05/02/2015 – Opening Day of Boating Season at Lake Washington!

Hello everyone!

Yesterday the Traveling Mr. Taylor was on board the Bower Family Sailboat for Opening Day of Boat Season. This annual event features a parade of boats that takes place every year on the canal that connects Lake Union and Lake Washington right next door to the University of Washington Campus. Every year, hundreds of boaters, many from various yacht clubs, come out for the festivities, whether to tie-down to the log chain and watch the parade, or to participate in the parade itself.

I was able to join in on the festivities this year as my sister’s boyfriend’s dad owns a sailboat and was the representative in the parade for the Edmonds Yacht Club. The sun was out and the weather was great, making a perfect day to kick off boating season in the Pacific Northwest, so let’s check it out!

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For the parade, Richard’s dad, Marty, had his boat docked at the Queen City Yacht Club, which sits on the canal between Lake Union and Lake Washington. These lakes are also connected to the Pudget Sound by way of the Ship Canal and the Ballard Locks. The yacht club was also serving as storage for the U-18 Bucketlist Racing unlimited hydroplane. They are part of the annual Seafair festival that is held in Seattle, with the Hydroplane racing taking place on Lake Washington. For anyone who has never seen one of these in action, they can fly across the water like nothing else as they essentially glide on the surface of the water, and their turbine engines give them the ability to hit top speeds of 220 miles per hour!

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So as we head down the docks to our vessel for the afternoon, you can see that this is quite the popular club. This was the first time I had seen docks that were covered, but considering the amount of rain the area gets, it makes a lot of sense.

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And that brings us to the Brower Family Sailboat…or should I say, the Flying Dutchman!

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Every year, the parade has a different theme, as this year was Myths and Monsters, and the Bower crew chose to go with the Myth of one Davey Jones!

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Okay, so maybe that’s just Marty with a mask, but alas it was a fun theme for the boat. As you can see, they placed green ribbons all over to represent seaweed, added some makeshift black sails, and a skeleton or two for added effect.

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But what is a pirate ship without a crew? Well, Davey Jones would have a few on board with him for this voyage. Below you see Marty…err….I mean Davey Jones, along with Marty’s daughter Katie, and then there is Richard enjoying some grog before we hoist the anchor.

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We also had our real-life sea dog, Tobey!

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And of course, yours truly would also get in on the fun!

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Time to make final preparations for the voyage. Hoist the colors!

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Make certain yer costumes are all set!

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Find yourself a good spot to lay down!

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Aye! Now that final preparations are set, it be time to set sail!

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“Yo ho, yo ho, to the canal we go!”

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Before we would go through the parade route, we would drift around with other boats also awaiting their turn, which gave us an opportunity to see what other people had for their boats.

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We saw everything from fellow pirate ships to dragons, giant squids to Gandolf the Grey, and even the legendary Rainier Beers that were part of the old 1970’s commercials. There were also a few aqua cars. These were really cool to see!

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And now it’s our turn to ride through the canal and past the boat alley where other boaters wanting to watch could tie down their boats and enjoy the parade.

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And at the end of the parade route, we come into Lake Washington, where many other boats would await the ability to return through the canal. We even got to watch a seaplane take off. It was a glorious day to be out on the water!

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One thing I will always love about the Seattle area is the views you can get of Mt. Rainier. It never gets old to me.

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It would be towards the end of our boat ride that I saw what was my favorite boat (besides ours of course), and that was a tribute to old Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster!

20150502_151516Once all the other boats had gone through, we would be given the okay to return, and that would bring today’s adventure to an end.

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Thank you all for joining me on this adventure for Opening Day of Boating Season. I hope you enjoyed it!

Take Care and Safe Travels!

-Gary Taylor

“The Traveling Mr. Taylor”

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