A Golden Nugget of History from Whale Cove, Depoe Bay, Oregon…

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Big Whale Cove, as we Depoe Bay coastal residents call this beautiful and stunning beach, with a large Harbor Seal population.

 

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Whale Cove, south of Depoe Bay, Oregon, colorized aerial photograph

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The Jonucus Hondius map of 1589 of Drake’s New Albion cove

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Sir Francis Drake…Pirate click highlighted text for more…

 

Sir Francis Drake and Whale Cove…  Quote from website article written by Patrick Alexander, Oregon Coast Today…

New exhibit could re-write history of Sir Francis Drake’s epic voyage

By Patrick Alexander…Oregon Coast TODAY

“To the casual observer, Depoe Bay’s Whale Cove appears to be nothing more than yet another breathtakingly beautiful inlet of the type that appears every few miles along the Oregon Coast.  But to historical sleuth Bob Ward, the bay is a key part of a mystery involving English explorer Sir Francis Drake, a 16th-Century cover up and the true birthplace of the British Empire.  Ward’s theories are the subject of a new exhibit, “Drake in Oregon,” on display at the North Lincoln County Historical Museum in Lincoln City through the end of this year.  Drawing on 30 years of extensive research, the exhibit makes the case that Drake spent the summer of 1579 at anchor in Whale Cove rather than the bay north of San Francisco that now bears his name.”

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When Judy and I moved to the coast in 2005 with our beloved chocolate lab, Mocha, we had no idea we would discover Big Whale Cove, a secluded cove with difficult access so close to our new home.  We already felt lucky to find our very own community of Little Whale Cove just south of Depoe Bay situated on a high basalt plateau close to the coastline.  As a special amenity we have access to a smaller fresh water cove known as “Little Whale Cove.”  A small fresh water pond formed tens of thousands of years ago and transformed into a beach head that emptied into the ocean, therefore not considered a public beach by Oregon law.  During the winter Little Whale Cove is often almost completely flooded by the Pacific Ocean’s high tides and waves that pound the shore…not always accessible during big storms.  White foam often covers the entire cove during a major storm…

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Little Whale Cove, a fresh water outlet to the Pacific Ocean…just a short walk south over the hill is Big Whale Cove.

After 10 years of Oregon Coastal living near Depoe Bay, Judy and I still can’t get enough of the beauty of this region, especially the coastline near our home.  Every summer we head to Big Whale Cove as much as we can.  The Harbor Seals (click to see images) just off shore watch us very closely…we are transfixed by the staring creatures who believe we are intruders.  Our American ancestors were also intruders 5 centuries ago when arriving here for the first time and meeting the Siletz Tribal Community…who made their home on the shores of the Central Oregon Coast.  The Native American culture has a very special place in our hearts and coastal community.

Assuming the legend and story of Sir Francis Drake’s discovery of America at Whale Cove near Depoe Bay is accurate, we are proud to be part of the long history of this very unique coastal area that was home to the Siletz Native American Tribe in the beginning.  The Oregon Coast continues to have a strong Siletz Tribal population located further inland, who have been good neighbors and partners in community building and economic development.  Drake and his band of pirates enjoyed their first summer on this gorgeous and still secluded cove in 1579.  Judy and I are definitely going to visit the North Lincoln County Historical Museum to learn more after reading about Bob Ward’s research and exhibit in Oregon Coast Today…

Summer is right around the corner…  So the joy of spending lazy summer days at Big Whale Cove visiting our Harbor Seal friends, inspired me to get a head start by sharing my family’s special experience living on the Central Oregon Coast near Big Whale Cove next to Depoe Bay.  We feel so grateful and blessed to have found this special place to live out our dreams and aspirations…and to share with family and friends… Being part of the amazing history of the Oregon Coast, and imagining the delight of those before us relaxing and playing on this stunning beach with a view that never tires, makes the experience even more special…

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…  Click the highlighted text for my author page…

 

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