Hi Cruisers. I noticed this interesting drawing for free moorage (see blow link). and I want to let you know why I think it is interesting.
Have you ever camped out in your own back yard? since you were a kid? it's still fun!
About once a year we 'cruise' from our mooring on Lake Union to spend a night just a mile away, at; Salmon Bay Marina at Fisherman's Terminal.
Yep, our backyard. win up to 10 days moorage here; http://www.winsummermoorage.com/
It is a history filled, amenity rich, location worth a weekend day. If you are coming from the salt, you get to (because I am twisted and like to do the locks, its cool!) do the locks both ways. There are a couple public docks which might surprise you. And you get to explore local history while enjoying local markets and food and pubs. And there is even wildlife viewing.
if you are not familiar with the locks, most of us will help if you need crew. The key thing to remember is, do what the Locks Officers on the wall, tell you to do, and it will turn out OK. Note BNR bridge clearance is only 40 max even at a low tide no matter what the boards say on the pilings. (all bridges listed have same signal, one long 3 second horn, and one short 1 second horn. You might not get a response, be patient, they will open eventually!) Have fenders and lines ready on both sides. And enjoy the boat handling challenge. Two people is usually fine for crew. Many traverse single handed. The locks officers will help quite a bit.
As you proceed east on ship canal, you will see the whole fishing fleets up close, see if you recognize any ships. Just before Ballard bridge, turn to starboard and enter marina and turn almost due west again. Head to west side of last pier (dock #9) on you port and there will be a long lineal public dock with lots of room to maneuver. Tie anywhere on west side of that west side pier dock 9 for free for a day tie. If you are staying the night, check in is on the west side of the terminal buildings (behind Bay Cafe). The manager, Ray, is very proud of his marina and you can meet him at the boatshow this week, or at check-in.
There are four great places to eat here. Nearest to dock is Chinooks, an Anthony's establishment with a nice open bar and great Anthony's specials (its Rhubarb month soon). In the Breezeway is a great fish and chips stand for food to go. For evening fun there is the local Highliner pub with music and casual food and crowd. For breakfast, the place the fishermen go eat, the Bay Cafe. There are also two great markets. Fisherman's Green has great fresh scones. Stephanie and Joseph are culinary experts and have just about anything to make a great meal on board in the surprisingly packed small market. And for the main course, the Wild Salmon Fish Market pride themselves in running one of the best seafood markets in the NW. There is even a very good Men's Barber.
Well fed, now go wander the docks. Visit the Fishermen's Memorial and its likely you will recognize names of family friends who lost their lives pursuing their livelihood. Walk the docks up and down the fishing fleet and get a closeup view of the ships which supply our seafood. Back at Chinooks for a warming beverage, be sure to wander the halls and look at the wonderful photos of fishing history.
Want a more strenuous walk? Head east up Commodore way toward the Ballard locks. Its about a half hour walk each way. When you arrive at the locks, you are at Commodore Park. It is one of the largest Heron rookeries in the NW. Continue down a trail a hundred feet NW and you come to bunkers, a good place to stand under a Heron Rookery! Watch above you as hundreds of seemingly prehistoric Herons by the dozen fly in and out of huge nests used for decades. Then continue to the locks for the fish ladders, gardens, and to see if anyone you know is transiting the locks. Returning to fisherman's terminal, you can get a vigorous walk back up commodore way. Or you can explore up the trail starting at 33rd Ave W which passes high over the tracks. Look up hidden gems like Kiwanas Memorial Preserve Park, the first Wildlife Sanctuary in the city. I have heard of other clues like The Bird House, Discovery Coffee, etc. There are some nice views and its hard to get lost without finding something interesting in this charming old part of Seattle.
And It's like Camping in your backyard. Salmon Bay and Fisherman's Terminal.
Using Salmon bay as a base, by Boat detours, and interesting stops, are every where around you.
Lots of people enjoy kayaking around the dry-docks and hidden shorelines. Just across from Salmon Bay is the Ballard Public Dock (just west of Stimson marina and north of pacific fisherman's boatyard). It is a short walk to the ballard Farmers Market (sundays), Great Consignment stores, and lots of food and pubs, which of course you can drive a car to... but what fun is that... And a shorter walk to Market Arms for Huge fish and chips and Rugby. Please Lock your boat tight at the Ballard Public dock when you leave, It is safe, but public.
Further west as you open Ballard and Fremont Bridges, you get a good view of one of the largest marine industrial areas on the west coast. Read the sterns to see how many locations ships are visiting. Between the bridges note the Cormorants nesting in trees and the 'whitewashed' banks under those trees. After Fremont Bridge a nice slow cruise or sail about Lake Union provides some of the most iconic views of Seattle available.
Another place to stay (with advance notice, call Center for Wooden Boats to reserve), is the bulkhead at the MOHAI. There is power too. And great access to the Center for Wooden Boats where you could spend two days between the two museums. MOHAI has a nice deli with beer and wine. You can catch the South lake Union Trolley up town if you want to catch a show. North Lake Union has docks at the Westard with beachside firepits. And also at the iconic Ivars Salmon House, where we often pop in for fish and chips from to go window as we continue our sail about Lake Union.
So, for a fun short notice get away. At Salmon Bay and fisherman's Terminal, you can take your boat to a center of Seattle history and charm, in your own backyard. And use it for a base for several days exploring, your back yard. Be safe and enjoy.
Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle7755 Seaview Ave NW Seattle WA 98117(206) 789-1919 (Main line)
(206) 402-6870 (Juniors)
47° 41.14' N 122° 24.22' W