Despite all the hooplah in Hawaii about pregnant women not being able to boat, we took Hot Water on her maiden voyage in the Pacific Northwest last weekend. In between some major storms and cold weather, we got a blast of heat. Mid-70s, virtually no wind and total sunshine! We took advantage. We gave the marina a quick call in the morning and told them we’d come to the boat around noon.
We showed up a little later than expected (shocking) and pretty much no one was there. The owner of our marina was there picking up his old wooden 40 something foot luxury to go hang out off the shores of Seward Park in Lake Washington with his family for the day.
When we call, they use a crane to pull Hot Water off her dry storage rack and put her on an elevator of sorts and into the water. The crane operator has a full set of plugs and makes sure the boat is plugged/unplugged with each in/out of the water transaction. It was a small point of “oh, crap” for us when Scott found Hot Water’s actual plug in a cup holder. We later learned of the plug system. Whew! Crisis #1 averted.
There were no pictures of getting out of the marina. That could be considered a crisis scenario. You basically have to learn how to wedge a boat out of a tiny spot with little to no steering power. You thought parallel parking when you were 16 was rough. In all reality, Scott was amazing and with just a few little pushes off the dock by me and Ollie, we were out of there, but alas, no pictures.
We are basically parked at the very tail end of the ship channel. Just before you hit the salt water of the Puget Sound. We have a speed limit of 7kts for several miles to get to the open water. You come across many kayakers amongst the ship docks.
And then there’s the famous Seattle houseboats. That’s my kind of city living. Their houses float on a dock, they have to be proven sea-worthy once per year to be able to stay on the lake.
We have to go under many bridges on the way to the lake. The smaller bridge is the Fremont Bridge, the taller being Aurora.
Pretty much the whole shipping channel is lined with the unique houseboats. Some are absolutely giant, others are little 2 bedroom, 1 bath cottages. One of the partners at my old firm had a mansion on the south end of Mercer Island (we’ll get you some pics of Mercer Island on our next boating journey) and a cottage on Lake Union for the summer. My kind of city living!
The dogs in Seattle LOVE to boat. We saw tons of them at the bow barking away with their tails a-wagging.
Once we hit Lake Union, we did a small circle to check out what restaurants around the lake had mooring. Planning our future excursions or thinking of one night where I say “hey, sun doesn’t go down till 10, let’s take the boat to dinner.” 🙂 Lake Union has some interesting complications. First being it’s a freaking runway.
…for all the float planes of Kenmore Airlines. Kenmore goes to surrounding islands and a few other locations. Their “hub” so to speak is Lake Union. You kind of hear their roar and go “crud, where do we go?” Before our next trip, we will do a little reading to make sure we are following all of the rules, but the pilots appear to be quite well versed in maneuvering the pleasure boats on the water.
Lake Union is another 7kt zone, so we decided we were ready to stretch Hot Water’s legs and hit Lake Washington. We had to go through the Montlake Cut, under the University Bridge, past Husky Stadium (will the Aggies be playing there soon?????? Go Pac10???) and into the deep glacier fed waters of Lake Washington.
The cut is basically owned by the University of Washington crew teams. They paint the retaining walls with motivational sayings and each class gets something fun to paint. I liked the one below best.
One of my absolute favorite parts of boating: laughing at the lubbers sitting in traffic on 520. Many of you have received many phone calls from me while I sit in this trainwreck of traffic daily. Scott drives it twice a day too, it’s pretty darn miserable. I usually curse under my breath at the skiers and wakeboarders having fun in the water while we just sit. And sit. And sit. On our way to sit. And sit. And sit at a computer.
Even Miss Rainier came out to play last weekend!
We made a stop by my old place to see if any of my buddies were hanging out on the dock. Only one person was out, maybe they just don’t hang out there anymore since I moved? Probably. My friend Jeff still has my noodles and blow up Orca, I hope he’s taking good care of them.
Once we got into Kirkland (the east side of the lake – where Microsoft is and Bill Gates lives…), we tucked into a little area called Cozy Cove. It’s pretty quiet and off the main channel of the lake, keeping the waters a little calmer. We’ve decided it’s where the lucky ones who were working at Microsoft before Microsoft was the giant it is live. Beautiful homes, most with a large motor yacht and a “small” ski boat. Many with their own float planes. We heard some rattling and turned around to find this coming out of someone’s dock.
I guess he was taking advantage of the weather as well.
He just cruised right past us and took off.
Maybe he was off to the San Juan Islands for the night? That’s 100% what I’d do.
Bye! Say hi to Friday Harbor for us!
Scott then needed to take a conference call for work. So we appropriately pulled up to his office. We moored (for free) at his office where I went to get a cold drink at Starbucks and Scott took his meeting. His office has the little plant in the yellow pot in the window.
We had dinner at a little lake front restaurant and decided the clouds were rolling in, the winds picking up, and it was time to hit the water to get back to Seattle for the night.
Our little break of sunshine was coming to a close for the weekend.
We had one last shot of downtown before heading down the ship canal.
Don’t feel sorry for us. The rain came in and stuck around all week. But guess what? Today it’s going to be 80°. EIGHTY!!! So, we’re going to finish up on our computers, clean the house and hit the water for the afternoon. Have a great weekend everyone!