Friday, May 1, 2009

Log Boom or Bust

We weren't really heading for the log boom, but rather the south side of the Montlake Cut for anchoring. I should probably start at the beginning: I grew up (at least the first 20 years of my life) spending the first weekend in May celebrating the Opening Day of Boating which is a festival loosely sponsored by the Seattle Yacht Club. There are related events for most of a week, but the crown jewel happens on Saturday. There is a crew race with probably the largest attendance in the world: The Windermere Cup followed by a parade of decorated and bristol boats that can last for 2 or 3 hours. This all takes place in the waterway between Lake Washington and Portage Bay called the Montlake Cut (the eastern end of the Lake Washington Ship Canal). The land portion of "the Cut" is completely packed with thousands of spectators and the watery sides of the eastern end of the cut are lined with boat of all shape, size and form. On the north side the University of Washington puts our a log boom which boats can tie to and on the south side boats just anchor and raft to each other. So, now you know the where and the why.
How we went about getting this little adventure under way involved leaving Shilshole on Wednesday morning. After getting the kids off to school and running some errands, Brad and I took CAPAZ through the Ballard Locks and into the fresh water. There are five bridges that we have to open between our slip and where we were headed. There are certain times of the day (rush hour) that the bridges do not open for boats. So it's a little like running the gauntlet. There was a group of 3 sailboats who had come down from Victoria, BC together who were in the same lock lift with us. That meant the bridges waited for all four of to get us to get close before they would open, so we just settled in with our new Canadian friends and kept heading east. We actually had the artificial time limit (not the bridge time limit) of having to get anchored and dinghy back to the office where the car was parked so that we could get the kids from school.
Once we cleared the Montlake Bridge, our anchorage was in sight. There weren't very many boats but more than we expected. We picked a spot and dropped a stern anchor in the middle of the channel then pointed the boat at Marsh Island. Brad took a line from the bow in the dinghy and tied off to a tree. That was that! By 7:30 in the evening, we had two friends tied up on either side of us.
Thursday morning, we commuted to work and school in the dinghy. It was a gorgeous morning and the kids thought that was the best way to go to school 9even though they had to get up early in order to be on time. We also took our neighbor (both at Shilshole and out here on the Cut), to work. He walked down and caught the South Lake Union Trolley up to his office. You could say he had a "dinghy-S.L.U.T" commute.
The weather forecast for Friday could not be better, so we all pretty have come down with cases of the Seattle flu (this has no relation what-so-ever to the Swine Flu, but rather is something that afflicts Pacific NW residents on days when the sun comes out and the temperature rises). Days like this are why we "choose" to live here in the gray most of the year - we truly appreciate the beauty of an outstanding day when it comes along!!!!!
I must go for a paddle in the kayak now.

1 comment:

Seven C's said...

Sounds like a wonderful day! We don't have anything like that at all down here on the Oregon coast.
We all enjoyed our short time in Washington when we picked up our Ingrid in Olympia and delivered it to Winchester Bay, OR.
I do think that the Seattle Flu is quite contagious though - I seem to come down with it often. :)