1:47 PM: If you’ve seen the Tribal Journeys canoe arrivals at Alki Beach in years past … this year is bigger than ever. As we’ve been previewing, the arrivals started early this afternoon and are continuing as canoe families arrive from last night’s stop across Puget Sound in Suquamish.
More than 100 canoes were registered to participate this year, and they have supporters here too. There’s even an announcer with a PA system, something we don’t recall seeing/hearing in recent years. And we lost count at more than a dozen charter buses parked along Alki Avenue; the paddlers and their support crews will be transported to Auburn, where the Muckleshoot Tribe will host them tonight. (Muckleshoot security remains at Alki to watch over the canoes.)
We’ll be checking later on the expected morning departure time, for those who would like to come observe then.
Singing as canoes await assistance to be brought ashore (PA announcer just put out a call for help) pic.twitter.com/7cdrWkG681
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 26, 2018
More photos/updates to come!
2:47 PM: We just walked to the east end of where the canoes are lined up on the sand – they stretch almost to 58th SW – and counted more than 50. None on the horizon so we don’t know how many are yet to arrive. With each arrival so far, an announcement has been read over the loudspeakers, in Native language as well as English, with the declaration of the tribe’s name, where they’ve come from – some have been journeying for two weeks! – and greetings to the Muckleshoot, as well as a request for permission to come ashore.
Also, a military cargo jet seen flying over West Seattle earlier – low enough to startle people – has just done a flyby over the beach here.
5:13 PM: Went back to Alki to check; the arrivals have concluded.
Security says departures are expected between 7 and 9 tomorrow morning.
ADDED EARLY FRIDAY: Alki photographer David Hutchinson asked about that too and he was told they would depart after a ceremony at 7. He shared this evening photo:
Tomorrow’s stop is Dash Point State Park.
FRIDAY MORNING NOTE: The departures are not happening en masse.
Our photographer was there from 8 am until about 9:30 and reports that two canoes had left by then. We’re going back shortly for an update.