Spending over three and one half months in Yachats was much more than making lemonade out of lemons, as I initially thought it would be.  Nine months ago while my husband, Steve and I were in Bandon a water pipe burst in our home in Beaverton. This devastating water leak was left undetected for over a month. When our dear neighbors discovered it they described it as, “the ceiling has fallen in and it is raining in your dining room.”  In addition to the structural damage, it was in the heat of the summer which allowed a pernicious mold bloom to take hold. Albeit stressful, the last nine months of disruption that this event brought on have been a gift.  

Don’t get me wrong, there were many jaw clenching, teeth grinding moments along with sleepless nights, but overall our house is significantly improved and my adoration for the sea has increased substantially. Not to mention, we had a creative hayday photographically.  At our request, the insurance funded alternative living scenario included almost 4 months in an ocean side Airbnb house located in Yachats, home to some of the most entrancing coastal terrain on the Oregon Coast. This stunner of a small seaside town is two hours north of Bandon and three hours south of Portland. In my view, the consistency of wave photography there is unsurpassed on our coast. Additionally, the beaches and forest trails provide sand patterns, tide pools and rocky terrain that are incredibly varied and exciting to explore.

Moreover, I would be remiss not to mention that the tone, feel and people of this coastal gem are such that Steve and I are considering moving there someday. It’s an extremely dog friendly town which is important to us. Charley, our golden doodle, was just a pup and turned out to be a huge part of our adventure. We stuggled with the challenges of taking pictures with a playful puppy in tow and marveled at how he loved the beach as much as we do, perhaps even more. We met new friends that embraced us with kindness and showed us the ins and outs of their beloved little town.  I’m sure we will continue to be connected and make many stops to further build our friendships and to explore the endless opportunites this area has to offer. I’m so grateful to be able to love more than one location and to move between them so frequently.

Our arrangement in Yachats was designed based on practicality and photo opportunities. We decided to make lemonade from lemons and also be positioned well to travel back and forth between our business home and our Beaverton home with relative ease. It turned out to be a good plan as both demanded our attention frequently. Unexpectedly, it surpassed my expectations and became so much more.

I have lived near the sea in Bandon, with my husband for nearly 19 years and it is where my heart resides. My new found appreciation for Yachats in no way detracts from the love I have for my home town. However, because of where we were located during our stay, I have come to appreciate that there is near and there is near when it comes to proximity to the sea. And since a great deal of Yachat’s seascape is on the edge of ancient cliffs of basalt, easily accessed, the oceanic drama experience there is intense.

The sea during our stay in Yachats was literally our backyard.

While sitting in front of the huge oceanfront picture window of the Airbnb or standing on the edge of the 54 million year old cliffs in the backyard, I witnessed the tides veer between extremes. I felt the pounding pulse of waves crashing with incoming king tides and basked in the calm when storms subsided giving way to smoother seas. Spray flew and huge logs tossed about teasing and cautioning my husband, dog and me. At the whim of the moon and the weather, life cheek to cheek with the sand and the sea is a palpable one.

I am not an articulate woman, nor am I a writer. Instead, I allow my photographs to speak for me. They tell the story of this fortuitous event and my affinity for the sea. The awe, the fear and the reverence it evokes within me.

I have to wonder if perhaps this oceanic feeling is an inner expression of the true essence of who I am.

Thank you for spending time with me here and remember, nature instills hope within the human spirit.  ~ Susan

* The first photo of the house in Yachats  and the final image of me with Charley are courtesy of Steve Dimock. The two images of me with my camera are courtesy of our friend, Billy Hunt.



“With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live.”

Sylvie Earle


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