We arrived at Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda on Monday afternoon. This stretch of beach is particularly known for the dory fishermen, but we also discovered that surfers like this area as well. The surf shop was prominent on the highway:
Surfers rode the waves, hour after hour, and we could only think how much our son-in-law would love to be here:
This little fellow seems to be in training:
Dories are the traditional fishing boats for this area. Flat-bottomed, they were originally double-ended and rowed into the ocean. Now that outboard motors are used, the stern is square. The dories are pushed, then rowed into the water until deep enough to lower the motor. On return, they come into the beach at fairly high speeds, lifting the motor at the last minute and letting the momentum take them as far out of the water as possible. They are then towed up the beach until it’s safe to back the trailer into them. We didn’t see any launches, as they were apparently up with the birds, while we were still snug in our beds. But we did see landings:
The dory fleet is known for its safety record, with only six dory-men lost at sea in over 100 years of it existence. Dory-men are often first responders to distress calls at sea. In 1996, the Dory-men’s Association was founded to preserve and protect their historic traditions.
I copied this poem from the plaque near this beach:
The Devil with Dorymen
Now, all went well near the gates of Hell til a lone quiet fellow appeared
Claimed he’d been in a ‘bite’, and doing all right ‘…at thirty-six cents who can yell?’'
God, his finger were cut, his hands were barked, and he looked like he needed a beer,
He rolled his hip boots, and inquired aloud, ‘Is there a bartender here?’
The Devil came out to record this young stout and this is the story he heard:
‘Twas just afore dawn when the tide was out and I suddenly got the urge.
I was dumpin’ my boat when the pickup got stuck and the back roller busted in two….
The outboard dropped down and twisted around, so the shear pin I replaced anew.
I winched the truck out and then turned about as the damned boat washed back on the sand.
I near took the Lord’s name and I’m hardly to blame ‘cause a dory don’t fish on dry land.
Well, I finally shoved out, a-runnin’ due south, and slowed to drop my gear,
When a sea gull christened my upturned face, and a gaff hook tethered my rear.’
The dory-man paused to scratch himself, and the Devil’s sides shook with glee.
‘Proceed with your tale,’ the Devil said, ‘you fish for eternity.’
‘Well,’ the dory-man said, ‘I cranked my gear down, five spreads on each deep and the tips,
When the springs came alive and shook like a quake, and I knowed that I’d hit the right rip.
What I failed to notice, while throwing the spreads, was a number eight hooked in my belt.
Then the gurdy kicked free and it’s easy to see why the icy ocean I felt’
‘My friend,’ laughed Satan, ‘you’ve led a hard life. Your story has logic, it’s sound.
You may return to that rip in the sky, and your thirty-six cents a pound.’
‘Aw, beggin’ your pardon,’ the dory-man cried, there’s no cause here for alarm!
If you’d just let me stoke up your fire, I’d sooner stay here where it’s warm.’
Written by R.L. Anderson, 2005