Newport, “Marine Discovery”
July 17, 1997
We left Eugene — 38 strong — under somewhat cloudy skies, not at all like what a warm July day should be, but nevertheless optimistic and anticipating a great trip aboard the Marine Discovery at Newport. We left Valley River, our new loading site for one-day trips at 8 a.m. with our good driver, Wayne Cockley, taking us up Hwy. 99 to Avery Park at Corvallis, where we stopped for coffee, wonderful cookies furnished by Helen Knowlton and date bars supplied by the leader. We were experiencing a few raindrops. Undaunted, we pushed on. Several related stories of experiences about Newport during the days when it was just a small resort town. Herman Hendershott went there by train and ferry when he was just a toddler and his folks vacationed there. Jean & Ray Jensen actually lived there while he worked for the Port of Newport.
We arrived in Bay Blvd. and all scattered for a few minutes before we gathered at the loading dock to board the Discovery. Our guide was Christy Layton, who has a Bachelor’s degree in zoology and a Master’s in Marine Resource Management. But first of all, our Captain, Don Masters, gave us a pep talk on safety aboard the Discovery. We were all seated in the cabin, which has seating and dining capacity for 49. Up front there are two 21-inch monitors which were used for several videos. As we left the dock, we had an entirely different view of Newport Bay. We passed a number of large fishing vessels, some having come all the way from Alaska. A number of sailboats are anchored in the Embarcadero’s harbor. We also passed a boat building establishment and the Port of Newport. We headed up-river and soon were being given much information about marine life in the bay. Crab pots were thrown out, to be picked up on our return, and several had the opportunity of steering the boat. But it was time to have lunch and tables could be let down from the back of the seats in front. We were served promptly and efficiently by the three girls on board. First delicious clam chowder and homemade bread and later dessert of marionberry cobbler: all from Mo’s. We were now passing the oyster beds at the Oregon Oyster Faun and were told how oyster beds are developed for the $35 million West Coast industry. Plankton samples were shown which had been collected from the estuary water. We saw many birds, including blue herons. As we returned, the crab pots were retrieved and we were given a demonstration on how to measure the crabs, but they were all too small and were thrown back in the water.
We went down the Bay for a short while, but there was not time to go closer to the ocean (thank goodness!). It did get slightly rough but in all the trip had been very smooth and although it was not sunny it was warm and no wind. We boarded the bus and drove to the recently reopened Hatfield Marine Science Center, where we were given a short talk by the biologist about the changes that have come about with adding the new wing. This gives visitors a better glimpse of research conducted at the center through displays and demonstrations. Our group then followed the suggested route to view the exhibits. We left at 3:00 and drove down the coast to Florence and were home by 5:30.
Riders were: Ethel Allen, Barbara Beard, Richard Bentsen, Glendora Burbank, Clair Cooley, Ingrid Carmichael, William Eaton, Liz Fox, Gerry Haller, Flora Mae & Herman Hendershott, Evelyn Hile, Ben & Pat Jeffries, Jean & Ray Jensen, Rosella Jones, Jinny Kapsa, Dorothy Klaue, Helen Knowlton, Dodie Leppmann. John & Lenore McManigal, Grace Miller, Barbara & Walter Miller, Frances Newsom, Liz Reanier, Edna Robertson, Myrtle Sagen, Betty & Harvey Speck, Mary Standford, Millard Thomas, Hazel Turner, Louise Thurber and leaders Bette Hack and Mary Bentsen.