Monday, May 18, 2015

Opening Boating Day 2015 Seattle

2015 Opening Boating Day, lots of boats coming into Elliot Bay but not sure if there are any organized activities, we decided to go over to the University of Washington and view the Opening Day Boat Parade and perhaps see some of the
Windermere Cup

The Shell house at University of Washington on Lake Washington, one of four bays.

The 2015 Windermere cup has Begun, teams are splashing their shells to row out to the Race Start

Good Luck Boys!

Lots of Vessels Moored up to the Log Boom along the channel leading to Lake Washington.

Looking toward the South Shore along Montlake Cut and the Montlake Bridge.
The Race Start
Get Your Motor Running!
The Last of the Races see

The University of Washington's Women's Team won, here they are returning to lots of appalause
see video of returning teams after the races were over:

After the Race the first thing to come over was a Eagle, how did they time that?

Then 4 Black Hawk Copters flew over, you could hear them as they made two passes over from Portage Bay through Montlake Cut and out  over Lake Washington.

Then a HMS Oriole (Canadian Vessel) Leads the Parade
The Seattle Marine Police demonstrate their versatility. 

More Boats than we have ever seen participate in any one event anywhere, there is no way to explain this event, it is a must see if you are ever in Seattle on the first Saturday in April.

You could hear and see the water long before the Fire Boat!

We will see these guys several more times as Seafair progresses throughout the Summer
Have to see the video:

And the Band Played

There were so many yacht clubs participating I had to research just how many Yachting organizations are in the Pacific Northwest! Well there are 73 on this list and I am sure everyone of them had one or more boats in this parade. Plus lots of Boating associations.  See

First time for us to see this, Most vessels had a continuous line of flags all weigted down at the bow water line by a bottle of champagne and dragging in the water astern.

All the Yacht Clubs had their Officers in Navy Blue Blazer, White pants, appropriate head gear and white gloves all facing the South where the Official Parade Boat would Salute as they passed.

Whoops they forgot their white gloves...

Vessels almost 200 years old up to modern day yachts plus every kind of vessel that ever plied these waters must have been represented.

This is the BEST Video of them all, all the little Steam Vessels Tooting and Whistleing

Very few of these still around.

The Virginia V Steam Ship

MV Lotus

Myths and Monsters was the theme for the Vessels participating in the Theme Judging Contest

A short Clip here of the action

A few even turned around and appreciated the North Bank Fans.

The Judges and the Press along with all the Parade officials from the Seattle Yacht club

The Parade continues down the channel out onto Lake Washington

A small fleet on one design get the attention of the Judges by doing some choreographed turning drill. 

These Guys have a big job with way over 400 vessels being reviewed!
Here are the Winners:

There were at least two Sea Scout entries

Washington State and the Cougars have several entries

lots of Cougars on the Banks Yelling Encouragement.

The winds were WNW allowing several to come through flying their Spinnakers.

Some must have spent a couple of weeks preparing.

The wings were animated!

The Giant Octopus is Winning

This Crew spent a lot of time building this pirate ship.

Of Course Rainier Beer had to be represented, it is like the Lone Star Beer of Washington State!

The Car Boat Fleet.


Thousands in the PNW spend a significant time of their life Varnishing!


Of Couse a tiney Tug Pushing a Kenmore Air Seaplane.

The Grand Finale, A huge Wall of Water prompted the Judges and Committee Yachts to run for cover as the wind had piped up a bit and was blowing the spray their way

The Chief Seattle Fire Boat.

See the Video at

The University of Washington Football Stadium is Just off the Water, When they tailgate here they do it by boat.

Mt. Rainier got to see A Fine Parade today.

Opening Boating Day 2015 Seattle

I am sure there are a lot of places around the world that celebrate Opening Boating Day but in Texas this is a bit unnecessary as every day is a boating day along the Texas Coast, unless of course a Northerner is passing through in the short winter months. Texas like a lot of Southern States has Spring Break, and I know some Northern areas have Winter Break. Even though the weather here is temperate and you can boat year round, they do have four distinct seasons and May is the Start of Spring and thus The Opening Boating Day Parade which is hosted by The Seattle Yacht Club which is located on Portage Bay and was the finish line for the Windermere Cup rowing races.
We had heard there would be 5000+ people lining the banks to see the evetn and there would also be a rowing competition called the Windermere Cup as well. At first I was reluctant to go over and get in the hassel but We left a bit early just in case the traffic got crazy. It was really pretty easy drive over to the University of Washington and there was plenty of parking on campus lots.It was a very cool walk through the campus past all their sporting venues, the Track stadium, the Soccer Stadium, The Baseball and Soft Ball stadiums and finally around the Football Stadium which is perched just above the water near Lake Washington and Montlake Cut which is a channel leading to Portage Bay, Lake Union and ultimately to Puget sound through the locks. We passed a boating like building and walked around to watch a few of the rowing teams carry there rowing shells out and spash them, jump in and row off to the start line. We walked on around and found a great place on the North Bank to sit and watch as the teams speed by. We do not know much about all this rowing but everyone else there were really charged up about it all. There was a sincere appreciation for all the teams as they rowed back down the channel after their race was over. Really a spectacular event but we just did not know much more than just to enjoy the beauty of these teams and their rowing machines speed by on such a fine day.
After the races ended is was near time for the published start time of the Boat Parade. We just happened to glance up and a Eagle was flying overhead. Then Four Blackhawk Helicopters Few over in formation. Everything got quite and whisping through the Canal was a beautiful old Canadian HMS Sailing Ship ghosting by on her huge Spinnaker. The Crew was decked out in there finest Navy Blues, Whites and Officers headgear. The next Vessel had the Band Director of The University of Washingtons Marching Band leading the band which followed on the bows of three rather large Yachts coming through abreast, right then we knew that everything that followed would be pretty amazing.
There are all kinds of rules in the case you would like to participate in the parade and there is a good chance your only hope to participate is if you are actually invited by Seattle Yacht Club. Just in case you can read the rules here: I am not surprised that it may be a bit difficult to get your boat in the parade since it has been a long time tradition and there were well over 400 vessels that passed in front of us on the two hour parade. I did not count but I figured if one passed every 15 seconds and sometimes there were 3-4 passing at the same time, then in two hours we saw a minimum of 480 vessels. The crazy thing is there were hundreds and hundreds more out moored on the log boom or just out in Lake Washington for the event.
We have had a lot of fun times over the last several years either participating in or just spectating in boat parades but I am pretty sure there are none anywhere else in the world that can outdo this one.