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Along the coast are there any beaches that are swimmable?

Along the coast are there any beaches that are swimmable?

Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:20 PM
  #1  
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Along the coast are there any beaches that are swimmable?

This is a New Englander speaking. I just got home from a beautiful walk on a gorgeous beach close to my home. The water temperatures were in the mid 50's. I did not swim (it was an early evening walk and going to dinner after) but there were lots of people in the ocean.

I am planning a trip to Oregon in July. It's been difficult for me as I read lots of reviews of the towns, beaches,and lodging along the coast that nobody talks about swimming. I have heard the water is cold and I imagine rough. When I vacation we love to get in the water.

Besides hopefully finding swimming holes in the McKenzie River or the Metolius River near Sisters, please let me know if/where we could stop along the coast for a beach we can swim in. Thank you,
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:35 PM
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Make a stop at Belknap hot spring resort on the way to Sisters.
I do know 2 people who made a polar bear swim in Clear Lake in February 2006. They are still alive and well.
Clear Lake is the headwaters of the McKenzie River.
On the coast, I've seen surf borders wearing wet suits to surf at Sunset Bay west of Coos Bay. There is a little known hot spring beside Salt Creek below Salt Creek Falls (Rt. 58.).
That spring with a soaking pool seems to be clothing optional.
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:48 PM
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Grew up in Oregon. The water is too cold to swim in. You can get in it up to about your thighs, then it's just too too cold.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 08:08 AM
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mms
 
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There is a great swimming area at Scout Lake, on the way to Sisters. It is across the little road from Suttle Lake.

The Little North Fork has some fantastic swimming holes along it.

If you are headed from Portland over to the coast, Hagg Lake is a popular swimming spot.

As for Clear Lake, it stays right around 35 degrees all year long, so except for a quick dip, people do not swim there.

Our ocean is cold too, but not that extreme. Born and raised here, I go in, but don't swim or hang around in the water. One needs to be very careful of sneaker waves, along with the cold temperature.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 09:27 AM
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I didn't know about Scout Lake mms - thanks for the info. Will have to check it out.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 11:11 AM
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mms
 
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sunbum--We have been swimming there for over 40 years, since I was a little kid If you get off the highway and are headed to Suttle Lake, go just a bit and there will be a small road to your left. Take that and Scout Lake is right there. We would just walk there from our campsight at Suttle. Big rope swing from an old tree, and just a good place to relax.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 01:18 PM
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It's the way the ocean currents circulate. In the northern hemisphere, the currents flow clockwise. In the Southern Hemisphere, they flow counterclockwise.

So the way it go here is that the Pacific currents run along the equator, then head up north along the Asia shores, then go up to Siberia and Alaska, then down along the North America coast back to the equator.

Thus our waters are always cold because they've just been way up north before getting down here.

The currents on the Atlantic side are exactly the opposite. There the currents run along the equator, then up the North America shoreline, across the Atlantic to African coasts then back to the equator.

Here's an easy to understand diagram without all the other more complex currents entering the picture:

http://tinyurl.com/l8rogck
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 04:31 PM
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easytraveler, what an interesting explanation, thanks you. So it's not just because New Englander's are more hearty I now see (just joking). mms, great suggestions. If you are going to venture into the ocean do you have a favorite beach?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 04:47 PM
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Juldie, I learned how to swim in the Puget Sound and waters off the Washington state coast. If you are accustomed to those temps (as you mentioned), then you can swim. I will say that the Pacific ocean has currents that you may not be expecting and can be more challenging, so be aware.

Also, the air temps don't warm up as on Atlantic beaches. Most folks in the water are surfboarding or similar, and they do wear wet suits. As a child, we used to build "forts" out of driftwood and the like to give some shelter from the wind. The sand will tend more to pebbles and coarser sand than your beaches.

Just not laying out on the beach climate so much, but give it a try. But the ocean crashing up onto the rocks and bluffs in Oregon are truly majestic.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 11:31 AM
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There is one exception to cold waters in the Pacific and it has to do with the El Nino/La Nina effect. But I have not heard of one of those on its way.

Otherwise, nobody enjoys swimming. For my kids, it has always been short periods of wave jumping, with Dad the powerful swimmer next to them. And don't go too deep if you don't know that particular beach (which you won't).

Here is an advantage to the Oregon Coast: Even in crowded places here like Seaside or Cape Stevens, my New Jersey friends marvel at how "empty" the beaches are. Get up early and go for a walk. You may be the only one out there.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 11:31 AM
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Sorry, I meant to say Fort Stevens and Cape Kiwanda but shoved them both together....
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 11:09 PM
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I don't know what it's like swimming on the Atlantic side, but here on the Pacific side we also have strong rip currents. That's one of the reasons for not swimming in the ocean, apart from how cold it is.

Wikipedia has a very good diagram showing how people get carried out into the ocean away from shore by rip currents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rip_current

Here's a recent article from the San Jose Mercury on people chasing after their dogs that have been carried out on rip currents:

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-...s-chasing-dogs

I once had a friend from Germany who said that she frequently went swimming in the cold waters off Cornwall so she didn't mind the cold waters here in California. I said there are strong rip currents here, but she insisted on swimming far out (she's a very strong swimmer) until I couldn't see her any longer. Boy, was I glad to see her back on shore!
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 05:58 AM
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If you've been swimming anywhere from Gloucester to Portland in May you'll be fine. It's the Port Clyde in May water temps you want to avoid.

There is a site called the US NODC Water Temperature Guide that will put it into perspective.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 06:00 AM
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Here's the link

www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/natl.html
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 05:01 PM
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What central coast town would you say compares with Bandon? From research, it looks like I would like Bandon as a stop over point, but it's farther south than I think we want to go given the rest of our route. Thank you,
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 05:07 PM
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I like Yachats -
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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Me too, sunbum. The best town on the Coast.
Plus Neskowin is the best beach.
http://www.oregonstateparks.org/inde...age&parkId=161
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 08:09 PM
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That's good to know, glad you agree. I was looking at this off the beaten track place to stay in Yachats; looks like for us more adventurous, quirky seekers, that it just might suit us. Wild ocean, a bit remote and artsy and cozy. http://www.oceanhaven.com

For more pampering I like the looks of this B & B. http://www.seaquestinn.com

Do you know anything about either of these lodging options? By the way, from this stop we are going to our future daughter in law's parent's beach house in Neskowin.
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