Last Build Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 18:56:57 +0000
Fri, 04 Apr 2008 14:30:00 +0000The Waterfront is an eerie place. This environment is the setting for countless TV episodes, plays and movies. There is romance to the setting, and uncertainty for the viewers. Within this context this writer will, tomorrow, April 5, 2008 host the Washington State Ghost Society for a "checkout" of the Steamer Virginia V. Now, many of you have spent a few hours aboard...maybe attending a wedding, taking a transit to Camp Fire Camp, a cruise to view the Blue Angels at Seafair, watch the Hydro Races, the Tugboat Races, "Tall Ships" or any other of countless events the olde ship has hosted over the years. Anything unusual happen... please respond! This will be different! I have had the pleasure (and challenges) of being one of the Steamer Virginia V Foundation's Trustees for about five years now... In support of my (esteemed) qualifications I hold a couple of UW Degrees: BA in History and MA in Political Science. And, I love history, boats, and am smitten by legend. And, I was available t
Sun, 16 Mar 2008 04:28:00 +0000This is a bit of a "catch-up" story. Follow along because eventually we get to the "Waterfront" (or at least near the waterfront). Officiating basketball games is a great winter physical fitness plan...a fun activity. There is an acute need for referees for every level of competition from elementary schools, community centers through high schools. There are classes and clinics to get you started and "assignors" and "mentors" to keep you busy and on track. One Officials Organization can be found at sowb.org (PS...they pay you to exercise! Can you beat that?). This writer was "assigned" a game around the past Holidays between "Prep" and a team from Australia that was touring the Northwest. The Aussies were High School Girls on "summer break" because they do things different down there. Their itinerary was Vancouver BC, Seattle, Portland, back to Vancouver and home (Melbourne). The entourage was a team of twelve, a couple coaches and about fifteen families and friends. All having a wonde
Mon, 10 Mar 2008 09:44:00 +0000This week offers an excuse to skip out of work a little early Tuesday and Wednesday. Mid-afternoon both days are "minus tides". Tuesday is a -.63', Wednesday -.91'. Minus Tides expose acres of beach not normally "dry"; great fun for those looking for rusty ship nails and abundant sea creatures. Unfortunately, occasionally undesireable stuff is encountered-- Rubber boots are recommended! Yessterday afternoon the Washington State Department of Ecology was called about an apparent gasoline spill originating in Crown Hill or Blue Ridge and emptying into the Sound. The DOE actually showed up on a Sunday afternoon--very surprising! Unfortunately, the source was not found. The worst thing about this event was the smell; for the most part the gasoline evaporates quickly. While this was not a significant spill, it is a good reminder that we are all stewards of our environment. In this case, a small amount of gasoline stunk up the beach south of Carkeek Park--gasoline spreads very quickly and h
Sat, 08 Mar 2008 01:39:00 +0000There is a converted-modified Shipyard on the south side of the Lake Washington Ship Canal taking shape, and it is "classy". For those who boat through the Canal, or drive on W. Commodore Way, the differences are striking. On the old Marco Shipyard are two dramatically different developments. Facing the street appear to be pretty conventional mixed-use office buildings. On the water, however, is innovation. The Salmon Bay Marine Center has begun to take shape with two completed buildings nearly ready for occupancy and several substantial new docks. This will collectively be the home of a maintenance facility, outfitting facility and "staging" facility for large yachts. In other words, a Shipyard. It breaks with the conventional vision of Shipyards--the buildings are tasteful, there are ample sidewalks, unobstructed docks and wide gangplanks. Open space is plentiful. Within the facility are Provisioners, Repairers, Designers--services to meet the demands of large cruising yachts. There
Thu, 06 Mar 2008 02:43:00 +0000In and around the New South Lake Union Park things are a'happening! No longer does the property look like any other construction zone--there is grass, a completed bulkhead facing north, and a Pedestrian Bridge to the Westlake Ave. frontier.
Mon, 24 Dec 2007 03:49:00 +0000The US Coast Guard appears ready to issue a tentative "pass" on the current inspections of twelve of the Ferry System Vessels. After the forced-retirment of the older steel-electric due to galvanic corrosion and resultant cracking, inspections have been ordered for the rest of the Fleet. These Vessels have been being being hauled/drydocked mostly at the Ferry System facility on Bainbridge Island--at night to cause a minimal interruption of service. Corrosion has been identified on some of the vessels, and subsequent inspections will be required. Every Washington State Taxpayer should hope that any problems are minor--the Ferry System is a highly subsidized State Agency. Fixing and building ferries is not cheap--the estimates to replace the steel-electric boats' hulls was hundreds of millions and when complete you still had an eighty year old boat. (Maybe if we all ask Santa, we can get some new steel-electric size ferries for Port Townsend-Keystone's run). The Washington State Ferry S
Wed, 19 Dec 2007 08:50:00 +0000As widely reported, the most senior of the Washington State Ferry Fleet's ships will not work again--time and corrosion have taken their toll. This week the Coast Guard is requiring inspections of the entire fleet, and in a hurry. It is a serious situation--the Coast Guard certifies commercial vessels to verify they are seaworthy and safe. A source close to the process, the drydocking and inspections has indicated that the inspections were "not going well" for the State. If they don't pass inspections, they don't sail, it is that simple.
Sun, 25 Nov 2007 11:57:00 +0000The Washington State Ferry (WSF) system is one of the World's largest, serving over twenty million passengers annually. The Fleet serves eight counties and British Columbia's Vancouver Island/Victoria area. The WSF is an "icon" of Western Washington with thousands of media images of the fleet's assets crossing inlets and sounds from the San Juans to Tacoma. Last week's news was that the four "Steel Electric Class" ferries were temporarily being removed from service due to serious hull deterioration, including cracking. These four vessels, the Ilahee, Klickitat, Nisqually and Quinault were all built in the 1920's and "rebuilt" in the 1980's. The WSF has an admirable safety record--save a few serious bumps into shore facilities or the occasional "grounding" WSF accidents have not made the news. --Remember the control troubles on the "Issaquah"?--Temporarily "retiring" these vessels was sound policy. The most significantly impacted route is the (Whidbey Island) Keystone-Port Townsend cro
Wed, 21 Nov 2007 04:54:00 +0000Our Community offers so many things to be thankful for...
Sat, 03 Nov 2007 03:22:00 +0000One of Whidbey Island's largest employers, Nichols Brothers Shipyards, closed yesterday. The company had been in business since the mid-1960's and employed about 250 people.
Tue, 30 Oct 2007 03:20:00 +0000What is the right vote on Proposition 1? Waterfront Business and Industry is grumbling about what is not addressed in Prop. 1. Examples include the remaining funding needed to replace or rebuild the Alaskan Way Viaduct and "520". The Viaduct is not addressed as it supposedly is already funded by the last gas tax increase. Obviously, there are countless projects justified to cure our ailing infrastructure. Between significant population growth and lack of investment over the past twenty or so years, we are way behind--like $Billions. When you "blow away the smoke", Prop. 1 leaves a lot undone. What Voters should consider is if this massive plan is the right massive plan. After agreeing to tax themselves as much as $47 Billion over twenty years, will Voters agree to tax themselves more to finish "520"? And what of other unfunded, but needed projects, such as the Seattle Waterfront Seawall. The Seawall was an integral part of the failed waterfront tunnel. Does it still need replacement o
Wed, 24 Oct 2007 11:22:00 +0000"Salute to the Sound" was Tuesday evening at the Seattle Aquarium. Hosted by the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, the event was attended by nearly 250 of Puget Sound's closest friends. Tuesday will be remembered as the revival of summer, with temperatures in the 70's--and it was unseasonably pleasant late into the evening. The venue, the newly remodeled Seattle Aquarium, is spectacular. First of all--the Aquarium features "Window on Washington Waters" which duplicates the Neah Bay/Tatoosh Island area of NW Washington. This new exhibit is state-of-the-art with currents duplicated, spectacular lighting and fascinating specimins. The other new feature is a shoal-surf exhibit--also very interesting and unique. For "Salute to the Sound" the "Window on Washington Waters" room was the main dining room, with the balcony used for excess seating. The Host for the event was the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance (PSA)--an environmental non-profit dedicated to preventing pollution and subsequent damage to Pug
Thu, 18 Oct 2007 07:59:00 +0000The end of the road west of Ballard is Golden Gardens Park, s a spectacular setting. Especially with today's promised major windstorm... Nearby is the mostly-completed reconstruction of the Shilshole Bay Marina. This has been a multi-year project. Many remember the old Administration Building, home of Charlie's, the Windjammer, Quinn's and many other restaurants over the years, Windworks Sailing, Admiralty Yacht Sales, Sailboats at Shilshole and Seattle Sailing Club. That Building...well, today you wouldn't know it ever existed. Replacing it is a much smaller Administration Building, holding the Marina Office, Windworks Sailing Center, Admiralty Yacht Sales, Sailboats at Shilshole and Seattle Sailing. Appropriately, Shilshole is the major Sailboat Marina on the Sound. Where the old Administration Building stood is now a parklike landscaped area. And, an anchor tenant restaurant will be built by mid-2008. Most important, the Leif Ericson statue has been reinstalled!
Wed, 05 Sep 2007 14:33:00 +0000It's been a busy four weeks or so for Captain T., and there's some catching up to do. Recently, City of Seattle and King County got their collective fingers caught in the environmental cookie jar regarding the new Fire Training Facility. Without permits they tried to make a stream disappear. And, the Environmental Groups restoring the Duwamish Watershed were watching! Gotcha! Of course, "we the Taxpayers" ultimately pay the price.... It is refreshing to see the Department of Ecology not ignoring transgressions by fellow governmental entities.
Sun, 05 Aug 2007 03:17:00 +0000It was recently announced that MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry, plans to relocate to the Naval Reserve Building in the South Lake Union Park. MOHAI is currently located Southeast of the Montlake Bridge near the UW. Plans for the rebuild of "520" are part of the motivation--the State DOT covets their current location for an interchange. There's some swapping of real estate and dollars, a bit complicated to detail in this writing. For those unfamiliar with MOHAI, the Museum is a bit over fifty years old and boasts a creative message, a great reputation, and a very competent Staff and Board. Carefully hidden over by UW, its relocation to South Lake Union will be a great "coming out". It would appear that MOHAI's presence in the South Lake Union Park is very good news for those trying to preserve our City's maritime heritage. This is such a great fit, MOHAI as an energetic anchor for a near-downtown maritime cultural center in a great maritime city!