An introduction to Seattle boating

Johnny and Robin, friends from California are looking for a boat to buy. We thought it would be nice to invite them up for a long weekend and show them how just how fantastic boating around Seattle can be.

Johnny and Robin have chartered in both the San Juan and Gulf Islands. Their last adventure was aboard a Nordic Tug 42. So they are familiar with Northwest boating. We wanted to show them some of the sites, how we use our boat, and just generally have a great time on the water.

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Jen and Joseph

Jen and Joseph, friends from San Francisco, joined us for a weekend trip on the boat. Our goal was to show them just how fantastic boating in the Northwest is. That, and relax and have a nice time. I think we were successful.

We headed for the locks early on Friday morning. It was a beautiful day. Clear and calm. As we approached the locks, we could see fog spilling over the locks into Salmon Bay.

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Blake Island without friends

As avid readers of this site (if there are any other than close relatives (and I am not sure about them)) will note, we’ve been to Blake Island an awful lot lately. In our defense, sans windlass, we are currently limited to marinas and mooring buoys. We choose mooring buoys over marinas any day. That limits us to relatively few places close to Seattle.

So that’s how Kim and I ended up at Blake Island all by ourselves (but by no means alone) this weekend.

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Blake Island with Friends

Warning. Spoiler alert! This post contains descriptions and photos of actual boat use. Not the usual fix this, untangle that, install something sort of project post that has bogged this site down recently. Read on if you dare …

Our friends Tim and Carmel, and Cindy came up from Southern California for a day on the boat. The weekend before the Fourth of July was amazingly warm and perfect. People in California think it rains all the time in Seattle. It was nice to show them how wonderful it can really be here. We swore them to secrecy upon their return to California.

They only had one day with us so I picked them up from a dock on south Lake Union in the dinghy bright and early Saturday morning. Kim had breakfast waiting when we arrived. After a quick tour and orientation, we headed for the locks eating breakfast along the way Surprisingly, there was no wait at the locks. We motored in behind one boat and two smaller boats followed us in. We popped out through the locks and headed for Blake Island.

On the way over, Tim and Cindy were playing with the flybridge intercom. Tim ordered up a couple of Vodka Tonics. I called their bluff and produced two high quality drinks. They were surprised and somewhat appreciative. It was 10:30 in the morning. I think they liked them.

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Almost Alone at Blake Island

With the boat headed for a month or so of downtime, we though it best to hop over to Blake Island for the weekend. This being February, and with a bit of a chill in the air, other boats were scarce.

On the upside, no waiting at the locks. The sailboat ahead of us was kind enough to do the waiting for us.

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By ourselves at Blake Island

With the change of weather, fewer people seem to venture out in their boats. That’s good for us! We spent the weekend all by ourselves on the west side of Blake Island.

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Cindy and Noe

Cindy and Noe are friends from southern California. Not much experience with the Northwest and none with boats. They came up for a visit this past weekend and we took them out on the Sound for the day Saturday.

Fortunately for all, Seattle brought out some great weather for the weekend. The first sunshine in a long time. Sometimes we get lucky.

A beautiful start to the day

We left the slip on Lake Union headed for the locks shortly after 8:00 on Saturday morning. No other boats in sight. As we approached the locks, we could see the gates were closed. We prepared to tie up at the small lock waiting area. Just then the gates started to open and we got the green light. In we went. We were the only boat around so the gates were closing as we finished tying off. That’s service!

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