Columbia River Maritime Museum

Columbia M Museum 1

Mid-winter is often a good time to stay indoors. Lately I’ve thought about an indoor adventure we had last year, a trip to the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon. We had no idea what to expect. When we found it I was surprised and happy to see lots of windows and an open, sweeping design.

Columbia M Museum 2

Beyond the museum are docks where two Coast Guard cutters were docked as well as a decommissioned museum light ship (a ship that functions as a lighthouse). But I was intrigued by what I saw in the huge front window. It looked like a big boat in action, tilted at a crazy angle.

Columbia M Museum 3

This is the action side of the boat in the Museum’s front window, a Coast Guard cutter in a simulated rescue. It’s quite a compelling exhibit. At the mouth of the Columbia River is the Columbia River Bar, a treacherous area where the river meets the Pacific Ocean in one of the most dangerous spots on the globe. It’s called the “Graveyard of Ships” and it’s not hyperbole. The Coast Guard is the last hope for some unlucky sailors here and a diorama like this helps present the scale and scope of dangers faced by seafarers and those who protect them.

I’ll show you more of what’s inside the museum in the next couple of days.

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Message to City Daily Photo bloggers: The photo challenge for February 1st is If you had to leave forever the city from which you usually post, what would you miss most?
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8 thoughts on “Columbia River Maritime Museum”

  1. Wheee! That is a beautiful building. Have you ever noticed that a lot of churches are built in a similar manner … the church beings the “ship” on which the faithful sail through life. The main structure is even called the “nave.”

  2. Terrific! The architect of the museum is to be complimented for coming up with a building design that so nicely complements its contents. And, I love that exhibit of the rescue boat.

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