In 2008, Ginni and Mark led a four day kayaking trip down the northern part of the Oregon Coast, from Seaside to Pacific City. It was great fun, but since we were committed to getting to certain landings and campsites each day, we ended up short on play time, and had to pass by several amazing capes and features without getting to spend much time at them. In 2014 we came up with a new program that remedies the missing play time!
Enter Coastal Capes.
The most exciting parts of the coast in 5 days! From one or two central locations on the northern Oregon Coast, we take day trips to a different cape or headland each day, returning by car each evening to a base camp. Some days are out & back, some are one-way. Choice for the day depends on forecast and group preference.
Day 1: Cape Disappointment. This is our shakedown, teambuilding day. Once the meeting place of the Pacific swell and the powerful Columbia River, "Cape D" is now somewhat sheltered by the north jetty. But don't be fooled into thinking this paddle is tame! Strong currents, surf beaches, caves, sheer cliffs, and exposure to wind make this an exciting place to get to know each other.
Tillamook Head from Seaside to Cannon Beach. A 6-8nm paddle takes us past forested headlands and through multiple rock-hopping play spots. If the forecast is good, we may detour to Tillamook Head Rock, where the decomissioned lighthouse holds fast against the sea.
Cape Falcon. Either a one-way from Arch Cape, or an out & back from Manzanita. A typically challenging surf launch is rewarded by caves, arches, and tunnels that are accessible in low swell and the right tide.
Cape Lookout. This 2-mile long finger of rock and forest pokes westward into the Pacific, focusing wave energy onto the beach to the north, but sheltering the southern slope of the cape. Logistics on this one require creativity. Good surf skills don't hurt, either. Again, caves, slots, pigeon guilemots, murres, surf scoters, and orange sea stars.
Cascade Head. A pretty little river goes to a bar and meets the sea. The story gets rather salty from there. To paddle this dramatic cape, we launch in the Salmon River. Sea stacks and arches await. The sand bar can provide fun surfing as well.
Alternate plans include Cape Meares, Cape Kiwanda and Haystack Rock, and the Graces inside the mouth of Tillamook Bay. Specific day trips and itineraries are subject to change, depending on weather and group decisions.
In 2014 we saw gray whales on two paddling days. This is hard to schedule, but the potential exists! Seals, sea lions, and plenty of sea birds are virtually guaranteed.
$850/person, which includes camping, but not food. Participants are expected to provide their own camping gear, meals and cooking, and help with setting up shuttles. Carpooling is recommended; extra vehicle fees may apply in campsites.
A BCU Three Star Sea award, awarded post-2008, or an equivalent skill set with references, is required for participation. You need to be dressed for immersion. Helmets required!
Ginni Callahan is a BCU 5-star Sea Leader who has been leading tours in the Pacific NW and Mexico since 1998. She also holds her ACA Level 5 Instructor and BCU Level 4 Coach awards. Mark Whitaker is a 5-star trainee who has coached with Columbia River Kayaking for 8 years, and is a familiar face at Lumpy Waters in Pacific City each year. Both are talented coaches who love helping paddlers achieve thier goals.
This is a fun program, and enrollment will be limited to four participants.