There are endless reasons to love the Pacific Northwest. One of my favorites is the beach on a foggy day. I had great luck indulging this love of mine a few weeks ago in Lincoln City.
I drove out to the beach for the Big Wave World Tour surf competition taking place that day at Nelscott Reef. The reef sits a half mile out to sea, where the waves act up under the right weather conditions. This was a pretty good day for big wave surfing. I’d never photographed an event like this before, so I figured at worst it would prove to be a photographic learning experience. At best, I might get some decent pictures.
The best view of the competition was from a bluff overlooking the beach. I shared the lookout for the duration of the third heat with a handful of other people. I was surprised at how uncrowded it was, really, but this is Oregon. We all chatted and watched and took our pictures.
After the heat, I walked down to the beach. The beach break itself was hopping with 11-12′ waves, large and loud for our normally sedate coast. (Out on the reef, waves were between 20-30′.) At a competitive event like this, many safety precautions are observed. There were a lot of people out in the water on personal watercraft making sure nothing went wrong. Watching these guys navigate the shore break was as fascinating as watching the surfers, and equally perilous. The intrepid soul below made it back to shore safely before picking up a new passenger and heading right back out through the whitewater.
By the time I left, the sun had almost burned away the fog. We have the best weather here sometimes. Although I was happy not to have spent the day in 51-degree water waiting on wave sets, I’m so very grateful to those who did.
“How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.” –Arthur C. Clarke