Independence Day on Lake Union

I spent a good portion of today on the shores of Lake Union, which is located right in the middle of the city of Seattle. This afternoon was the Wooden Boat Festival at the Center for Wooden Boats. There were several docks full of awesome old boats: tugs, schooners, a hundred-year-old steam-powered ferry, skiffs, dugout canoes, sailboats, cabin cruisers, Chris Crafts, a gillnetter, a bright-finished Venetian runabout, Beetle Cats, skin kayaks, plywood kayaks, daysailers, and three slim R-class racing sloops. I spent a few hours walking around, going aboard the different vessels, and daydreaming about owning them all.

This evening, I went with a couple of friends to watch the fireworks display over the lake from a small park by the lakeshore. The entire lake was crowded with boats, most of which had been anchored there for the better part of the day to get a prime spot for watching the show. The explosions themselves were fantastic, but almost as cool was the sight we saw afterwards: hundreds of boats, all filing out of Lake Union into Portage Bay, on their way through the Montlake Cut to docks and marinas in Lake Washington. It looked almost like some crazy firefly migration, and the video I took of it almost kind of does it justice…

Anyway, as the straggling boats from Lake Union continue to stream by the end of the dock, and various independent-minded Seattleites continue to set off various kinds of ordnance…happy birthday, America, and happy 4th to everyone in it.

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