My favorite days to drive home from work

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow are my favorite days to drive home from work each year.  Why?  Because Saturday is the opening day of boating season in Seattle.  There is a stat that may or may not be true in that Seattle has the largest number of boats per capita of any city in the USA but I think in many respects people do not see Seattle as a boating town.
The state route 520 bridge aka Evergreen Point floating bridge is one of two bridges that actually float on the water spanning between the Seattle side and the Eastside of Lake Washington, a fresh water lake.  On the Seattle side the is the Montlake cut that connects Lake Washington with Portage Bay and Lake Union.  From there there are locks in Ballard that will connect you to the salt water Puget Sound.  What makes the drive so fun is that many boats tie up to a log boom on the Seattle side near the entrance of the Montlake cut, also right next to the University of Washington campus.  If it is fun to drive over the bridge and see all of these amazing boats or should I say yachts.  In Portage Bay the Seattle Yacht Club has their marina and there are many sailboats tied up there all with flags hanging off of their masts and guidewires.
On Saturday you can go down to either side of the cut and watch crew races.  From a crew boat you row by all of the boats tied up on the log boom and through the cut.  There are local club teams of high school age up to the old timers and then the University of Washington has many races be they four or eights.  My sister rowed for Western Washington University one year on their Freshman eights.  The final races each year places the UW varsity eights for men and women against some of the international best for their age class.  My freshman year at the UW there was I think the Italian junior national team and for the women they were from New Zeeland.  The actually housed them in our dorm on their own floor and I remember all of the girls I new at the time were lusting over the Italian crew boys.  They would stand out on the balcony and sing in Italian to any girl who would walk by.  This year for the Windermere Cup the UW is rowing against Cornell University and a team for the Czech Republic (under-23) in both men and women eights.  Cornell has the #9 best crew team in the country for mens and #25 for women and the UW women are currently #12.  There is also an Olympic cup race with two USA teams in pairs.  Crew is a fairly big thing at the UW.  Many of the people that row on the teams go on to row on the Olympic teams and not just for the US.  I think it was in Sydney the UW had women rowing for three different countries.  In a bit of trivia the whole UW team represented the USA in the Olympics in Germany with Hitler looking on.
After the crew races then there are the parade of boats (You can start to sing to yourself “I love a parade.”).  Everyone on many of the boats are in there boating finest wear.  There are different classes of boats and you get to see boats like the fireboats and the whole husky marching bands will come through playing on three boats all traveling in parallel.  My favorites are always the tug boats that will do 360s down the cut and splash water up at people sitting or standing on the side of the cut.


About Aaron Bregel

Just trying to get by
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