Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, September 27, 2017, Page 4A, Image 4

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Life in the
Valley y
Boats, including a crabbing boat, is docked at the Newport Bayfront. ANDRE' HAGESTEDT / BEACHCONNECTION.NET
The coast’s second summer
Why fall is the
best time to visit
Right now, from September through
mid October, is the best weather of the
entire year on the Oregon Coast. Locals
call it “Second Summer” (and some-
times wryly call it the “first summer”),
with more stretches of sunny and wind-
less days in the 60s and 70s than you’ll
find at any other time.
On top of this meteorological won-
der, Newport has some distinctive fea-
tures that literally make this the most
inviting part of the whole year. The
crowds and traffic have lessened, lodg-
ing prices begin to nosedive, the town
hosts an unusually large array of out-
door restaurants and, best of all, the
whale watching goes through the roof.
Currently, gray whales and Humpback
whales are the big show.
Also hot in the area: ocean crabbing
and crabbing in the bay, where officials
say the catches are of a good, meaty
Whale numbers are awesome
right now
According to Oregon State Parks and
Recreation’s Luke Parsons, the Whale
Watch Center in Depoe Bay is reporting
seeing five to 10 whales a day at that
location alone. Those kinds of numbers
are quite steady through much of Lin-
coln County, but the whale watch tours
are encountering much more than that.
Newport hosts about 10 such whale
watch businesses. Parsons said the tour
boats are seeing more than one whale
on each run.
Gray whales are aplenty, hanging
out in this area to fatten up before their
big migration in December. Yet Hump-
back whales also are in good numbers
at times.
Parsons said to expect these kinds of
numbers throughout September and
probably early October as well. On top
of the food sources, which keep them
around, these calm, Second Summer
conditions also cajole them and make it
much easier to spot them.
Stellar weather
You need only to look at the latest
forecasts to see plenty of 70-degree
days in Newport. This second summer
phenomenon usually goes well into the
middle of October, and then conditions
begin turning toward more blustery
days. However, about 50 percent of the
time, some nice runs of warm weather
still appear in the final two weeks of
The science behind it is interesting,
and it begins with the summer season
having heated up the ocean by this
Mike Dill, 36, of Philomath, tosses a crabbing cage into the Yaquina Bay as his son Noah Dill, 5, watches in Newport on Aug. 19. Crabbing is even
better in September and October. ANNA REED / STATESMAN JOURNAL
time. This exerts a stronger warming
influence on the surrounding air. Then,
the temperature differences between
inland Oregon and the coast are not as
pronounced, which allows more east-
erly and southerly winds to come in —
thus warming things up even more.
These conditions help produce less
upwelling from the ocean, which brings
the wind factor down even further. All
of this combines to create the second
summer phenomenon from September
through October.
Crabbing around Newport
Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife reports that right about now
crabs have grown into their shells and
are larger and meatier. ODFW said
catches are increasing along the entire
coast. Newport’s Yaquina Bay has long
been an excellent spot for crabbing off
the docks, and it’s home to several fish-
ing charter boats.
September and October on the coast have that kind of low-angle sunlight quality about them.
It’s even more pronounced at dusk. ANDRE’ HAGESTEDT / BEACHCONNECTION.NET
Lodging prices and less crowds
On top of the whales, crabbing and
great weather, this also is when New-
port gets less crowded and hotel rates
start dipping. Lodging prices in the
middle of the week are especially entic-
ing, but when October begins, those
drop even further, according to New-
port Chamber PR Manager Courtney
“Later in the season, hotels will run
packages and promotions; often times
all you have to do is ask if they have
any specials,” she said.
Meanwhile, summer crowds are
mostly gone, but there’s still summer
Outdoor restaurants
Newport boasts what is likely the
largest number of restaurants with
outdoor seating along the entire coast.
The Chamber said there are about 13.
These are perfect for soaking in the
warm coastal air of this season.