This past weekend, September 8-10 was the 41st Annual Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. Located at Point Hudson Marina and the Northwest Maritime Center, the three day festival was a truly special event. In addition to the myriad of really cool old (and not so old) wooden boats on display to be toured (and some even chartered!), each day was cram packed with informational seminars, talks by authors and experts in all things wooden boats.
Edensaw hosted its annual boatbuilding challenge where teams of up to four people worked to build a sail, paddle or row boat made of wood over the course of the three days of the festival. We were only there for the one day, but it was neat to see the progression of these small boats, each one very different from the next.
There were tons of activities for kids including treasure hunts, boatbuilding (on a much smaller scale, of course), oceanography on the dock, a puppet theater and boat rides just for kids. We watched a race between two kids on boats made out of cardboard and duct tape (in a large pool-type tank, not in the marina) that looked like a lot of fun!
One of our favorite parts of the day was meeting Carol Hasse and seeing where our sails were built at the Port Townsend Sails Loft. It was so neat to see the space and to listed to Carol’s talk about sail construction. We learned a lot and gained a better understanding of how our boat works.
We hadn’t planned on staying all day, but 6 p.m. rolled around and we were still chatting with friends we’d met on the tall ship Ladyhawk at Festival of Sail in June. It was a great day, and we can’t wait for next year!
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?
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With the time that has gone by, we have volunteered for the Festival of Sail and participated in our very first Third of July in Poulsbo. We had a lot of fun doing both (even with all of the rain at Festival of Sail). We both ended up being sick at Festival of Sail which was a bummer.
Steph made Jello shots for Third of July that came out amazing. They were definitely a hit at the BBQ. The fireworks were awesome and the bay was filled with boats. We can’t wait to do it again next year.
Last week, Jim was asked by our friend Aaron to help tow a 53′ sailboat from Eagle Harbor back to Poulsbo with his tug. It was supposed to be a simple tie up and tow, but the day had other plans in store and quickly turned into one big learning experience for Jim.
Our broker, Sue (who helped us buy Willow), introduced us to another client of hers who just purchased a Rhodes 41. He wanted to take it out for a little sail and she thought we might enjoy the chance to get out on another boat.
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!