Like many who visit our beaches I enjoy clam bakes and cook outs with my beverage of choice on the beach with music and conversations by a bon fire that burns into the early hours of the morning. I don't scuba dive but the divers I've met here in Port Orford tell me it is one of their favorite places. Many have made it a yearly tradition and for those who are here on the 4th of July we have a spectacular display of fireworks at the Battle Rock Park beach.
One of the best trip reports I've seen was written after a 4th of July trip by Tony Mangefeste and posted to OregonScuba@egroups.com.
Tony signed up with Seasports boat charters from Springfield, OR. The Captain for this particular outing was John Cheeseman. Their destination was Port Orford, OR for dives at Redfish Rocks which are about 6 miles off shore and Island Rock which is about 14 miles off shore. On this trip Island Rock. Below is an excerpt from Tony's trip report about Island Rock.
"Max depth: very deep! 700'+
Most sea life: 100 feet and shallower. (you can see the shelf at 130 or so, I couldn't go that deep due do
my Nitrox mix at EAN30, but the vis and sunlight was penetrating even at 100 feet to not require a light!)
Life: Bull kelp, bottom kelp, kelp greenling, canary rockfish, lincod, other varieties of rockfish, sea urchins, anemones, dahlia anemonies, jellyfish, squid, cold-water coral, hermit crabs, dungeness crabs, mussels, oysters, octopus (I didn't see any, but I saw an empty lair), and one unidentified fish.
Water Temp: 41 degrees and cooler.
Current: Yes, definitely!
Surface: swells, very windy, offshore waves
I have never seen water that clear in the Pacific Northwest before. We anchored at 56' and once I entered the water, I could see the bottom! As a matter of fact, I was picking out rockfish on my decent! I did a spectacular dive with tons of fish life, hundreds of Sea Bass, some lincod, and a whole field of Giant Sea Urchin! (ouch) I made it to 111 feet, heard one of the other divers spearfishing, looked around, and I saw his silhouette above me. After the dive, I asked him how deep he was (he was the only one with flourescent green fins), and he said he never went deeper than 40', so you can do the math. I highly recommend that the club make a trip out there. We were there for 3 hours during a tide
exchange, and visibility never changed!"
I have heard many variations of this account but Tony said it best. A memory like this is yours for the taking when you visit Port Orford, OR.