Cascade Head

22 07 2008

Sunday Karen, Ken, Heather and I met up at Cascade Head.  Cascade Head is at the mouth of the Salmon River, between Lincoln City and Pacific City.  The forecast was for North to Northwest winds 10 – 15 knots building to 20-25 knots in the afternoon, wind waves 1′ building to 3′.  Swell was 4′ at 13 seconds.  We put in just after low tide at Knight Park, the boat ramp a little less than 1 mile from the mouth.  It became very clear as we paddled down the river that the winds were developing early.  The surf at the mouth was no problem but the gusts were really stopping our momentum!  We played amongst the rocks and a couple caves.  Karen got brave and entered the largest of the caves, which one could paddle back into probably 100 yards.  This was a friendly cave as it maintained adequate width to spin the boat around clear to the back of the cave and the swell surge wasn’t really an issue since it was from the NW.  Ken and I decided to poke our noses out and around the next point.  The ladies decided to hang tight.  Once we left the shelter of the headland the wind became more of a challenge.  I made our way between and around the rocks to the next big wave which I billed “Stinky Cave”.  It was about as deep but not as wide.  Cormerants had been nesting deep in the cave which is where the new moniker came from!   We played a little bit amongst the rocks on the paddle back to the ladies, then decided to make for the beach for lunch.  It was a very quick trip with the wind and swell at our backs!  A boat of fisherman hailed us over and fed us brownies.  Usually our relationship isn’t that friendly with the fisherman but these guys were really friendly and chatty.  The winds had continued to build and were definately 20 with higher gusts.  We hung out on the beach, (watching the wind move our boats!) and debated heading out for some surf play.  In the end we decided that it would be a lot of work for a few quick surf rides and made the decision to turn and head back up river to the put in and call it a short day.  Afterwords we headed up to Pacific City and met Fred  & Bob, who had kayaked off the beach at the Pelican Pub.  After a good lunch, pint of beer & good conversation we called it a day.

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