Thursday, November 08, 2007

Columbia River Maritime Museum

After visiting Fort Stevens and Fort Clatsop we set up the Musemobile at the Lewis & Clark RV and Golf Resort and Nursery. It's a new place still being developed with a nice golf course and excellent sites.

Right now it's just water and electric hook-ups but don't you love this view out of the front of the RV?

Or this view - this place has great potential as a family run enterprise that used to be the family dairy farm.

The Musemoblie was very happy here.

Well the next day it was off to Astoria's Columbia River Maritime Museum in a great setting on the Columbia River just before it empties into the Pacific Ocean just beyond this great bridge.

"The Astoria-Megler Bridge, which was formally dedicated August 27, 1966, stretches 4.1 miles from Astoria, Oregon, across the mouth of the Columbia River, to Point Ellice, Washington. Its construction was an impressive feat. The bridge’s main span is 1,232 feet in length, the longest "continuous truss" in the world.

Once termed "The Bridge to Nowhere" (sound familiar) it has become the final link in the Mexico-to-Canada highway system, the bridge saves motorists driving time. And it provides an awesome view of the mouth of the Columbia River and at night, the twinkling hills of Astoria."

In front of the Museum, where I took the picture of the bridge is a huge anchor.

My artsy picture through the huge anchor.

Between the Museum grounds and the river is a boat viewing dock where the Columbia is berthed and ready for viewing.

"The Lightship Columbia WLV-604 was the first lightship on the Pacific Coast of the United States. The Columbia River lightships have guided vessels across the “Graveyard of the Pacific” from 1892 until 1979. This lightship, WLV-604, was essentially a small town anchored five miles out to sea marking the entrance to the Columbia River.

Everything the crew needed had to be on board. In the winter, weeks of rough weather prevented any supplies from being delivered. Life on board the lightship can best be described as long stretches of monotony and boredom intermixed with riding gale force storms. The crew of 17 men worked two to four week rotations, with ten men on duty at all times.

Thirty-foot waves were not unusual during fierce winter storms. Even the most experienced sailors got seasick. The lightship did not roll like a regular ship, but bobbed like a cork in all directions. The crew can recall many sleepless nights listening to the foghorn, but they took great pride in their duty: keeping ships safe and on course at the entrance to the Columbia River.

WLV-604 is now located at the Columbia River Maritime Museum—the official maritime museum of the State of Oregon."

Lightship Specifications

* Builder: Rice brothers Corporation, Boothbay, Maine.
* Length: 128' 0"
* Beam: 30'
* Draft: 11'
* Displacement: 617 Tons
* Illumination Apparatus: 1,200-watt light and aircraft-type beacon (13-mile range)
* Propulsion: 550 hp Atlas Imperial direct reversing diesel
* Fog Signal: diaphone foghorn (5-mile range)

At the front desk of the Museum they had this cool paperweight so I asked what it was (other than a paperweight) and the nice woman there told me. It's a "Deck Prism," This one is Emerald colored solid, cast glass.

"In the days before electricity, light below a vessel's deck was provided by candles, oil and kerosene lamps. All dangerous aboard a wooden ship. A clever solution for the lighting problem was a deck prism. Laid flush into the deck, small conical prisms drew light down below decks without weakening the planks"

Inside the museum were several re-enactments of maritime events, like this fisherman.

At one point you can look through the floor and see native fish (not real)

From a lower vantage you can see how they are set in place beneath the floor.

I liked this cool looking boat...

... and this one as well. As you can see there were several displays all around.

This was a great display of Beacons and Buoy Lights.

This lighthouse beacon was in motion and turned on.

Your guess is as good as mine on what this is but it's really cool.

Then there were the floats. The smaller glass versions are always washing up on shore on the coast after storms.

Masthead or Figurehead (I've seen them called both) this is one of two I saw in the Museum.

There were several miniature replica sailing ships - this is one ...

... and this is another of my favorites.

Through one of the windows you can see out on the river and this is one of several large ships that were sailing up and down the river.

I'm not sure what this is but it makes a great bench and was made in Glasgow, Scotland.

This was a display of a ship's bridge within the museum. While I was taking this picture a tour of school children were being told what it was and eventually they got to take a tour through the bridge.

What a great display/re-enactment of a Coast Guard Rescue. It's hard to show in this picture but the bow is up 45 degrees on a wave as a life buoy is thrown to a person in the water. Scrabble Queen and I actually called 911 saw the rescue of a surfer in Newport, Oregon by the Coast Guard and it was just like this. The only difference was there was also a helicopter at the one we saw.

"The Coast Guard undertakes more than 65,700 search-and-rescue missions a year. In a typical day they save 14 lives and assist 328 people. They pull them from the water, from cliffs, from rooftops and sinking ships. To each of the 4,380 people whose lives they save each year, to their families, friends, and communities and to America -- it makes a world of difference."

They even have a recreational sailor display.

Cool but what is it (I should really take notes) I think a Sextant of some kind.

This is the Wolf Bay Wetlands just east of Astoria where we stopped to look for Eagles rumored to be in the area. We didn't see any Bald Eagles but we did see ...

... a bald photographer with this really nice Canon Camera setup.

Driving east a little more we saw a sign for the Puget Island Ferry from Westport, Oregon to Cathlamet, Washington and took a back road to get there. Along the road Scrabble Queen took this great picture of a barn. We decided not to take the Ferry.

Since we didn't take the Ferry we drove on to cross the Columbia River at Rainier, Oregon to Longview, Washington. Scrabble Queen took this picture as we drover the bridge. There was a lumber shipping mill on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the river each with a huge supply of logs. Thank you Sharyn for those 2 great pictures

mmmmm I always thought of Prince Rainier of Monaco when I saw that name now I think the name is because Washington and Oregon are rain-i-er than anywhere else in the US - maybe the Galaxy.

Tomorrow the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center (one of 5)

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 333 - The Contender 332 Ouch!

Quote of the Day ~
"The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?" ~ Pablo Casals (December 29, 1876 – October 22, 1973), was a Spanish cellist and later conductor. He made many recordings throughout his career, of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, also as conductor, but Casals is perhaps best remembered for the recording of the Bach: Cello Suites he made from 1936 to 1939. He passed away 2 days after my 30th Birthday.

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©Paul Viel