This is what Astoria's waterfront sounds like. It is so loud, it seems that every sea lion that has commandeered a rock or pier is talking to its friend.
That is not true. Believe it or not, some of the sea lions are resting their voices so they can join the chorus later. It is like a human choir that has been trained to stagger its breathing so that it can sustain a long note. Except that with the sea lions, the song goes on forever.
At least, I'm pretty sure it does. I woke up in the middle of the night and they were barking. (Don't worry, it lulled me back to sleep.) The next morning they were still calling to each other. It made me smile. I like their exuberance. But I noticed that homes of Astoria, Oregon were positioned up the hill, away from the waterfront. I imagine the locals are over it.
The railing to the left of this pub overlooks the ocean, so I went there to take pictures of the sea lions.
This was as close as I could get. I was making the best of it, wishing I had a longer lens, when I heard some heavy breathing from the water below.
I looked down and my curious friend looked up. "Hey, kid," I said, because that's how I greet other barking animals.
I really should have snapped first and spoken later. And focused.
Astoria is positioned where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific. We took the kids to the Pacific Northwest for Spring Break, fully expecting to spend a lot of the time in museums away from the rain. The weather was a lot better than we thought it would be--which means we spent more time looking at waterfalls and less time indoors (more on the waterfalls later).
We really enjoyed the sea lions--so much that we barely got a look at the town. It's a shame, because it was so charming. But my philosophy is that when traveling, you always leave at least one thing undone. It gives you an excuse to go back.