Friday, October 22, 2010

Kayaking Shilshole: Exploring Urban Wilds

You have to grab the nice fall days while you can here in the Pacific Northwest. With a light breeze and blue skies, I must take advantage of this lovely day. So I strap my Mariner Coaster on the Subie and head down to Golden Gardens for a quick afternoon paddle.

What's not to love about a few hours on the water on a beautiful day?

I'm lucky to live close to Puget Sound, and Golden Gardens on the northwestern edge of Seattle in Ballard is such an easy place to launch kayaks. I park about 40 feet from the smooth sandy beach where we put in.

Since we don't have more than a couple hours and the breeze is picking up, we paddle south on the inside of the Shilshole Marina jetty past scores of sailboats and catamarans. Clear of the jetty, we turn east towards the Ballard Locks.

"Hey, see the swallow's nests and bird condos?" says Matt, who's visiting from Portland. We don't see any swallows today, but a few seagulls are lounging atop the pilings.

Along the shoreline here it's mostly condos and yacht clubs, but we paddle below the iconic Ray's Boathouse, which is packed today with happy people sipping and soaking in the sun. Maybe we provide a little extra entertainment for them as we kayak by.

It's quick trip and so this is a quick post. Enjoy the quick film clip!

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