events to include in my next update.
Love to all...
Kris & Scotty