Visiting Newport, Oregon
I have to say of all the destinations to be forced into a weather layover, Newport has definitely been very hospitable and then some! Our original plan for heading down the coast to San Francisco was to head out around 100 NM and sail into San Francisco about 7 to 10 days later. However, like so many sailing plans, things changed pretty quickly due to the lack of safe weather window so we decided to hug the coast and head to Newport, Oregon. I am happy to report that we have really enjoyed our stay so far!
The Port of Newport Marina on South Beach Newport provides some really accessible and reasonably priced services including showers, laundry (only a \$1.00 a load), huge boat launch, pump out, fuel dock, fishing pier, fish cleaning stations (which are all over the place) and a small store. The location is just beautiful too. It is situated in the shadow the Yaquina Bay Bridge and the North and South jetties of the bar entrance. The beaches here remind me of New Jersey Shore beaches without the obnoxious locals (although the local sea lions are very boisterous even into the early morning hours). The sand dunes that line the beaches are the perfect environment for well-groomed running trails, bike trails, and equestrian trails. The trails usually end in well-labeled signs so you can easily make your way back to the jetty or back to the beach. There are camping grounds not too far from the beach and are an easy walking distance down to the water. The views are breath-taking and picturesque with high cliffs, beach grass-covered dunes and rugged coast line with Yaquina Head Lighthouse as a backdrop. A really tasty way to wet your pallet is the conveniently located Rogue Brewery and Rogue Distillery just a hop skip and a jump from the transient dock. S/v Bella Star has joined us in a tasting of their Gins (I had to try the Pink Gin, even though I don’t like Gin), Rums, and Whiskeys. So far Pea and my favorite amenity has been utilizing the FREE city loop bus that takes us through the city. This service is awesome! We get dropped right off at the R/V Park/Marina office. It does take some time since it is just a loop so the trip back from Fred Meyer takes almost an hour. The bus stops around the city are sometimes not well marked so you have to ask around to make sure that you are on the correct corner. The Old Bayfront is very cool. It has an interesting mixture of active fishing industry with a few fisheries (including Trident Seafoods) that sit along the same block as tourist traps including Ripley’s Believe It or Not and a wax museum. Our two favorite stops were Rogue Brewery and the local sea lions! We spent several minutes watching the silly antics of the sea lions that have a float and a cage that sits in the middle of town. Watching the sea lions sleeping, scratching, nuzzling each other and fighting each other is quite entertaining. Our other fav is the Bayfront Rogue Brew Pub which serves up some tasty items like Kobe beef burgers, pizza and pasta and of course, some really yummy beers. The Double Chocolate Stout is an excellent dessert beer that practically needs a fork and a knife. I enjoyed the I2PA which is super hoppy! One caveat, absolutely NO cell phones or Kindles allowed at the bar. A short walking distance from the bayfront is Englund Marine which has a nice selection of marine supplies and knowledgeable staff. Vince, who helped us out by lending us a battery tester (only a \$700.00 tool) with just a hand shake and our word, is a valuable resource. Besides, Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax so for us, coming from Seattle, that’s a near 10% discount! The one thing we have yet to partake of is the Oregon Coast Aquarium which has gotten rave reviews.
The past couple of days have been beautifully clear but super blustery (right now we are rocking in our slip with 20 knot N winds) that have flared up mid-morning and lasted into the evening. The weather forecast for the coast has gale force and rough sea warnings all the way down the Oregon coast and northern coast of California. We are hoping to make an exit to Coos Bay on Sunday morning. There is one other nagging issue that has been weighing on our minds that we need to get cleared up before departing. Apparently we have a leak in our fuel tank that recently sprung up after our trip from Neah Bay. We are looking into our options and hope to at least get us to San Francisco. We will probably need to order a new tank and have it delivered to San Fran where we can then install it before heading down to San Diego and onto the Baja Ha-Ha.