Photos/video: Seafair Parade of Ships/Flight off West Seattle

(UPDATED Wednesday evening with more photos plus clip from the aircraft “parade”)

(Updated video: 1:35 pm)
1:05 PM: We’re on Duwamish Head, where the Seafair Parade of Ships – led by the USS Essex, an amphibious-assault ship you might mistake for an aircraft carrier, is about to come into view after passing Alki. The ships will sail past here on their way to the downtown waterfront, which also will get a series of flyovers. Here again (from last night’s preview) is what you’re looking at/for, on the sea and in the sky – see the PDF here, or embedded below via Scribd:

Updates and photos to come!

(USS Essex, courtesy of Greg)
1:42 PM: Behind the USS Essex came the USS Chancellorsville, USS Howard, Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, and now, from Canada, HMCS Brandon.

(USS Chancellorsville, from Lynn Hall)

(USS Howard with fireboat Leschi, from Mark McAndrews)

(USCGC Mellon, courtesy of Greg)

(Chancellorsville and Howard, by Gary Jones)
1:54 PM: While the Parade of Ships has passed West Seattle – and the Essex is Magnolia-bound – the Parade of Flight is under way, with aircraft passing the downtown waterfront, fairly low, flying north and then turning west (added: video of two of them, passing over the entire ship parade):

2:15 PM: Show’s about over.

The Essex is docking over at Smith Cove. Info on tours over the next four days (all the Parade of Ships visitors) is in the brochure embedded above, if you’re interested in. We’re headed back to HQ to add photos and video to this.

14 Replies to "Photos/video: Seafair Parade of Ships/Flight off West Seattle"

  • Sally July 30, 2014 (1:31 pm)

    Must be what I just saw, 4-5 low flying military style helicopters going over Shorewood into the Roxbury area?

    • WSB July 30, 2014 (2:21 pm)

      Yes, the helicopters were the Parade of Flight part of the Parade of Ships. Over now. They circled back in a direction that looked indeed like it might have been past east West Seattle. _ TR

  • AK199 July 30, 2014 (1:35 pm)

    Cool to see. But can I complain that they are waking up my infant? I’ve never cursed helicopters so hard.

  • savage justice July 30, 2014 (1:39 pm)

    Just spotted what appeared to be 4 army helicopters two w/ dual propellers and two w/ heavy artillery weapons fly really low over Highland Park.

  • cj July 30, 2014 (4:02 pm)

    Yet another cool event in the middle of a work week day. :/

  • Ray July 30, 2014 (5:27 pm)

    Was also interesting to watch that two of the fires in Eastern WA seemed to flare up during the parade. Significant smoke from the one farther south, but the one “straight out” I-90 made an interesting mushroom cloud that exploded upward until sheered by the winds. I have several pictures I need to get off my cameras.

  • JanS July 30, 2014 (5:43 pm)

    Ray, I saw the plume of smoke, and my friend and I wondered if it was fire. I had a fun afternoon taking the Argosy “Greet the Fleet” Lunch Cruise w/ a friend and her mother in law. So we were out in the middle of all that. At one point the Leschi fireboat came along side us, looked like we could reach out and touch it – spectacular that close up. A fun afternoon, indeed :)

  • Anonymous Military Helicopter Pilot July 30, 2014 (5:48 pm)

    Sir or Ma’am with the infant,
    We apologize for the inconvenience, but your baby now can recognize the sound of freedom.
    Semper Fidelis,
    Your friendly neighborhood ‘heavy artillery’ helicopter pilot

  • Ray July 30, 2014 (7:02 pm)


    OK, that made me laugh.

    You could have also thrown in “the sound of the aeronautical heartbeat that powers Puget Sound”.

  • Vanessa July 31, 2014 (3:03 pm)

    ain’t gonna study war no more. signed, peacenik

  • Christine Davies July 31, 2014 (3:22 pm)

    To those who commented on the noise by the jets and the helicopters, welcome to the life of one who lives in Pierce County near McChord. It is indeed the sound of freedom, and actually you get used to it after a while. Have a great day.

  • Bradley July 31, 2014 (6:28 pm)

    I saw the 2 Chinook-type and 2 enormous CH-53’s do a turn over Westwood Village…complete with .50 caliber barrels sticking out of the gunner’s door. If I didn’t know they were here for Seafair I would have sought cover. Definitely the sights and sounds of freedom.

  • Bob July 31, 2014 (7:00 pm)

    Bowdown to the sights and sounds of military hardware and death. The illusion of freedom is strong.

  • Bradley August 1, 2014 (3:35 pm)

    @Bob: without that hardware (and the brave men and women operating it), you’d be typing your anti-American comments in another language…and getting arrested shortly thereafter.

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