Friday, November 20, 2020

Just Another Coastal Sunset....

It had been awhile since I'd visited the Oregon Coast.  Only a short hour's drive from home, I really had no excuse for this long absence.  So two weeks ago I decided to remedy things. 

Foamy seas


My favorite weather forecaster was predicting a beautiful sunset that day.  Having missed out on several brilliant skyshows recently, I felt the need to finally capture one.  So I texted my neighbor and photographic genius Cheri and suggested we head west to photograph sunset on the coast.


Wild wave show on the jetty

Although I'd initially suggested Cannon Beach (can't go wrong with Haystack Rock), this was a wildly popular place, and therefore usually crowded.  Cheri suggested a quieter alternative, nearby Rockaway Beach.


Sad reminders of the ocean's dangers

On our way to Rockaway Beach, Cheri and I passed through the town of Tillamook, and then headed north by Tillamook Bay.  A popular place for fisherman and crabbers, we stopped on the north jetty to watch huge waves roll over the rocky breakwater.  It was quite the show!


Wish I knew the story behind these crosses


I noticed four crosses had been placed in between the jetty's rocky surface.  Names and dates were painted on each one, and three of the crosses bore the same date of death.  I didn't know the story behind these crosses, but assumed they must have been due to some tragic boating accident.  Sad reminders of the ocean's dangers.


Cheri is in position for sunset


After lingering around the jetty for a good half hour, entertaining ourselves watching the huge waves crashing over the rocky wall, Cheri decided we'd better get to our sunset spot to allow enough time for set up.  Luckily, Rockaway Beach wasn't very far up the road, and 10 minutes later, we pulled into a tiny parking area.  The beach was a short walk through a tunnel of vegetation.

Sun trying to break through the clouds


The beach was a wide open expanse of sand and sky.  Two large sea stacks stood prominently to the south.  And, best of all, crowds were nil.

Glowing ball
Unfurling our tripods, Cheri and I set up our cameras and waited.  To pass time, I took dozens of photos of the sea stacks, in every conceivable angle and f stop.  The tide was coming in, so I had to keep a sharp eye out for the larger waves and book it towards shore if they came in too fast.  I wasn't keen on getting wet feet!  Cheri, much better prepared, was sporting a set of high-topped rubber boots so the waves didn't bother her in the least. 

A few rays break through
A thick fog layer hovered in the southern sky, and we were worried it would engulf the setting sun.  But, to our good fortune, as the sun sank it popped through a break in the clouds.  Brilliant rays streamed across the sky and golden colors reflected in the wet beach sand.

Sinking behind the clouds


Hooray!  A gorgeous sunset!  Cheri and I worked our shutters furiously trying to capture it all.


After the sun had set, the sky turned a brilliant pink

After the sun dropped below the horizon, the few people gathered on the beach watching the show began to leave.  Little did they know the best was yet to come.

Beautiful clouds and reflections
Post-sunset the sky turned a brilliant color of pink.  It lit up the clouds and reflected on the sand.  This was way better than the sunset itself!

Last of the sky color

So dramatic - and breathtaking!  Cheri and I agreed it had been very much worth the drive.  After packing up our equipment, we stopped in the nearby town of Garibaldi for some take-out fish and chips before heading home.

This quick trip made me realize I need to visit the Oregon Coast more often.  I've decided one of my New Year's resolutions will be to photograph more ocean sunsets. 


  1. Those sunset shots are amazing Linda quite like a Turner painting, Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Hello,

    It is great you live so close to the coast, I would be there more often.. Beautiful views of the sea stacks. The sunset is gorgeous. Some of the most beautiful colors does happen after the sun sets. Your photos are gorgeous. Take care, enjoy your weekend!

  3., make that a HUGE WOW!

  4. I so miss the coast. Can't wait to travel again. I was wondering if those crosses were from the family that were swept to sea from a rogue wave.

  5. WOW!!! Spectacular images. I have been chided by my son, more than once, that I need to wait around till after the sunset, to be ready for the unexpected. You sure got your money’s worth here.

  6. Crashing waves and glorious sunset = fabulous afternoon.

  7. Well worth the drive. It's often the case that the best skies are after the sun has sunk below the horizon. Those sea stacks add an extra bit of interest.
    I also live about an hour's drive from the sea (maybe a bit more than that) but it's the east facing coast and getting there in time for sunrise is a bit more tricky.

  8. You got gorgeous shots my dear. I am so longing for the ocean right now after not getting my fix this year! Another of my favorite photo spots is a bit farther for you but Smelt Sands is fun too.

  9. So pretty, I would like to go to the ocean sometime soon.


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