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The ocean draws us, or me at least, the way television and the Internet and a crowded market draws us outwards into a transience we can never completely own or master. At the seaside every moment is now and the next moment and the next are guaranteed to be a different “now.” Whether it is waves or tide or wind or the minute changes in shadow-play and fog, the ocean transforms itself and the edges it claims, and mesmerizes with such power that we can’t turn from its gravity.

This particular stretch of coast draws me more than most, since for years now it’s been near where I’ve called home, and I’ve watched it as part of a network of citizen observers — “CoastWatchers” — who walk and boat up and down some 34o miles of Oregon’s public-owned beaches.

Today, October 11, was a day after a King Tide — but today, when I accidentally choose to run at the high tide and the rising swells of an offshore storm, I witnessed the highest waters I’ve seen outside of our strongest wave-pushing storms, and outside of the sad morning when the tsunami waves from Japan slowly rose and fell, 6 minutes apart, a delayed memory of Fukushima’s disaster.

Here, in this gallery post, are photos of some of what I saw. I’ll return, once the tide has turned, to see what remains ashore, the flotsam turned jetsam of our rising seas.

To learn more about the history of CoastWatching on this mile, visit Mile 99, Bandon State Park, Oregon. My report should be online soon.

[Authored with iPhone Photo app and WordPress iPad app — Gallery added with web-based WordPress editor.]


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