the Coquille River jetties

Some comments in the previous post led me to dig up some history and explanations of the jetty. First of all there’s the reason it was built (from Wikipedia):

In its natural state, the Coquille River meandered widely at its mouth. Owing to storms, tides, or other conditions, the river could empty into the sea as far north as a beach now called Whiskey Run, or as far south as a rock formation called Table Rockโ€”an overall distance of several miles. It is said that when early sailing vessels tried to cross the dangerous bar to return to the port at Bandon, the main channel might have moved, or shoaled in, at the very place the ships had crossed safely on the outgoing journey.

Captain Judah Parker, a sea captain, built a jetty of bunches of cedar branches wrapped in burlap, sunken into the mud. Rocks were added. In the late 1890s, the government built jetties to force the channel to stay put. Huge boulders for the South Jetty, at Bandon, came from the blasting of a nearby mound of rock called Tupper Rock. The North Jetty is across the river, and clearly visible from the south jetty.

There’s some controversy about Tupper Rock being blown up to create the jetties since the Coquille Indians claimed it to be sacred to their tribe.ย ย south_jetty-1707

The above image is what the water looks like at the mouth of the jetty after a major rain storm that’s filled the river with silt, turning the water distinctly brown where it meets the sea.

(click for slideshow with full text)

So, these days there’s folks who like to risk getting washed out to sea by strolling out on the jetty. I wouldn’t mind so much if I hadn’t seen some people walking out there with innocent children or dogs; not to mention the coast guard having to waste their time or risk their lives rescuing these less than brilliant individuals.
(click for slideshow and a closer look at this guy)!


28 thoughts on “the Coquille River jetties

    • Thanks, Susan. I was pretty stoked at catching that boat coming in just after the sun set… had to do a bit of fancy driving to get to that spot in time. As for the idiots…. as I said, I don’t have a problem with them until they involve or harm other folks.


  1. Excellent post Gunta with some wonderful pictures and yes, the idiots that force others to risk their lives to protect need some punishment on rescue, the cost of the rescue at the very least in fines. I saw something very similar when I was at Portreath, I think I mentioned it. This idiot strolling along the beach, nearly washed out to see when a larger wave crashed in, he got a soaking which was some consolation but what was so sad was the little dog, dutifully and loyally following the idiot human, potentially to its death..


  2. Your photos certainly show the power of the sea, and the serene beauty. I love the photo of the fishing boat coming in between the jetties. I have a similar shot during the day but nothing like these spectacular colors. As for the fool on the jettyโ€ฆwell I guess enough said!


  3. What is it about the power of waves which draws these fools so close? During the recent flooding and battering of the coast in England you always saw people on the promenades with towering waves approaching. Amazed more lives weren’t lost. Really great shots of the imbecile and the sea.


    • I suspect it’s some crazy macho thing, though I’ve seen women out on the jetty during wild surf… but they’re usually following their ‘man’ (read imbecile)!


  4. We have the same problems here where rivers flow into Lake Michigan. To keep the river mouths open for boat traffic, jetties had to be built, and people don’t have enough sense to stay off them even when the waves are breaking over them.


  5. The top image of the water darkened by silt — it looks as if the water is a living entity. I could look at that photo over & over.

    As for the bottom images of the man on the jetty? Seems like the survival of the fittest (or otherwise) at work here.


    • I can’t help but have respect after seeing the parking lot back from the jetty after it had been inundated by a storm surge. Or seeing what the sea can do tossing huge water-logged trees or massive piles of sand around like it was made of styrofoam.


    • There have been instances of folks being knocked off the jetty. One incident, a bit south of here, had a guy diving in to rescue his dog. The dog survived, but the guy didn’t. People just don’t seem to realize the power of those crashing waves.


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