Tom & Holly Travels
since 2004

Day 13- Astoria

   Well today we travel back to Portland so we can leave early Sat morning. On the way to Portland we will stop by the Gnat Fish Hatchery and learn a little more of the effort to save the endangered salmon and steelhead. Then we will go to the Bradley Scenic View Point for one last look at the amazing topography of the Columbia Gorge.

    Yesterday in the rain, so glad we went to Cannon Beach when we had beautiful weather, we went to the Columbia Maritime Museum. It is truly a world class museum and it was easy to stay all morning. The photo of me with the boat is the actual boat that was used to save people who found themselves in trouble and caught in the Columbia Bar. They have replaced this boat with a newer boat. The men wear complete body life suits, helmets, and then tether themselves to the boat. The boats when capsized by the 50 to 60 ft. wall of water will self-right themselves. There was a quote by the boat that said you didn’t have time for fear, you had to focus. It is not a job for the faint of heart.  Since 1792, approximately 2,000 large ships have sunk in and around the Columbia Bar, many in recent years. There were some chilling distress call recordings in the museum from people on ships capsizing in the Columbia Bar.

    Must end our blog with; not sure exactly which adjective to use; so you can decide after you read it. Pier 36 in Astoria has completely been taken over by fur seals. Looser males if you will. Of course, the fishermen hate the seals. Not only have they completely taken over the entire pier; but in addition, when fishermen are allowed to fish for salmon and steelhead, the seals come by and take one bite out of the stomach of the fish so the fish are ruined for sale. People trying to help the endangered fish also hate the seals because the species of fish they are trying to save is what’s for dinner to the seals. The fish are endangered and the seals are a protected species. So our trolley driver yesterday said the government is doing what they do best, they have formed a committee to look into this problem.

    So the city of Astoria is trying desperately to get rid of the seals. First, they trapped them and hauled them down to California. There were parades in town celebrating. When the trappers returned, the seals were waiting for them on the docks, asking, “What took you so long?” 

   Then, since they can’t shoot the seals, how about if they lay mild electric shock mats on the dock.  Again parades to celebrate. It wasn’t five minutes and the seals thought the Astoria people wanted them to have a nice massage. 

   Ok, now what? They made a submarine that looked like an orca and even made orca sounds. This was going to rid the town of seals as seals fear orcas. Ok, orca sub in the water making sounds, seals leave. Then the orca sub starts taking on water flips belly up and sinks. Seals are back on the dock laughing. They tried this twice. No good.

    So I guess the next plan is in place with a middle and high school shop students. They are going to try and weld bars up and over the dock. I hope it works for them.







No More to Follow,

Tom & Holly