Westport is located on the Washington coast, on the South Coast and at the entrance to Grays Harbor. There are many points of interest for the visitor to Washington’s South Coast, including beaches, cranberry bogs, parks, and hiking trails.
The main draw for Westport is boating and fishing. As you can see from this aerial view found at the Westport-Grayland Chamber of Commerce’s website, a large marina occupies a sheltered harbor here. This is home to fishing vessels and commercial charter boats, as well as private boats. Chinook and Coho salmon fishing is very popular, as various seasons run from May through January. Albacore tuna migrate into the area July-October. Other fishing includes rock fish, ling cod, and a limited quota of halibut. At certain times of year, some of the charters take people out to watch migrating whales.
With tuna, there can be concerns about mercury content, but that seems to be lower here than in many places. By canning my own albacore I am assured of the source and quality of the fish. Plus the flavor is sooooo good.
According to Seafood Connection, where I buy my fish, “The tuna that migrate close to Westport every year are smaller albacore, usually averaging about 16 pounds. Their higher body fat gives them an excellent flavor and makes them very high in Omega-3s – almost 1400mg per 2 ounce serving! Their mercury content is lower than supermarket albacore – similar to chunk light tuna.”
It is the availability of fresh line-caught albacore that draws me to Westport every summer. The reason for my trek is the tuna, but I always make a day of it, to enjoy the scenery and the ocean breeze. Every year, it seems I find something new to explore. This year, after I learned about Washaway Beach I had lunch at a little restaurant across the street from Westport Light
Then it was on to Westport’s waterfront where I discovered Float 20, the Fisherman’s Boardwalk. What could be more welcoming?
While strolling the length of this long pier, seen at the far right in the aerial view above, I saw a brown pelican hanging out with his little buddies.
I walked past a fine-looking commercial fishing vessel.
and, turning seaward, saw a couple of boats homeward bound.
Then, the batteries went dead in my camera, so I went back to where I had parked the car. While putting fresh batteries in the camera, I got curious about a nearby white monument.
and felt drawn to take a closer look.
As I circled the monument, reading every plaque, I felt a lump form in my throat as I thought of these modern day adventurers and the loved ones they left behind. Going out to sea is dangerous business. I couldn’t help thinking of the movie “Perfect Storm” and the song, “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.
As I approached the monument, a yellow-vested man who was watering the planter boxes smiled at me. Five minutes later, as I headed back to my car, he made eye contact with me and nodded solemnly as though thanking me for honoring the memory of those mariners lost at sea. How many times have I seen that white marker in the distance and paid it no heed? As I drove away, I felt that spending those five minutes was the best thing I would spend all day.
Then I drove around the marina to another parking space near Float 8 where I would find my albacore waiting, filleted and ready to go. It’s right there, in that floating fish shop with the blue roof.
It was a fine day, full of so many beautiful and interesting sights. Thank you for sharing it with me.