Winter in Manzanita, on the Oregon Coast

(Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

It is now fall on the Oregon Coast. From a weather perspective, that means we are actually in the winter storm season. Waves are being churned southward from storm systems moving down from the Gulf of Alaska. Yesterday, October 20, 2017, the forecast predicted 18-foot swells at a place I sometimes surf. If you haven’t seen a wave that tall out here, know that these can be dangerous, swirling beasts that are peril to anyone who is at sea.

This is also the time of year when surfing becomes less frequent. Going out on the Oregon Coast with swells taller than five feet is tough, even for the best of the best.

Waves surging in at the mouth of the Nehalem River, south of Manzanita.

I am not heading out probably for a couple of weeks, because of the timing of those Alaska-driven weather fronts and accompanying waves and a shoulder mishap. I am happy to rest for now. I am, however, planning to visit the coast during such a storm to see if I can surf the mouth of the Nehalem River, just south of Manzanita.

When the storms hit, waves will rush up a river mouth, where surfers can ride waves without the danger of being in open water. There is danger with currents and rock jetties.

The mouth of the Nehalem River stands out, even on the Oregon Coast, as a pristine area. It sits next to a state beach (Nehalem Bay State Park) and offers some amazing coastal views.

I took these photos in February 2015. This was a mild winter day. Hope to get out there soon, with my board and wetsuit.