Watching Waves in Westport
By Audrey Fraggalosch | Photos & Video courtesy of Experience Westport
There’s something special about the beach...and there’s something really special about Washington’s beaches during the colder months. Some people call fall and winter the off-season on the coast, but this is when the mighty Pacific truly turns on! Between November and March, Washington’s coast is slammed by powerful winds and huge waves that stir up the surf and often drop unique treasures on our shores.
So, bundle up with an extra sweater and rain jacket, grab your boots and head to Westport…this is the season for beachcombing and storm watching.
The best time to go beachcombing is at low tide when most of the beach is exposed. With the weather and sky constantly changing before your eyes, it’s easy to get side-tracked by the fabulous cloudformations and birds flying by! But keep your eyes peeled for shells, sea glass, feathers, rocks, and if you’re lucky a Japanese glass float!
For years, Japanese fishing floats have been making their way across the Pacific Ocean to land on our beaches. Few people have experienced the joy of finding one of these treasures after it’s made the long journey to our shores!
Almost 1,200 floats will be released in 2022 starting in January.The bulk of the floats will land on the South Beach from Westhaven State Park to Grayland Beach. The Maritime Museum’s floats will have a small diamond engraved set of initials and the release year WSBHS 2022. So come take a walk along Westport’s beaches and experience the thrill of finding a real Japanese glass float!
For those who like it windy, wet and wild, Westport is a fantastic place to experience the blustery thrill of stormy days. High surf and king tides create epic winter storm watching conditions.
The King Tide season is here, the next ones are predicted for December 2-5, 2021 and January 1-4, 2022. Kings tides are the biggest tides that occur each winter when the moon is closest to the Earth, typically during a new moon phase. This powerful gravitational pull results in higher than normal tides. Extreme high tides combined with heavy winds and abundant storms can generate waves reaching as high as 30 feet - a spectacular and awe-inspiring sight!
One of the best and safest places to go storm watching in Westport is the multi-level observation tower at the Westport Marina. If you stand near the top of the tower you can watch the waves hit the breakwall sending seawater high into the air. Hear the roar of the ocean and feel it reverberate through your body and kiss your face with salty ocean spray. Other good spots for wave watching are the dunes at Westhaven State Park, where you will get a great view of the jetty and beach. The Light Trail between Vacations by the Sea and Westhaven State Park is also a safe place to walk and see the ocean.
If braving the elements isn’t your thing, you can always enjoy storm watching from the comfort of your car, private deck or curled up inside with a hot drink, while the drama unfolds outside your window. There’s a way for everyone in your family to be thrilled by the mighty Pacific.
Safety First: Stay off the beaches at and around high tide. Waves can quickly cover the entire beach and you can be sucked out into the ocean as it retracts. Be aware of your surroundings and check current weather conditions on Westport’s live webcam here: https://www.experiencewestport.com/live-westport-webcam