When we made the decision to move to the Seattle area, and started doing our research, it seemed likely that if we were going to be moored in the city of Seattle, we would end up in Lake Union. And therefore we would need to learn how to navigate the Ballard Locks (officially called the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks). It was a terrifying prospect, and we’d heard horror stories around the Internet.
In the end, we found ourselves outside of Seattle and therefore nowhere near the locks, but we were still curious to see what they were all about. Considering they attract over 1.3 million visitors per year (according to ballardlocks.org) and, with over 400,000 boats passing through per year, are currently the nation’s busiest locks, we had to see what the hype was all about.
In talking to one of the locks operators, we learned that they actually have boats going through 24 hours a day and a boat can sometimes wait hours in line depending on the number and size of the boats ahead of it.
We also walked down to the fish ladder, where the salmon were running. It was pretty cool to see them all swimming against the current, but don’t take my word for it. Check out the video below for more on our visit to the Ballard Locks!
It was a fun day, and we enjoyed our experience. In fact, whenever we are in Ballard and we have a little extra time, we like to walk down and watch the boats.
Have you ever been to the Ballard Locks? What did you think?
A few weeks ago, we got a bit of cool news: my youngest brother, Dan, and his girlfriend, Erika, had taken jobs at a dude ranch in Montana for the summer. They were packing up and leaving almost immediately, and were we available for a short visit on their way up? Well, of course the answer as an ecstatic and high volumed YES!
They drove up, stopping to visit a few friends on the way and arrived in Poulsbo on Dan’s birthday, just in time to celebrate with a little dinner and a beer at Tizleys. The next day we spent doing the tourist thing in Seattle (since Dan had never been outside of SeaTac Airport), and they were on their way the morning after.
It was a short visit, but I’ll take any time I can get with my youngest brother!
Yesterday we checked out the Seattle Boat Show compliments of the Seattle Boat Company, who generously provided us with two tickets. We started at CenturyLink Field Event Center and the indoor portion of the show. This is where Seattle Boat Co. had their booth and so many neat boats to check out. We loved this 40 foot Cobalt A40 Coupe with all the amenities of home, including a built in barbecue. We could totally live on something like this!
We also looked at a cool 44 ft Nordic Tug that was absolutely gorgeous. My brother and his wife talk about retiring on a boat like this and I have to commend their taste!
From there we headed over to Chandler’s Cove on Lake Union for the outdoor portion of the show. This was the most exciting for us because this is where all the sailboats were. There were also quite a few trawlers and other neat large power boats that we enjoyed looking through. That’s the beauty of the boat show: you can look at these crazy, huge, fancy boats and dream of a completely different lifestyle. This 2012 Tayana 48, for instance. What a gorgeous boat! And so big and roomy and full of storage! We fell in love instantly!
While it was fun for us to dream, we concluded by the end of the day that we wouldn’t be happier on any of the boats we’d seen that we are on Willow. She’s our boat, our home and we love her. No amount of spiff and shine will replace her. At least for now.
If you’re still contemplating going to the show, it runs until February 4th, so get out there and check it out!
And if you just want our take on it, check out our video and don’t forget to subscribe to our youtube channel!