One of the perks of living in the Seattle area are the myriad interesting paddle trips one can take, often within a short drive to the put-in.
This past Sunday we drove to our favorite boat launch, the 14th St. ramp in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, almost under the Ballard Bridge.
After putting our two boats in the water, we paddled west through the Lake Washington Ship Canal towards the Ballard Locks. Moored along the Ship Canal is the majority of the Alaskan commercial fishing fleet, including the Bering Sea crab boats. Every time we've paddled this route, we've seen the Wizard and the Northwestern. We've also seen the Time Bandit and the Maverick on previous trips.
After exploring the boats, we continued west to the Locks. We had to wait for about 20 minutes for the locks to clear so we could proceed into the small lock. A massive fishing trawler was simultaneously transiting to Puget Sound using the large lock.
After clearing the locks, we continued into Puget Sound. We paddled through Shilshole Marina to Golden Gardens Park, where we stopped for a bathroom and lunch break.
After our break, we paddled back towards the locks, this time going outside the marina to view the large buoy where approximately 10 sea lions were snoozing away. Against the breeze and current, we paddled upstream to the locks, transited the small locks again, and paddled back through the Ship Canal to the launch for a round trip of approximately 8 miles over four and a half hours.
Our three-year old loved every minute of it! Photos from the trip