Just under the bridge is a Pilot Boat. Ships must pick up bar pilots out at sea, and then trade them off for river pilots to go upstream. The Columbia bar is one of the most dangerous in the world, known as the graveyard of the Pacific. The river must be traveled carefully to avoid sandbars. As an attraction for tourists, Astoria began running a waterfront trolley about ten years ago. It seemed like a great idea for the kids, big and little.
Irene thought the observation deck looked scary, but she made it up and back with some hand holding.
While we were on the trolley, the guide pointed out the sea lions, so we went back to check them out.
These are all males, and they are regular visitors, so they are marked with numbers. Seems the females are down south off the California coast. The males travel there to seek a mate. Those who fail return north and are known as the Astoria Losers.
Looks like a pretty good life to me. But they are not so popular with the locals. Seems they have a nasty habit of going after the salmon runs, but they take just one big bite out of the belly of the fish and waste the rest. Obviously there are many parallels between the human and animal worlds.
Jill and the kids are off for an overnight with cousins. We're enjoying a little down time.