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Wednesday, August 9, 2008
We stopped by the Sea Lion Cave north of
Florence, Oregon on an all day drive up the
Oregon Coast from Port Orford to Portland.  I had a
dim memory of the cave from a childhood visit with
my parents and grandparents.  I mainly
remembered that the cave was dark and stinky.  I
thought this might be a tourist trap type of stop,
but I wanted to show it to my kids.  I'm glad we
visited.  It's a wonderous sight.

We walked down first to the southern observation
platform.  A fog bank hung just offshore all day
long, giving an otherworldly look to the ocean - as
if the ocean extended no more than a few hundred
feet.  From the platform to the south you can see a
fantastic rock topped by nesting birds that seems
to have been sliced from the mainland like a piece
of cake.  Directly below the platform was a big herd
of sea lions with calves.  This spot is occupied in
the spring and summer, while the cave is occupied
year round.

Next, we rode the elevator down to the interior of
the cave.  Either my childhood memory was not so
good or they had opened up a shaft to the north of
the cave since my first visit, which aired out the
place nicely.  The cave interior was just as I
remembered it with a single bull male lording it
over a large, isolated rock in the middle of the
cave and a big herd spread out on the beach and
rocks nearby.

Out the northern shaft was a fine view of the rocks
and coastline in that direction.  The Heceta Head
Lighthouse made a brief appearance as the fog
rolled back briefly and resumed its position.

The kids enjoyed the visit immensely and it was
well worth the price of admission.  We spent about
an hour to see it all.

Sea Lion Caves

Heceta Head Lighthouse and Keeper's House B&B

by Bob Kelly
View south from the cave towards fantastic rock
Southern observation post
Sea lions with calves on the rocks
The world's largest sea cave - occupied by sea lions year round
Heceta Head Lighthouse emerges briefly from the fog
Three year old James with sealion statues
View out the north entrance to the cave
Nye Beach