Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shell Rock - Oregon Coast

Along the Cape Arago Highway outside of Charleston is one of the best spots on the Oregon coast to view sea lions - Simpson Reef and Shell Rock. Hundreds of sea lions and otters use this place as a haul-out and can be viewed year-round. The pull-out is located within Cape Arago State Park, about a mile from Shore Acres State Park.

Stellar and California sea lions can be seen here, as well as northern elephant seals and harbor seals. The numbers are quite impressive.

We missed the sea lions at Strawberry Hill and Sea Lion Caves by a couple of weeks, so seeing them here was a real treat. Oh, and we didn't have to endure dark, damp caves and less than pleasent odors!

From a photography perpective, this isn't the best place to photograph the sea lions as they are pretty far away. These images were taken with a 70-200mm lens and 2x teleconverter, to give you an idea. But they sure are fun to watch! I would recommend bringing binoculars for the best viewing.

As a write this, I recall taking images to stitch a panoramic of the area. I'll try to dig that up and post it soon.

Edit: Here is the pano added. Not as nice as hoped, but it may help with perspective. Unfortunately, it cuts off many of the sea lions at the bottom due to the way it crops.

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