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Worth waiting until July 4?

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#1 Ishmael

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 05:17 AM

After the Spike sailpast, we're planning to be down in the Puget Sound area for a while. We're going to see the Chihuli glass exhibit and buy a bunch of cheap Washington wine, but beyond that we're wide open. Where's the best place to celebrate the Fourth? Any particular water berth recommended for fireworks?

 

This is of particular interest because my wife's birthday is July 4 and she lived in the USA for a while and got used to the big party for her...



#2 steele

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 03:45 PM

If you are on the boat you could try to get through the locks to lake union for the show, it is boating hell with gobs of drunk people floating around on powerboats shooting off fireworks, but to each his own.  I would stay at Bell Harbour or Shilshole and cab in to the area, but getting home after several hundred thousand try to leave at the end of the show is hard.  We usually park a mile or 2 a way and walk out.  



#3 Great White

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 05:04 PM

Poulsbo has a great fireworks on the 3rd in Liberty Bay. You can anchor almost underneath the fireworks. Many Seattle people come over for the 3rd and then get a double dose in Seattle on the 4th. It can get crowded, but if you arrive in the afternoon, it is not a problem finding a spot to anchor. Poulsbo is a cool place to visit with it's Scandinavian theme and many shops on the main street.

 

If you are spending much time, a trip to Blake Island could be fun. It is a state park. Hiking trails all around the island.  There are buoys all around with the SW ones the most protected. There is moorage on the north and during the week, it is usually not overused.



#4 SecondWindNC

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 05:28 PM

I enjoyed seeing the Center for Wooden Boats when I was in Seattle last summer.



#5 boomer

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 05:41 PM

Gotta agree on the stop at Blake Island, always worth the walk around the island for stretching the legs and enjoyable scenery.

 

Also reccommend Bell Harbor in Seattle. The walk north on Alaskan is short to Broad Street, and a steep walk up Broad to the Seattle Center and the Space Needle for some panoramas. EMP is also worth a gander and some interesting architectural shots. Pike Place Market, Seatttle Art Museum, Westlake Park, 5th Ave, Pioneer Square, China Town and the new Great Wheel at Pier 57 are all options and not to far of a walk.

 

The Museum of Glass in Tacoma is up the Foss waterway, built a new public marina next to the museum in '02/'03.From what Tacoma waterfront used to look like 15 years ago, the improvements and environmental cleanups, make it much more pleasing then it once was.

 

If you are going down to Tacoma, should plan for a day or two in South Sound. They have many State Marine parks to choose from, much more then center and north sound. Leaving south sound, go up Colvos Passage for favorable current, Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island is always worth a stop as well as Gig Harbor and the beginning of Colvos. Stop at the Tides In for a micro-brew, hamburger and fries. The public dock in Gig Harbor and Harbor History Museum is worth a gander and check out T-Bird #1.

 

On up Colvos you come out at Blake Island, if you missed it on the way down, make a point of stopping by on the return trip. Rather then head up sound, I recommend going on the west side of Bainbridge Island via Rich Passage (check your tides and come in on a favorable current). If you wish you can check Sinclair inlet and Port Washington Narrows,many varieties of waterfowl and birds, if you've got a 400 to 600mm telephoto.

 

Heading up Port Orchard Channel always worth a stop in Brownsville for a sandwich and soup, and the sailors and locals here are usually very warm and friendly. Heading on north to Poulsbo is always worthwhile, if not for the fireworks at least check out Poulsbo Bakery. Once again check for favorable tides leaving Liberty Bay and around Pt. Bolin to Agate Pass, usually you'll gain about a knot average overall all the way to Kingston.

 

I recommend keep steaming or sailing North to Port Ludlow, unless you need to stop for fuel in Kingston (there are eateries in Kingston as well). Leaving Port Ludlow if you wanted another interest side tour, head down Hood Canal and spent an evening in Pleasant Harbor and enjoy a swim, hot tub or golf. (check your tides again)

 

Heading on north if you haven't stopped by Port Townsend, do so now and take time to walk the whole town, even walking down to Boat Haven isn't that far and worth a stretch. Stop at Pennysaver for the coldest beer and very large selection of sandwiches, or stop at one of the many sit down eateries in downtown PT. The new Marine Center and surrounding neighborhood marine establishments is usually an interesting walk, as well as downtown PT. If you really want to stretch your legs, going uptown is worth it for the architectural eye candy and stop at the old/new general store for an ice cream or up the street for movie.

 

Usually it's preferable to leave Port Townsend on the morning ebb in the summer, for a quick boost out the Straits and catch the flood back into San Juan Channel at Cattle Pass.

 

Seattle Waterfront before the Great Wheel from Belltown Harbor

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#6 boomer

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 06:05 PM

Anchoring for an evening in Blakely Harbor is a pleasant experience as well, and you can say hi to Kim and his darling wife.

 

Seattle Waterfront after the Great Wheel

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#7 LakeBoy

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:21 PM

I think I heard both the Elliott Bay and Lake Union fireworks shows were off this year?  Can someone in Seattle confirm?

 

For a celebration dinner, I'd suggest Ray's Boathouse near Shilshole bay marina or Elliott's Oyster House.  



#8 Ishmael

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:36 PM

I think I heard both the Elliott Bay and Lake Union fireworks shows were off this year?  Can someone in Seattle confirm?

 

For a celebration dinner, I'd suggest Ray's Boathouse near Shilshole bay marina or Elliott's Oyster House.  

 

Oysters. Yum.

Shilshole is where we bought the boat, that would be a homecoming of sorts. We were thinking of renting a car to get around instead of dragging the boat all over the place, that might be a good central location to work from.



#9 boomer

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 10:29 PM

The Lake Union Fireworks is a go....http://blogs.seattle...st-three-years/

 

I think it would be more fun by boat vs driving.



#10 fastyacht

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:41 AM

I enjoyed seeing the Center for Wooden Boats when I was in Seattle last summer.

 

I've made a point of rowing their boats on all my biz trips there. I pick a hotel literally a 3 minute walk away--just east of Hooter's of all places.

 

The Ctr for Wooden Boats is a gem. A priceless gem. And rowing on that lake, mingling with its unique flow of turboprop seaplanes, sailboat races, houseboats and small shipyards is indescribably enjoyable. Maritime small craft bliss.

 

Oh, and at the other end of the sound--in Tacoma--there is yet another jaw-dropping collection--I forget the name of that museum--right next to/just north of the glass museum and the Union Pacific terminal.



#11 boomer

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:19 AM

Foss Waterway Seaport which has been closed for 18 months, but opened back up today according to their website....http://www.fosswaterwayseaport.org/

 

If your into automotive museums the LeMay museum is in the same neighborhood....http://www.lemaymuseum.org/



#12 hobot

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:20 AM

The Lake Union Fireworks is a go....http://blogs.seattle...st-three-years/

 

I think it would be more fun by boat vs driving.

 

The Lake Union Fireworks is a go....http://blogs.seattle...st-three-years/

 

I think it would be more fun by boat vs driving.

 

Lived on a turtle house boat at Gasworks Park Marina, the on the water stampede when the shows over is not for the weak!



#13 boomer

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:38 AM

I think it would be more fun by boat vs driving.

 Was referring to getting around the Puget Sound...no way would I watch the fireworks from a boat on Lake Union, not wanting to deal with the stampede afterward.

 

About 10 years ago we were coming home from a cruise when we had the boats in Poulsbo. We were hoping to get home before the firework show. But we didn't make it till after the fireworks ended. Turned the corner at Keyport, and the leaders of the stampede were coming right at us. We immediately hugged the Naval Installation dock, which is a no no. Then we bee-lined the short distance to the public dock and hung out there till the swarm passed. I don't ever want to do that again.



#14 Ishmael

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:41 AM

Is there any option of staying on Lake Union that would work for the 4th?



#15 view at the front

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:45 AM

So is this the time to expose myself as 15 year old "Indian" dancer on Blake Island in 1963?  It was a great summer with 8 other juvenile dancers in a "Lord of the Flies" drama tormenting the tourists... but I truly loved it.  We danced in a performance for about 30 minutes a day, practiced our act for about and hour, and worked at the lodge for an hour, and fished, explored, and hiked for the rest of the day.  An amazing summer.  If I only knew!

 


Poulsbo has a great fireworks on the 3rd in Liberty Bay. You can anchor almost underneath the fireworks. Many Seattle people come over for the 3rd and then get a double dose in Seattle on the 4th. It can get crowded, but if you arrive in the afternoon, it is not a problem finding a spot to anchor. Poulsbo is a cool place to visit with it's Scandinavian theme and many shops on the main street.

 

If you are spending much time, a trip to Blake Island could be fun. It is a state park. Hiking trails all around the island.  There are buoys all around with the SW ones the most protected. There is moorage on the north and during the week, it is usually not overused.



#16 boomer

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:00 AM

Is there any option of staying on Lake Union that would work for the 4th?

 

Hang out at the south end of the majority of spectator craft, and wait till well after the masses leave, to leave yourself....

 

or find a restaurant dock and hang out, if there's any available space.

 

There is overnight moorage at Fisherman's Terminal which is near the locks, but will require bridge openings to do so.

 

The following thread has the name of a few restaurants with guest moorage, I'd check online and see if their still available....http://forums.sailin...showtopic=56024

 

Kind of hard not to recommend Poulsbo's fireworks. It's quite a show, and as long as your hanging out at the north end of Liberty Bay, with the rest of the sailboats. It's relatively safely away from the stampede, that exits via the southern entrance.

 

If your set on going through the locks, do it the day before or the day after the 4th.... or prepare to wait, if you do it the 4th.



#17 steele

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:00 AM

Is there any option of staying on Lake Union that would work for the 4th?

Yes, the Courtyard Marriott is accross the street from the lake on the south end.  Nice location to see or walk closer to the fireworks, also walking distance to the re-vitalized South lake union area with lots of good bars and restaurants.  You could also walk to 4 small boat rental areas (wooden boat center, 2 kayak places, and an electric boat place).  As mentioned above spending time in a small boat or kayak on Lake Union is a unique experience and highly recommended.

 

Oops, this assumes you mean on land, not on the boat.  I do not know of any on the water option in the lake for moorage, Blackjenner lives on the lake with an end of the dock berth, he might know better.

 

Keep in mind leaving the lake by boat after the show means going under 3 bridges and through the locks, at midnight, surrounded by 2000 of your closest drinking buddies (I am not sure if the locks are running at that time).



#18 kimbottles

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 06:08 AM

I always thought the locks were 24 hours, maybe cut back for budget reasons?

#19 boomer

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 09:32 AM

Your correct Kim, vessel traffic has always been 24/7.



#20 ronin

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 04:55 AM

Poulsbo has a great fireworks on the 3rd in Liberty Bay. You can anchor almost underneath the fireworks. Many Seattle people come over for the 3rd and then get a double dose in Seattle on the 4th. It can get crowded, but if you arrive in the afternoon, it is not a problem finding a spot to anchor. Poulsbo is a cool place to visit with it's Scandinavian theme and many shops on the main street.

+1 on Liberty Bay.

 

If you really want to watch fireworks up close, (what better way to watch them than right from your cockpit with a cool one in your hand) Poulsbo is probably the best place around. Once the fireworks are over, there's no mad rush. You don't have to go anywhere. And practically no one else leaves either, as they're all there for the weekend. Afterward you can stay on board and have another cool one, chat with new found friends, or take the dink over to the dock for a stroll through town and perhaps a visit to a pub. It's pretty stress free. And if you're worried about a mass exodus the next day, it's not much of a problem. People leave throughout the day and there's plenty of room to maneuver.



#21 boomer

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:11 AM

Actually quiet a few powerboats come in just for the Poulsbo fireworks and leave immediately after the display....see my post above.



#22 austin1972

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:18 AM

Boomer, your photography is outstanding as always.

 

If you're from out of town, just hit good restaurants.  The fresh seafood is to die for.

 

edit - can you send me that wheel pic?  I could stare at it for hours and want it for my desktop.

Actually, they are both fascinating.



#23 Great White

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:59 AM

Poulsbo has a great fireworks on the 3rd in Liberty Bay. You can anchor almost underneath the fireworks. Many Seattle people come over for the 3rd and then get a double dose in Seattle on the 4th. It can get crowded, but if you arrive in the afternoon, it is not a problem finding a spot to anchor. Poulsbo is a cool place to visit with it's Scandinavian theme and many shops on the main street.

 

If you are spending much time, a trip to Blake Island could be fun. It is a state park. Hiking trails all around the island.  There are buoys all around with the SW ones the most protected. There is moorage on the north and during the week, it is usually not overused.

My club usually has a raft up for the 3rd in Liberty Bay. We tend to anchor toward the west shore out of the mainstream of the traffic. When the fireworks are over, there tends to be an exodus of boats. And they do compress in the narrows near Keyport. It gets really wild.  Sometimes I would be part of them if I was heading home to Brownsville. But if you have no reason to leave, it usually quiets down within a half hour. I have spent many quiet nights in Liberty Bay after the fireworks.



#24 ronin

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 06:05 AM

Actually quiet a few powerboats come in just for the Poulsbo fireworks and leave immediately after the display....see my post above.

Guess it's a good thing I didn't recommend hanging out at the south entrance. Regardless, it's not the all-encompassing madness like on Lk Union.



#25 White Wing

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 09:34 AM

For Lake Union fireworks two years ago, we took our sailboat through the locks and anchored at the south end of the lake --- watched the fireworks from the cockpit and when it was all over (great show, too!) we hung out for a while and then went to bed.  You can overnight right in Lake Union, but you do have to be gone at 8am....although we didn't know it, and had officer friendly knock on the hull at 8:30am and very nicely reminded us that it was time to weigh anchor and be on our way.  

The locks on the way out on July 5th were a breeze --- we might do it again since we had great seats for the show and didn't have to mess with the crazies when the show ends.

 

WWing 



#26 blackjenner

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 06:29 PM

After the Spike sailpast, we're planning to be down in the Puget Sound area for a while. We're going to see the Chihuli glass exhibit and buy a bunch of cheap Washington wine, but beyond that we're wide open. Where's the best place to celebrate the Fourth? Any particular water berth recommended for fireworks?

 

This is of particular interest because my wife's birthday is July 4 and she lived in the USA for a while and got used to the big party for her...

 

You come down to Lake Union and join us on Brigadoon for the 4th, that's what you do. Our dock literally a front row seat to the festivities.



#27 Alex W

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:20 AM

I went out with the crowds last year on the 4th and it was great.  My dock at the time was on Lake Union and getting back to the dock even during the peak exodus wasn't so bad.  We rafted up with ~15 other boats (a friendly club where I knew a bunch of folks) and had front row seats to the fireworks.

 

On the morning of the 5th I went through the locks and that was pretty easy too, with no real queues.

 

If your boat is 30' or shorter then PM me, I might be able to point you to a Shilshole slip that will be empty for a few days around then.

 

The CWB recommendation is a great one.  I'd also suggest trying to do Duck Dodge, either on your own boat or someone else's.  It's every Tuesday on Lake Union at 7pm.



#28 Ishmael

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:31 AM

Thanks to everyone, the way our schedule is shaping up we might be up in Port Townsend for the 3rd of June, and back up in Sidney on the 4th. We're kinda eager to get up north so it's going to be a flying visit this time.



#29 boomer

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:18 PM

3rd of June or July?

 

PT puts on a decent fireworks show on the 4th of July.



#30 Ishmael

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:34 PM

3rd of June or July?

 

PT puts on a decent fireworks show on the 4th of July.

 

July. I'm lost in the calendar already.






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