Thursday, March 6, 2014

Back in Seattle, virgins no more ….

…… lock virgins that is. 

On Monday we left Bremerton and headed across the Sound back to Seattle.  We thought we were headed to a yacht club on the north side of the canal by Ballard but at the last minute discovered that I had seriously effed up on the location.  It was in fact way down on the south end of Lake Washington.  We were freaked out enough about going through the locks – clearing under multiple bridges to get to some unknown location in Lake Washington was flat out of the question.  So we diverted to what was supposed to be a yacht club dock at Fisherman’s Terminal.  As it turned out when we got there the large woman in charge of moorage had no clue about the yacht club we were referring to.  But that was all ahead of us as we approached Hiram Chittendam locks.

Locking through was pretty much a non-event.  We hung out at the waiting point on the west side, just past the bascule bridge for probably 10 minutes.  They have multi-level bollards built into the wall so we just threw a spring line over one of the bollards and tied it off short to a mid-ships cleat. There’s a pretty stiff current runs past there – they are releasing a lot of water from the lakes and all that water had to flow past us as we waited.

I could tell the lock was getting ready to let us in because I saw the gates opening before they turned on the green light for us.  Once we got the green we just pulled into the small lock and tied off to the floating bollards.  Its pretty simple in the small lock because the bollards rise and fall with the level of the lock.  On the big side you have to send long lines up the sides and then tend the lines as you rise or fall in the lock.  Because we were in the small side we just tied off, waited for the boat to rise and the gates to open and then untied and moved out.  QED as father would have said.

This morning we untied at Fisherman’s Wharf and came under Ballard Bridge, then Fremont Bridge and finally Aurora Bridge which brought us into the top end of Lake Union.  We scouted out the location of Puget Sound Yacht club whose reciprocal dock will be our home for the next two nights and then did a very leisurely tour around Lake Union. 

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