Thursday, November 21, 2013

Geo 365: Nov. 21, Day 325: Port Orford's "Port"

The "port" at Port Orford consists of a high dock, with a pair of cranes to physically lift boats out of the water. It appears that there are a pair of boats queued up for their turn, but despite waiting in the chilly wind for some time, we didn't actually get to see the feat accomplished. At a certain point, despite sheltering behind a concrete wall/windbreak, it was just too frigid to wait any longer.

This is certainly an odd situation, and it's related (unsurprisingly, if you know me) to the geological setting of this area. The coast side of the Coast Range and Klamath Mountains get tremendous amounts of rain, so coastal streams and rivers tend to be common and closely spaced, with a significant river every 30 miles or so as one travels north or south. As a result, the drowned estuaries of these drainages make for excellent ports. The typical range for a fishing boat is 30 miles in a day- as much as 15 miles out and 15 miles back to port. But in this area, there isn't a large river and natural port. Bandon to Gold Beach, Oregon, is about 55 miles. This means without an "artificial" port such as this one at Port Orford, a fairly large segment of our rich coastal fishing would be inaccessible. Given that reality, the construction of this dock in a relatively sheltered cove makes good sense.

Photo unmodified. May 7, 2013. FlashEarth location.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These boats are unloading their catch.