Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Day on the Water

On Thursday of last week Sallad and Grace strapped their new little girl into the smallest life vest in the world and invited us to a lovely day on the water. We spent most of the day in their new (to them) boat and it was a wonderful time. We launched the boat from Bothel and set out on our adventure. Lake Washington was beautiful! We got to see a sea-port (airport for pontoon planes?) and actually watch float planes take off and land. We saw downtown Seattle, complete with the Space Needle. We saw lines and lines of fancy boats all tied together, floating patiently for the opening of boating season, which was last Saturday. What a life-these boats were arriving days early! Check out the photo at the bottom of that link and see what I mean! We traveled under numerous bridges of all shapes and sizes, passing Gas Works Park eventually reaching the canal.
That little stick in the center of the photo is the space needle. Sorry that I forgot to zoom. :)

Grace, Little B and Sallad.

Beautiful day on Lake WA!

I caught a shot before the blankets covered her back up.

Just a quick example of what a lot of the houseboats look like in Seattle. One of them even had a deck that was actually a boat. It was home to deck chairs and a BBQ, but also had an engine and trolling motors. It was complete with a sticker proving it was a registered licensed boat!

One of the beautiful bridges.

The canal lead us to the Ballard Locks, which I had always wanted to go through. The Mr. and I had visited them several times but my fondest memory of them was a visit when we were dating. It is so fun to watch the boats load into the holding areas, the water levels change and the general excitement that abounds. It is quite hectic as each boat is tied securely and as many as possible are guided into the lock. After some deliberation as to how many rules we would possibly break (as we didn't know what they were) it was decided that we would go for it, and learn as we went. We were going to go through the locks! I was so excited. Turns out we were only a few floats and ropes short but we made it through safe and sound. What better way to learn! The gentleman who guided us along was such a help and had a great personality. He made the experience so much fun- it could have been a lot worse!

Tightly packed in the lock.

Changing water levels! The cement and metal stay put, the black part is where you are tied on, and it moves with you.

Once all the boats were squished in and tied securely, the gates closed and the water fell. It was incredible how fast we were lowered. The walls that the boats are tied to move with the water, so everything stays secure. When you are at the needed water level, the gates open and you are free to go in the order that they announce. Then you are in the ocean! By the time we reached the Puget Sound the weather was a lot warmer. We saw down town Seattle from the Ocean front side, complete with wharfs, ferries, famous huge red cranes and Mt. Rainier in the clouds above. I can't believe how huge that mountain is! We saw the lighthouse at Discovery Park as well as a huge Navy aircraft carrier being escorted by several coast guard cutters.

Lighthouse at Discovery Park.

Aircraft Carrier

At this point we decided we needed a bathroom break, so we beached the boat at Golden Gardens Park. We left the boat on the beach and relaxed for a few minutes, talking with some people on the beach. I decided to go back to the boat and keep Grace company as she watched over her little girl who was sleeping soundly in the boat. As we were standing at the front of the boat preparing to load, it started to move. Then it started to move some more. Then it started to move so much that I yelled to the boys and they came to our rescue. By this time, the waves were four feet tall and crashing into the back of the boat. I jumped into the boat, grabbed my sopping wet camera out of the drenched chair at the back of the boat, as well as the poor little girl who was quite comfortable and still sleeping the day away in her safe little life jacket cocoon. At this point I think it's safe to say that the waves were at least 4-5 feet tall and crashing in onto the boat around every 5 seconds. I guess we should have realized that when something as massive as an aircraft carrier moves through the Puget Sound, beaching your boat is not a good idea. Experience is the best way to learn right?! :) We were in trouble, but help came quickly as the guys Sallad and The Mr. had just been talking to came to help. The boat had turned so it was parallel to the beach and we were quickly getting pushed up onto the sand. Thankfully Lisa and I were already in the boat at this point and baby B was warm and safe. One of the guys from the beach ran into the water up to his chest in order to spin the front of the boat around while yelling at the guys "Jump in RIGHT NOW and get out of here!" It took four or five guys, but we got out of there safely. What an adventure! I wish we could thank those guys for there help because we never could have done it without them. THANK YOU! Especially to the guy who spent the rest of his day off sopping wet with salty sea water! Thank you so much. The waves were huge, but once we were away from the beach it was easy to ride them out. The bilge pump pumped out a steady stream of water for 20 minutes, and every thing in the back of the boat was sopping wet. It was so exciting though!

Beached at Golden Gardens. Click on this photo so you can view it in it's large form. Notice how relaxed and comfortable everyone is. Also notice the massive waves the sun is reflecting off of in the upper right had corner of the photo. We were so naive! We had no clue what was soon to come.

The Mr. and I.

We spent a little more time on the ocean and then played back the rest of the day in reverse. Back through the locks, the canal, the rows of boats tied together, the parks etc. Then we docked in Kirkland. We went for supper at a Thai restaurant (we love curry) and then visited for a while with Debbie and Mom J. Our boat trip from Kirkland back to the boat launch in Bothel turned out to be mostly in the dark, but it was so beautiful. The air was a little warm and it was beautiful to see all the lights around Lake Washington.

Thank you so much Sallad, Grace and Little B for such a wonderful day!


  1. What fun! I think boating has got to be on of the most relaxing and fun, scenic things to do (or it's supposed to be anyway Ü). Looks like you had a wonderful day!

  2. I have to check in with you more often!!! Each time I visit "you" I feel like I get to vacation a bit! It's a fix for me since we haven't been on an "outdoor" trip since our one-day business trip/honeymoon. You capture creation and landmarks so beautifully!! Thank you!

  3. What a great day! I think it would be great fun to be boat people, but we know nothing about boats and would probably capsize the first day! Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  4. wow sounds like fun!! i didn't know they had a boat!

  5. Wow...you guys look so cold for it being May. I've never been to Seattle, though I hear it's beautiful, but I just can't imagine needing a jacket anywhere in the world when it is 85 degrees (at night) right outside our door. :) Beautiful pictures!

  6. Hey C! Great photos and write-up of the trip, that WAS a really fun day! So, looks like your camera survived the water? :)

  7. Yes, my camera survived the water just fine! I took out the memory card and battery and left the camera to dry in our warm laundry room for a whole day before I turned it on. It was torture waiting!

  8. Looks like fun! Nice pictures too! Glad your camera was ok!

  9. So cute! I love the itty bitty life vest picture!

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  10. I love all of the pics you put up!! I'm glad you got your candle...I hope you enjoy it! :)

  11. Sounds like a fun day. But I would have frozen to the seat. I am too much of a Southern California girl!


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