Yesterday our voyage began in Portland, Oregon, as we embarked National Geographic Sea Bird, our home for the upcoming week of cultural and geographical exploration in the Columbia River basin. Overnight we sailed 85 miles downstream to Astoria, Oregon. Protected in the harbor next to the established shipping channel, we were only a few miles from the Columbia River bar. This area of shifting sands, complicated currents, and surging surf is where the flowing river waters meet the stormy northeast Pacific Ocean. This also was the ultimate goal of Lewis and Clark leading the Corps of Discovery in the fall of 1805. "Ocian in view, O! the joy..." Clark wrote, not fully realizing the difficult winter and return trip they faced in the next year.  Our trip along this river is much more comfortable in our modern era, but is still full of adventure, discovery, and exploration for our group of travelers; already a family of new-found friends.