Monday, March 30, 2015

March 2015 in Seattle

It was a Gusty day early in March when I went down to do my volunteer Sailing Instruction. A Seaplane had just capsized, you can just see the pontoons at it is being towed upside down by the smaller vessel as the larger safety vessel stands by. The crew got out ok, It had just landed and was taxing when a gust forced the nose down in the water and it turtled.

It happened about 12:15 just as the winds were peaking in Strength, we had a interesting sailing lesson in the 20' Blanchard with the Main reefed of course.

Woods Hole Spirit Boat having no issues with the gusty winds.

And the Pelican taking it all in strides as well.

I bought a Groupon to rent one of these 10 passenger electric boats, hope to use it in April.

Elena's crew found a Message in a Bottle, They added to the message and sent it back out into  Lake Union...Passing it Forward!

What happened to the Sun? One of the new Amazon buildings took it all!, I walk by here all the time but this is the first time I have noticed the environmental impact of the new 1/2 city block sized building had on the very valued Seattle sunlight. A huge swath of South Lake Union is now in the shade.

I stopped to watch a crew disassemble a construction crane one piece at a time. It takes two mobile cranes, one small and one giant one to take it down.

Timing is everything

The beautiful early Spring days filled March up.

With Rainer being the exception since it's elevation is 14,409', Mt. Snoqualmie is 6,280. Since the heavier snow pack starts at around 10,00' this year in the Pacific Northwest due to a record warm winter and spring,, the state is concerned about it's water resources and power generating for the remainder of the year.

We took a day to Visit the MOHI, Museum of History and Industry, and had time to visit the upper floors this time.  I found this Janurary 1882 comment by a Seattle Mayor interesting. I think the current mayor could easily make a similar statement.

I looked into tickets for the Seattle Sounders Opening Season Game against the New England Revolution, they were sold out but you can easily buy on the second hand market so I got a couple of Cheap tickets, $45 a pop so I could take the Admiral to see this incredible MLS Team. We stopped by THE Ninety to hear some Soccer talk by the managers of the Sounders and soak up the Fan Mania that supports this team.

The view is Ok from the bottom of the upper deck.

Pre Game excitement and then just minutes into the game Clint Dempsey is fouled in the box and converts on a Plenty kick! I knew the Admiral would get to see Dempsey score but I did not know he would score twice in this game.

The view pre-game and at Halftime. 

The Sounders Fan were in a Blur after the Win over the Patriots.

Big D started the Little Kickers program, I think that red hair comes from a Brazilian Line. Move over Ronaldo

We didn't stay long at the Irish festival but these guys were fun:

Brian asked if I would crew for him and his Admiral aboard this J 105.

The Plan was to sail to Port Madison and back. The local resident Eagle saw us out into Shillshole Bay, We had perfect winds and I was amazed at how fast this boat accelerated to speed, we were immediately making 7+  knots effortlessly. Loved the double main sheet system for fine tuning the mainsail.

Brian and Ann becoming a great sailing team!

Noticed this cool Vessel for sail when we returned from our J 105 sail, you can see it on yachtworld at

Then the next week Brian invited me to accompany him on a J 80 to practice some tacking maneuvers. Again we sailed over towards Port Madison but since he wanted to perfect his Jibbing we got pretty far North in the nice South winds. A little over half way back the winds died and we motored back. 

This time I was surprised to see a Catalina 250 for sail on the docks, a C250 was our first sailboat on Canyon Lake so I had to get a picture of this one for old times sake!

I could sail this one blind.

Brian told me about the Cheery Trees at the University of Washington, He said we better hurry if we wanted to see them in bloom. Two days later we packed Big D in the car and drove over for a Day at the "Quad". The trees were in the last stages of the bloom but never the less still beautiful. 

You can see full bloom pics here from the University's we site:

Lots of interesting Architecture around the Quad


We closed out March with a Admirals Sail on a cloudy gusty day. Rally cool Cutter Ketch moored on the Northern end of the East shore.

Look at that Main, we are sailing close Hauled!

See Y'all in Texas soon.

March 2015 in Seattle

March started out with a big rain and then it was just sunny for about 10 days, they said on the news that Spring was 6 weeks early here. But then the rains began to alternate with the sun and I wondered if this would be a record wet March? But no, March 2014 was the wettest on the record books.  March also brought the winds, it was either barely enough to sail or pretty breezy with lots of gusty swirls thrown in.  Heck, In early March I was standing on the end of the dock at the Center for Wooden Boats waiting on my students to show up and a Seaplane was blown over nose first into the lake and it completely turtled over. The Pontoons  was the only thing that saved the plane as it was floating upside down in the lake. A small boat got a tow line on it and towed it to the North end of the lake so a crane could lift it and begin Salvage operations. The 2 crew made it out safely. My Buddy Randy said that it is not an uncommon thing for Seaplanes to get blown over but it was the first for me!.
We are still awed by living in an area with actual seasons. The Spring Beauty of the Pacific Northwest started peeking out early this year and that along with the unusual warm temps has had the natives being a lot more jovial. I had the great fortunate to meet a new sailing friend Brian from Colorado. He and his wife Ann basically found Seattle fore the same reasons we did, they followed their adult children up here and enjoy it so much they are staying for a while. They are trying to find ways to spend their summers at their home in Winter Park and their winters here where it is much milder. Brian and Ann joined Seattle Sailing Club to learn to sail and enjoy the incredible Puget Sound. This Sailing club is located right next door to Windworks Sailing that I belonged to. Seattle Sailing emphasizes racing and so they have a lot of J boats in their fleet. Brian has invited me several times to crew  and it has been a great opportunity for me to sail on go fast boats. I like them all but the J 105 is really nice!
Brian mentioned the Cherry Blossoms at the University of Washington and we knew of them through our daughters conversation but Brian tipped the scale and I knew we needed to see them. Brian said they should still be there but we better hurry if we wanted to see them. Two days later we packed Drew up and drove over and spent the whole morning enjoying the "Quad". It had rained the night before so there were a couple of puddles around, a Duck was enjoying one of those puddles and Big D decided he would join him. In the blink of an eye Drew fell on his butt in the puddle and the Admiral sprang into action. Drew had his muddy clothes off in a New York minute and we were off to the car for some clean threads.
We finished the month off with a fine Lake Union Sail in the Gusty March winds. We sailed all the way to the Washington Bridge downwind and the Admiral said now your going to make me work by having to tack all the way back in this wind. So I put my Sailor hat on and met her challenge by using the gust to work my way windward and reducing the number of tacks and thus limiting the number of times she would have to tack the jib. A little competition is always fun


  1. Sounds absolutely wonderful! Deserve it after living thru Crockett High School. Enjoy the grandson!! I have 9, 6 girls, 3 boys. One girl and one
    boy have red hair, love it. My nephew lives in Winthrop, Wa. and climbs mountains if you are ever going that way. Love your sailing pixs too. Have only been to Seattle once for nephews wedding in Leavenworth, but
    loved it. Have fun, keep up the post, great to see what everyone is up to!

    1. Crockett High School was a challenge for sure but I looked forward to walking into that school everyday to work with the most Awesome Special Ed dept. in the district. You were an integral part of that team and I feel so fortunate that we found all of our selves in the same place during those years.