The Harbor Cruise

They were taking all the salmon from the filleting contest over to a tent to be cooked for the annual Fisherman’s Festival Salmon Feed. We decided to go over there for a late dinner/early supper and I did not mind one bit missing the upcoming Oyster Slurp Contest. The kids got in the long line to get our dinners while I picked out a nice table near the stage. I guess we missed the Reptile Man performance with his amazing collection of snakes, lizards and turtles, but the Lost Vuarnets were on stage playing good old Rock n Roll and some great Blues tunes. All of the band members were at least 70 years old and, since they had been playing this music for 50 years, were really good at it. I was thoroughly enjoying the performance when I looked over and Eldon was taking his hearing aid out. Usually, Eldon has trouble hearing things, but this was one of those rare occasions when something was too loud for him. The kids arrived with plates of salmon, sweet corn, cabbage slaw, garlic bread, and cups of ice cream. We continued to enjoy the music while we ate our fill. It was getting on to 4pm so we headed home.

I guess there is no need to repeat Joni’s question to me as we walked back across the highway bridge. Something about did I want to go camping at a nearby campground. I was quit confused until I looked down under the bridge at the campground for the Seattle homeless -one of many such campgrounds around Seattle. Boy! I just don’t know what to think on that either. One good thing is that lots of the people have good looking tents -not all of them but many. The bad thing is that its getting rather cold in Seattle now. I was sad and at times it seems like, “Why can’t someone gather those folks up, take them all some place warm (like Florida), clean them up, feed them, and give them something entertaining to do? Why can’t Seattle take some of that Bike Trail money and do that?” Then reality sets in and I realize that when people have drug and mental issues, its hard for them to even want to change their way of life. And I know Seattle has services to address problems of the homeless, if some of those folks have the wherewithal to utilize them. Additionally, after trying for 50 years to make several people behave as I think they should behave, I have concluded that it is impossible to force anyone to do something they do not want to do……….unless they are in jail or the Army.

When we got back to the house, Will took apart his beef jerk drying project and we had a sample. It was peppery and soy sauced. Very good, but he decided to dry it a little longer. He put the meat, furnace filters, and house fan all back together again.

Sunday morning, our last day in Seattle, arrived and we headed over to the waterfront to take the harbor cruise. Right across the street from the boarding area at Pier 55 was the building Joni works in. We are not sure but think it is that building by the red car.


There is a Kaplan sign there but we can’t spot it in this picture. And there is the Alaskan Way Viaduct in the front (which is actually the back) of the school building. This elevated highway runs through the city along the coast. I think Seattle is trying to replace it with a new underground tunnel route which is seriously behind the construction schedule and several million dollars over budget.

We had taken a shorter cruise around Elliot Bay on an earlier visit, but this was the one hour sightseeing tour. We got Starbucks coffees, boarded the boat and we were off!

On the boat

It was an absolutely beautiful day to be on the boat and not too hot in the sun. Our tour guide was a young girl who was excellent! She was easy to understand, kept the information moving along, and had lots of interesting things to tell us. As we headed out of the bay, we saw the Space Needle and the Edgewater Hotel, a hotel right on the water where guests used to drop a line from their room windows down into the bay for a little fishing. They had to stop that practice because all the bathtubs and counters were being ruined by guests filleting fish in/on them.

Skyline from boat

We heard the history of that turquoise ball on top of that building. It used to be a famous newspaper building. The new owners want to remove that old deteriorating ball but can not because someone put the ball on the Registry of Historic Places. I guess it is a globe, not a ball.

We went by the cruise ships terminal where people going on ocean cruises board ships. We went by Pier 86 where the Port of Seattle loads grain on ships. As farmers, this was quite interesting to us. Much of our grain goes to the west coast.

Grain loading

The tour guide pointed out how they know the ship is fully loaded when that red line along the bottom is under the water line. We were surprised to hear that it takes 2 to 3 weeks to load a ship. They can not load when it is raining and can not fill too fast due to the explosive grain dust. There was another ship out in the bay awaiting its turn to load up.

Waiting grain boat

Next we swung up around West Point Lighthouse and Discovery Park into Shilshole Bay. That looked like an interesting area and we talked about visiting the land side of Discovery Park on our next visit to Seattle. Shilshole Bay Marina is located here with many, many sailboats and smaller powerboats stored in it or parked there or moored in it. It is like a motel for boaters and provides fuel, internet service, showers, food, complimentary bikes, and other amenities.

We entered the canal connecting Shilshole Bay with Lake Union. Since it was such a nice day, EVERYONE was on the water in some kind of watercraft. There was one guy in a small boat who was just plain fishing, just regular fishing.


As we got close to the Ballard Locks, the guide pointed out this yacht.


The Serengeti was, at one time, owned by Johnny Carson. It is now owned by a guy who rents it out to others for cruises. The guide said she thought, if we all put our money together, we could probably rent it for a day. I have since learned that the basic cost is $120,000 per week. I suppose, if you want something to eat during that week, that would be an additional cost.

We moved into the Ballard Locks. We had also viewed the Locks from the land side on an earlier Seattle visit, but to actually go into the lock and get raised up was interesting. Everyone in the tour was quite excited about this part, running from side to side to see exactly how the crew was going to do this. Of course it did not help matters when, as you will remember, on our land side visit a pipe fell behind the big lock door and they could not get it all the way open again. They had to send someone, attached to a rope, down in there to pull that pipe out of there. No such accident happened this time…………Thank the Lord! Our guide had to stop her talking and go help with this process.

Here we are kind of down.

In the locks down

Here we are going up. The wood side of the lock and gears were right next to us!

In the locks up

And here we are up.

In the locks fully up

There was a tugboat leading the boats out of the other lock.


Up to this point, the cruise had been wonderful, very enjoyable. But then they had to start scaring us!

Continue onto the finale in part 6

No Comments

Leave a Reply