Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

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Jenny and Tomé Francis recently enjoyed a visit from her brother, Peter Watts, and his wife, Jillian. The recently retired couple and their labradoodle, Benson, and cat, Mika, set out from their home in California to break in a new trailer. Cape Meares was one of their first stops on a tour of northern California and Oregon. Peter is a talented architect and would love to find a lot here and design his own home; wouldn’t it be nice for Jenny to have family nearby! The Wattses picked an ideal week to visit Cape Meares as it was Goldilocks weather: not too hot, not too cold; in fact, just right. And a belated congratulations to Jenny for her art exhibit at the Hoffman Center in Manzanita last month, rescheduled from March when it was cut short by the pandemic. Jenny and her brother obviously share a creative streak.

We walked from the dike road parking lot to the beach the other day to check on our friend Odie, the odiferous whale. He was still there, living up to his name; quite the stench! However, the whale is looking close to mummified. Since washing ashore on May 27, his skin has shrunk and is stretched like a taut canvas over his bones. The wind has drifted sand over his head and his tail. Apparently, many others also were interested in checking out the whale, the beach, the salt air, who knows what; there were 33 cars in the parking lot on a weekday! Some of the folks were camping, as we saw a number of tents pitched on the sand. I’m wondering if the new porta potties in the parking lot are increasing the crowd. Or, more likely, it is that wandering about on Bayocean Spit is a fun and socially distanced thing to do, so more people are choosing it as a pastime during this pandemic.

Fall salmon should be in the lower Nehalem Bay by the time you read this column. In a couple of weeks, some early salmon should be in the upper Tillamook Bay. Here’s a handy checklist to help you get ready to catch a few of them:

• Check lines and leaders for sun damage and nicks;

• Sharpen hooks;

• Lubricate reels;

• Tune up boat motor;

• Be sure you have a boat plug and put it in a handy place;

• Equip your boat with the proper number of life vests, a fire extinguisher, a whistle and running lights;

• Make sure you have a current fishing license and salmon tag; and,

• Keep checking the fishing regulations, as they can change throughout the season.

Tight lines to all you fisherfolk! A safety postscript: The slim manual/automatic inflatable life jackets are for individuals age 16 and over. Younger children must wear the larger, old-fashioned personal flotation devices. Always wear your life jacket.

If you have some personal or neighborhood news to contribute, please give me a call at 503-842-8608 or e-mail me at ellensteen2@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you. After all, this is your column, Cape Mearesians.

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