1:50 PM: The Seafair Fleet Parade of Ships show actually started off west-facing West Seattle – as they staged between Beach Drive and Bainbridge Island before turning to head toward Elliott Bay. The ship that looks like an aircraft carrier is the amphibious-assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard. It led the way, and along with the other parading ships is now headed toward the downtown waterfront. (added) Here’s video featuring a stand-up paddleboarder watching seemingly close-up while it headed that way:
Hope you caught the early alerts via Facebook or Twitter if you weren’t already out on the shore – as LOTS of people were, and still are; we’re by Duwamish Head but have been tracking the ships since Emma Schmitz Viewpoint on Beach Drive. (photo added) Madge Bloom caught this view of the BR’s stern, and the U.S. Coast Guard alongside:
ADDED 2:15 PM: One of the flybys – so far they’ve all been along the downtown waterfront, but visible from here (particularly with zoom):
Not sure yet which aircraft that was. More video to be added. The biggest ship in the parade, meantime, the Bonhomme Richard, is headed west out of the bay right now but will have to come back this way since it’s moored at Terminal 25 by the bridge for Seafair – so you have another chance to see it if you haven’t yet.
3:11 PM UPDATE: Now the show – from West Seattle shores, anyway – is just about over. We’ll be adding even more video and photos – starting with another one of the flybys, ahead (NOTE: also adding yet more this evening – thanks to everyone who’s shared pix – and thanks also to Seafair for sharing photos taken on board the Bonhomme Richard as it sailed by!):
More to come! We’re heading back to HQ to check other photos that have come in, as well as more of the video we shot. Next up for Seafair – Blue Angels practices tomorrow, plus tours of the fleet that sailed past today.
7:13 PM: A few photos shared by Seafair (and republished here with their permission) – the sailors on board the Bonhomme Richard as it sailed by, followed by its LCACs (Landing Craft Air Cushions, the hovercrafts) putting on a demo behind:
Marie McKinsey shared this overview shot from Hamilton Viewpoint:
MORE ADDED: From Ilona Berzups, the USS Sampson, followed by the USS Chafee:
(Above and below photos, copyright 2011 Ilona Berzups)
Cindy had a unique view of a Coast Guard flyby:
Gary caught this view looking over the Alki Lighthouse:
And a Seattle fireboat was one of many shot by Clifton:
Tours of the visiting fleet start at 9:30 am Thursday (details here).