Bayshore 360-Degree Panoramic View July 11, 2017

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A central area in Alsea Bay is sometimes covered with water and at other-times becomes an island, depending on tidal variations in sea height. Bayshore canals also sometimes contain water and other-times don’t for the same reason. The panorama above was taken July 11, 2017 at a time when the tide was 2-feet above mean sea level. The aerial photo below was taken February 25, 2017 at a time when the tide was 3-feet above mean sea level. As you can see, that additional foot of water caused most of the Alsea Bay island to be submerged.

Photo of the Southern-End of Bayshore taken from 400-Feet above the Surf
The southern-end of Bayshore viewed February 25, 2017 from a drone flying 400-feet above the surf

The photo below was taken immediately after the one above with the camera rotated counter-clockwise to look north-northeast. Notice that the one-foot higher tide also caused the Bayshore canals to be mostly flooded with water.

A photo looking north-northwest from the same position 400-feet over the surf
Looking north-northwest from the same position 400-feet over the surf. The residential area at the north end is Sandpiper.

Of course, tidal changes also cause the widths of sandy beaches along the surf to change, not only here at Bayshore, but anywhere where there are sandy ocean beaches. However, the amount of beach width change per foot of tidal change varies greatly, depending on beach steepness. Beach widths change much more where beaches slope gradually down under the sea, like they do here at Bayshore, than at places where beach slopes are considerably steeper.

Wet sand in the photo above shows that the ocean had recently been much closer to homes along the sea-front than it was when that photo was taken. A couple hours later the sea was even farther away as the ocean tide-level continued to drop. Keep these factors in mind as you are comparing ocean views at different properties, because some of the difference will depend on what the tide-level happened to be when you visited each property.

Aerial Photo of Sandpiper
This photo was taken further north to provide a closer view of Sandpiper.

Of course a variety of other factors such as the angle of the sun, cloud-cover, wind-speed, wind-direction, and precipitation also affect ocean appearance. It is common for the appearance to change dramatically over short periods of time, so when we look at the ocean we are seeing only how it happens to look at the time we see it and a short time later it may look much different.

Not only does ocean water appearance continually change, but coastlines continually change. Waves relentlessly redistribute sand particles up on beaches and then variously redistribute more or less of them back out in the sea.  Twice-daily tides caused by gravitational forces resulting from moon rotation around Earth can be thought of as much larger and slower waves of water that redistribute sand farther up on beaches and then variously farther back out to sea.

However, a multitude of other powerful forces also exist. There are huge and very powerful vertical and horizontal circulations of water within oceans that are invisible to someone merely looking at the surface, but that continual alter coastlines. Winds prevailing from different directions at different times of year also blow surface sand mostly in some direction and then mostly in other directions at various other times of year. Here along the Oregon Coast prevailing winds generally cause sand dunes to move from the northwest to the southeast during summer and from the southwest to the southeast during winter, but those affects depend on weather patterns that are subject to change.

For all these reasons it is important to realize that the view someone sees when they visit an ocean-view home and decide to buy may be different than the view they will see the day they move in. Those of us who love the ocean don’t consider that to be a problem. To the contrary, one of the most captivating aspects of the ocean is its continual change. Someone who wants the same ocean-view constantly can hang a picture on a wall, but those of us who love the ocean as it actually is need the real thing.

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