Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bainbridge Island

On our walk to the Ferry we noticed these Seattle Police Bikes with permanent Mittens on the handlebars

Washington State Ferries are Fun

This is Looking North West, We are headed to the Island on the Left

Approaching Eagle Harbor

Have to check these Marinas out, they are just a short ferry ride from Seattle!

Preparing to Depart, but we walked on.

Big Island but since we are walking we will just see a small bit

We stopped at a Blackbird Bakery for Tea and Cranberry, Apricot Scone I'm glad He did not get it first!

I think I like Eagle Harbor much more than the Mega Marinas in Seattle

There are two marinas in Eagle Harbor this one: http://www.winslowwharfmarina.com/index.html and Eagle Harbor Marina: http://www.eagleharbormarina.com/

Beyond the marina out in the middle of the Harbor are lots of Mooring Balls and These Mooring Cables that at common in the PNW where there is a length of cable secured on the surface of the water where several vessels can moor to. Not sure how this works since it would not seem to allow for full 360 degree swing?

The tide is down here at least 5'

Always interesting vessels like this wooden masted Schooner

What goes down has to come up

Maybe I should just get a Tug Boat

The Admiral remembered this from our Free walking Seattle tours. Jake the Tour Guide mentioned it as a great place to eat, this is where he Proposed to his wife. 

It was a 40 minute wait but we got a great table by the window.

My kind of view

My kind of Ale

Our Kind of Food, Salmon Salad for the Admiral and a huge bowl of clams for me

Time to walk back to the Ferry, maybe there will be a great Sunset on the way back?

Our first view of Mount Baker since we got here. 

Headed back to Seattle, can't see the Sun over the mountains, hope it is not to late to get a sunset pic

Well we will at least get a great view of Mt. Rainier. And that Sailboat way over there could be us some day?

A clear view back to Seattle as we emerge from Eagle Harbor

The Admiral is Happy!

Nice, we get to see lots of Pastels as the sun ends the day.

We texted our daughter to let her know we were on our way back and our Son In Law got this great pic from their condo of our return Ferry Trip. 

Bainbridge Island

We had been across to Bainbridge Island several times before when we came up to visit our daughter and when we bought Wand'rin Star which was moored at a marina in Paulsbo on Liberty Bay. To get to Liberty Bay you had to go clear across Bainbridge Island back to the mainland in Western Washington.
The Admiral is our Primary trip planner, she is always cooking up something to do Next.
The volunteer coordinator (who lives on Bainbridge) where we volunteer for the Seattle Symphony told us about Blackbird Bakery, a spot she says she can always be found: http://blackbirdbakery.com/pastries/.
So we found the bakery pretty quick on our walk through town towards the Harbor, Marinas and our Late lunch date at the Harbor Public House. There are lots of PNW Arts and Craft shops specialty cafe's and bars along the walk. It has to be a really special shop for us to get trapped into. Once you get rid of most of your stuff the last thing you want is to recreate that problem. A lot easier when you travel light!
Really liked walking along the shores and docks of Eagle Harbor seeing marinas, boats and scenery. Very protected Harbor and way better then the huge megalopolis Marinas of Seattle. There are hundreds of great harbors and marinas in Puget Sound, no way to see them all unless you lived up here and made that your cruising goal. We got a close up view several years ago of all the marinas in Paulsbo and Liberty Bay when we bought Wand'rin Star. We did not have time then to do much else but we did do a shake down cruise to Port Orchid before we sailed her up to Port Townsend to be decommissioned for the trip back to Texas.

The Admiral picked our Late Lunch Date restaurant, she remembered The Harbor Public House http://harbourpub.com/ mentioned on one of our Free Seattle Walking Tours.  It's where the Tour Guide proposed to his wife and since you can walk on the ferry and ride round trip for just $7 it makes a great day and story. I got a giant bowl of Steamed Clams for $14 and a great Ale, The Admiral got a Salmon Salad and was a happy camper. We tried to time the trip so we could see the sunset as we ferried back to Seattle and the timing was almost perfect.. By the time we got far enough out in the water to see the sunset (since the Olympic Mountains and foot hills are all around you), the sun had just gone below the Horizon but we got all the after glow and the pastel colors. Most of the pedestrians on the ferry were out on the deck taking their own sunset pics and enjoying a beautiful ride back to Seattle.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Mystical and Ethereal 2014 New Years

The Seattle New Years Fire works are shot  from the Space Needle. The forecast said there would be some fog but from our vantage point,  just a few blocks away  and 11 floors up in my Daughters neighbors condo everything looked pretty clear. Then at about 11:40 pm the fog started to thicken up a bit 

This pic of the Space Needle with the Pacific Science Center Arches on the left was taken about 15 minutes before midnight. The Fog had just started to roll in. We watched from above as thousands streamed into Seattle Center to participate in the Celebration.

The Simulcast started the countdown to midnight and as Each second from 10 were counted down a red ball ignited up the tower and flames streamed from the Saucer as if it was about to Launch, the fog closed in a bit but we still had a great view.

There was absolutely no wind to encourage the smoke to fade away and with the fog it just seemed to envelope the entire space needle.
Ground control to major Tom
Ground control to major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
(Ten) Ground control (Nine) to major Tom (Eight)
(Seven, six) Commencing countdown (Five), engines on (Four)
(Three, two) Check ignition (One) and may gods (Blastoff) love be with you

We could occasionally see some of the fireworks emerge. They were shot from all levels of the tower and the very top of the Needle.

I wondered what all this looked like to the thousands on the ground surrounding the Space Needle.

The lighted Christmas tree at the top is visible, can't see the Saucer, maybe it took off?

The Newscasters on the New Years Day morning News called it "Mystical and Ethereal" 

Here is a Youtube Video of the Event http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhteC_HTOJI I watched a few of these videos and it is clear that if you were on the East side looking West you got a better view since the smoke was mostly hanging on the western side of the Needle. But we did not let that stop us from Celebrating the "Mystical and Ethereal" 2014, We toasted our glass of champagne and Drew with his bottle of breast milk with a Sense of Optimism for the year to come. Our party ended by 12:30 AM as we headed home to rest up for Drew's first New Years Day.

The 12th Man Flag is really heating up Seattle as the Seahawks continue to be successful on their drive to the Superbowl
We rarely get to experience being in a town that has a team with a solid chance to make the Super Bowl. We were in New Orleans for a month when we were cruising the Gulf Coast and so we got a taste of being a Saints Fan while we were there. Our Dallas Cowboys have been no where near this level in a ling time so being in Seattle with the Extreme Fans here has been fun. And due just to their 12th man squad here I believe they have the best Chance at being the 2014 Super Bowl winners.

View of West Settle and Alki Beach on New Years Day from the 

Myrtle Edwards Park Hike and bike Trail http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=311

Just about 3 blocks downhill from us at the waters edge is the Myrtle Edwards Hike and Bike trail. It is about a 2 mile section that links other trails in the city and a great walk with no vehicle traffic.

Mt Rainier looks close but it is really pretty far south, South of Tacoma Washington

A New years Day Sail. Ther is almost at least a couple of sailboats out on South Puget Sound even on the foggy days.

Plenty of floatsam on the shores around the Sounds rocky shores and rocky beaches,

Don't worry, I am sure Captain Ron is OK

The trail for us ends at the end of this channel where the American Seafood Company has 6 huge 270'+ fishing ships.

I wondered what types of Seafood these huge ships fish for. Salmon is a big deal in the PNW but a query on there website and Alaska Pollock, Pacific Hake, and Yellowfin Sole seem to be where the money is.

With 6 of these huge fishing/processing ships that can process over 1600 metric Tons with crews of 140 you begin to realize how big the fishing industry is up here. There are Hundreds more fishing vessels moored in the channel to Lake Union.


American Wigeon

Common Goldeneye
The Admiral gets few chances for birding here in Seattle but when she can she takes her camera along on our walks and has found several that we never got to see along the Gulf coast

The first part of couple of  days in Jan was just like the nice December here, unusually dry and sunny. so we took advantage of those days put Drew in the Stroller and  cruised the Hike and bike trail or Seattle Center. He likes water so much we like to take him to any water feature end the International fountain is perfect background noise to sleep by.

One of our favorite things to eat at Seattle Center a Kale Ceasar salad with Boquerones which are white marinated Anchovies. If you want to cancel the Kale out you can order some Fried chicken breast with it!

The Cascades seem to have the most winter snow resorts and while they have snow December was pretty dry so some have just received enough snow with some traditional January weather for snow sports. I should have taken a picture of these mountains yesterday as all the dark ares you see here are now white.  

The first few days of awesome January weather gave way to 8 straight days of wet, gray Seattle weather. we thought that we would finally experience the type of weather that everyone talks about, but the rain is gone. We have some type of California High here now with a week long spell of 50 degree highs and a little fog now and then.

The Mystical and Ethereal 2014 New Years

December was pretty mild by normal winter standards here in Seattle, almost no rain. The first few days of 2014 was the same and then the First winter front for 2014 hit with a week of rain, mostly just light to heavy mist. then the Pineapple Express comes to Seattle all the way from Hawaii, it is a stream of wind and moisture that carried on here for 3-4 days of breezy winds and periods of heavy rain but it was "Tropical" so it was not cold! For two nights the winds howled heavily through these condo buildings. Now we have this California Warm front with a week of temps in the 50's and stagnating air caused by inversion.
Non of that has detracted from the natural beauty of this area. We have all Passed Baby 101 as Drew is now 4 months old and is baby talking up a storm and rolling every which way. He loves to go out on walks and lets you know when he is bored with whatever activity is going on. He is lucky to have 4 adults to manage his demanding brain for more fun and new activities. We celebrated New Years in a next door neighbors condo that had a great view of the Space Needle and raised a glass of Champagne (Drew had Breast Milk) and promptly went to sleep so we could enjoy a fine New Years Day walking on the water front. Today is Jan 16 so I am just a little behind on the blog and enjoying the time to get caught up. Wand'rin Star and it's crew wish ALL of You the very Best! for the NEW Year and with the encouragement of a 4 month old Optimistically look forward to whatever 2014 brings to our lives.