Friday, August 21, 2015

Boating on Lake Union

Wednesday evening, Vicki and Dave surprised Kim, Jim, Jim and me with a cruise on Lake Union.  The Electric Boat Company rents these boats to cruise Lake Union.  They're Duffy boats. Both of those links go to graphics intensive websites, so if your data is limited, you may not want to click on them.  The boats cruise at 7 knots, and have zero fumes or noise.  They are really fun boats.

There are many stand up paddle board users and kayakers on the lake.

That's Dave driving, with the two Jims.

Lake Union has many houseboats. It's a very cool life style, whose popularity has made it fairly expensive.  At one point I think every Seattle resident thinks, "how cool would that be?"

We went out to the Ballard locks. Out by the locks were two trash barges.  Someone has been out picking up dead boats, dead logs and debris.  There were two boats on the pile.

There are also sea gulls.  They are everywhere.

This an old sedan cruiser.  One wonders if the roof was built to support that many people sitting on it.

Here we are at Gas Works park.  Here is a brief clip from wikipedia.
The Lake Station gas manufacturing plant on Lake Union was the largest private utility then existing in Seattle. It operated as “Seattle Lighting Company” until 1930, when the name was changed to “Seattle Gas Company”. Its primary product was illuminating gas (so-called because it was used for lighting) manufactured from coal. The gas was later also used for cooking, refrigeration, and heating homes and water. It was also called city gas to distinguish it from natural gas. The gas was made from coal up to 1937 when the high cost of operating the old coke oven and coal-gas generating sets forced a change-over to oil.
The soil at the park is hugely contaminated from the years of gas production.  Large amounts of dirt were brought in to cap the soil.  It's now a beautiful park.  Thousands of people come here on July 4 for the fire works.

This is the other side of Lake Union.  There are more house boats over here.

The blue house is an older model.  Some of the wood is a little chewed up.  These houses are the old Seattle.

And then there is this.  Talk about not fitting in with the neighborhood!  The new house boats sit on concrete pontoons, and are much better insulated than their older neighbors.

I was hoping it would be easier to see this in the picture - look at the bottom.  You can see the logs that are floating this house.  They occasionally have to be replaced after they're water logged.

We're not sure what kind of boat this is.  We saw another one, where the people were paddling furiously.

This is a fantastic way to see the city from the water.  No real boat handling skills are required.  If you're in the area, you should do this.

We send massive thanks to Vicki for organizing this.  After boating, there was dinner at their house.  It was a perfect evening.


  1. That sounds like a terrific evening! Love the variety of floating homes, and the fact that someone was out picking up giant floating debris!

  2. We're always fascinated with houseboats. A whole different set of problems, I'm sure. Looks like a fun evening!

  3. Great adventure! Those sure are some amazing house boats. This would be great fun if we return to the area. Thanks for sharing!