We started our day approaching the Astoria harbor at the western end of the Columbia River. We passed under the Astoria bridge and docked in port before starting a full day of exploring the town and surrounding region. We first made our way up to the Astoria column, a large tower on top of a hill that gave us 360-degree views of Astoria and the surrounding coastline which was shrouded in a light layer of mist. As the mist burned off and gave way to a sunny autumn day, we drove into town to visit the maritime museum. We learned all about the region's recent maritime history, including European explorers, trading routes, and 20th century coast guard vessels. Some of us also explored the shops and cafes in the quaint downtown of Astoria, Washington before heading back to the ship for lunch.
In the afternoon we drove across the Astoria bridge to Washington, all the way out to Cape Disappointment to view the Pacific Ocean and visit the Lewis and Clark interpretive center. We also had an opportunity to walk through the large Sitka Spruce trees in the coastal temperate rainforest and to dip our feet in the Pacific Ocean. Once we finally returned to National Geographic Sea Lion, we left the dock and travelled out to the waters where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. We felt the gentle rolling of the ocean swell and listened to the distant chime of bells on the navigation buoys.
Finally, we wrapped up the amazing week of adventure with the Captain’s dinner, drinks with all of our new friends, and the guest slideshow with all our wonderful memories.