Seen at sea 1261 results

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Historic former Coast Guard Cutter Comanche

Thanks to Gary Jones for the photo! The historic former Coast Guard Cutter Comanche passed West Seattle today, northbound from its home in Tacoma, headed for South Lake Union, where it’s scheduled for an open house at Lake Union Park. It’s owned by a foundation that’s been raising money to restore it; the ship’s history is on this website – it’s 80 years old and served as a tug after its decommissioning in 1980.

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Tall ship Lady Washington – here’s where it was going

May 20, 2024 5:57 pm
|    Comments Off on SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Tall ship Lady Washington – here’s where it was going
 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle news

Thanks to Robin for the photo! She and others mentioned the tall ship Lady Washington passing West Seattle this afternoon. The Aberdeen-homeported ship was heading to Tacoma, where it’ll be offering day sails and dockside tours for several weeks starting Thursday. The Lady Washington is a replica of an 18th-century ship of the same name, built in 1989 (here’s the history), and has been featured in movies including episodes of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Star Trek” series.

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Four-hour fishing season

Thanks to Logan for the photo. Several people have asked about the gathering of boats in Elliott Bay (and trailers at Don Armeni Boat Ramp). It’s the one-day, four-hour spot-shrimp season, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife website – 9 am to 1 pm. There may be an encore during the same hours May 30 “if quota remains,” WDFW says. Spot shrimp, aka prawns, are described as the largest shrimp in Puget Sound; they can grow to up to nine inches long.

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Here’s what those fishing boats are going after

Thanks to Mary for the photo taken before the morning clouds cleared. As discussed here, the reason for the concentration of boats off west-facing West Seattle is that recreational fishing season is open for lingcod.

FYI: Law-enforcement air/sea training today

An alert from the King County Sheriff’s Office:

Heads up! Today until 3 PM we are conducting joint training with the King County Water Taxi in Elliott Bay. If you see Guardian One & an increased police presence, there is no cause for alarm.

Guardian One is the KCSO helicopter, which is also used by other law-enforcement agencies including Seattle Police.

WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Elephant-seal sighting

Just in from Kersti Muul: “Male elephant seal off Weather Watch Park. Pretty close in.” If you’re not familiar with it, Weather Watch is the beachfront pocket park at Beach Drive/SW Carroll (across from La Rustica). You can see what elephant seals look like in this sighting report from 2021.

Cruise season starts Saturday at Pier 66, but unplugged for now

(Port of Seattle photo, Norwegian Bliss in 2018)

As commenter CarDriver pointed out below the morning traffic/transportation roundup, Seattle’s cruise season is about to start – you’ll see the first of those giant passenger ships on Elliott Bay by Saturday (April 6), when NCL’s Norwegian Bliss is expected to sail from Pier 66 on the downtown waterfront. The port already offers shore power at its other cruise terminal, in Magnolia, and has been working on it for Pier 66 (see info on the $44 million project here), but it won’t be available at the start of the season. Port of Seattle spokesperson Peter McGraw tells WSB that the shore-power capability at Pier 66 is expected to launch around midseason (which would be midsummer, as cruise season continues until early October). See this year’s ship schedule here.

FOLLOWUP: Don Armeni Boat Ramp dock-replacement project, one month in

Thanks to Doug Eglington for sending the photo. Piling placement work continues at West Seattle’s Don Armeni Boat Ramp, one month after the start of the long-in-the-works dock-replacement project. American Construction is the contractor for the work to install new concrete floats and steel pilings, which is expected to continue until mid-March, with one float kept open at all times so the ramp remains usable.

SEEN ON SHORE: This morning’s ‘king tide’ delivers a dock

If you’re missing a 12-foot-or-so length of dock, that might be it in Angela‘s photo above (thanks also to Pam for a similar report). In the wake of this morning’s 13-foot “king tide,” the wayward wooden structure was seen by Luna/Anchor Park on Duwamish Head.

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: First sailboat race of the year

12:03 PM: No photos yet but thanks to Tiah for asking via a comment – all those sailboats off west-facing West Seattle are part of the year’s first race, the Three Tree Point Yacht Club‘s Duwamish Head Race. 65 registrants, according to the TTPYC website. The route (mapped here) goes from Des Moines to, of course, Duwamish Head, and back.

(Reader photo)

12:23 PM: Thanks to those who have since sent pics!

(Reader photo)

(Photo by Gene Pavola)

ADDED 2:39 PM: Jamie Kinney recorded some aerial video as the boats rounded Alki Point:

VIDEO: Waves of holiday music wash over Don Armeni audience during Christmas Ship’s first 2023 West Seattle stop

The sky was clear, as were the voices of The Dickens Carolers, as the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship made its first of this year’s three West Seattle stops tonight at Don Armeni Boat Ramp. We recorded the mini-concert of holiday classics on video:

The downtown skyline provided a gleaming backdrop, including the red and green roof lights of the SODO stadiums. This year’s West Seattle schedule is the same as last year, so you have two more chances tomorrow to see and hear the Christmas Ship without leaving the peninsula – 5:35 pm at/near Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW, WSB sponsor) and 8:35 pm at Alki (usually near the Bathhouse, 60th/Alki), with a Seattle Parks-supervised bonfire on the beach.

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, inbound

Thanks for the tips! Six days after it headed northbound, the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is headed back home to Bremerton, passing the mouth of Elliott Bay right now before turning into Rich Passage.

UPDATE: Short-lived emergency response for sailboat south of Lincoln Park

November 6, 2023 8:17 pm
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: Short-lived emergency response for sailboat south of Lincoln Park
 |   Fauntleroy | Seen at sea | West Seattle news

8:17 PM: SFD is sending units by land and sea to look into a report of a 30′ sailboat that’s possibly adrift 200 feet offshore, south of Lincoln Park.

8:23 PM: Responders say it’s an anchored vessel, not in distress, so they’re canceling the response.


(Added: Reader photo)

Thanks to Britt for the tip: Less than six weeks after returning to Bremerton, the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is outbound again, just about to pass Alki Point.

West Seattle Water Taxi crew intercepts runaway barge

The West Seattle Water Taxi‘s 2 pm run was delayed a bit today, and the explanatory alert was terse: “Crew of the Doc Maynard rescuing a barge that was adrift along the Seattle waterfront.” We asked Metro spokesperson Al Sanders for more info, and here’s what we received:

(Photo courtesy Metro)

Preliminary details from MV Doc Maynard Capt. Dan Krehbiel:

The Doc Maynard, a King County Water Taxi, was en route to Pier 50 from Seacrest Dock at approximately 1 p.m. when the crew spotted a fully loaded container barge dangerously adrift from Pier 18 near Harbor Island, headed across Elliott Bay.

When the Water Taxi crew didn’t spot a tug next to the barge, they moved to intercept the vessel, which was moving toward the vicinity of the Great Wheel and the Seattle Aquarium, and attempted to push the barge away from the heart of the waterfront.

Captain Krehbiel was able to use the Doc Maynard’s bow to push and direct the barge north, where it eventually landed in the vicinity of Pier 66. Tugs arrived to pin the ship to the terminal until the barge owner could arrange transport.

The Doc Maynard did not sustain any damage to the bow, which steered the wayward barge away from the waterfront. Water taxi service was delayed by approximately 15 minutes as a result of this incident.

A Twitter/X user got it on video – watch here. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the barge mishap.

(USCG photo)

ADDED 6:49 PM: Kevin Freitas shares this time lapse from one of his cameras on this side of the bay:

WEST SEATTLE HALLOWEEN SCENE: SUPs replace brooms on Witches & Warlocks Paddle

Another one-of-a-kind West Seattle Halloween event today – thanks to Jeff Jones for sending photos from the Witches and Warlocks Paddle!

With costumes and standup-paddleboards, the participants headed out onto Elliott Bay from the Seacrest area.

Maari Falsetto of Inner Alchemy Treasures & Transformation organized it.

This is the third year for the Halloween paddle, which Maari said was intended to “cast a spell of JOY and FUN.”

WEEK AHEAD: Cruise-ship season ends Monday

(Norwegian Sun, photographed in 2018 by Carolyn Newman)

When Elliott Bay-watchers see that ship head out tomorrow (Monday, October 30th) from Pier 66 downtown, they’ll be seeing the end of this year’s Seattle cruise season, according to the Port of Seattle. The 2,000-passenger-capacity Norwegian Sun is scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning after a 10-day Alaska cruise and head out at 4 pm tomorrow on a 20-day “repositioning voyage” that’ll take it down the Pacific Coast to the Panama Canal and eventually to the Bahamas. In a media advisory, the port says this season “brought a record 1.7 million revenue passengers, or over 800,000 unique passengers through Port of Seattle cruise terminals, on 291 homeported cruise voyages.”

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: USS Bunker Hill, decommissioned and under tow

Thanks to Gary Jones for the photo and ship ID. Seen passing West Seattle, under tow and headed into Kitsap County waters, that’s the decommissioned guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52). It was decommissioned two and a half weeks ago in a ceremony at Naval Base San Diego (this online Navy story has lots of history). According to this online report, it’s being taken to Bremerton to “serve as a ‘logistics support asset’.” (A reference to another ship in that role explains that term as “spare-parts hulk.”)

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Another state ferry headed for repairs

September 28, 2023 11:44 am
|    Comments Off on SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Another state ferry headed for repairs
 |   Seen at sea | Transportation | West Seattle news

Thanks to Mark for the photo. The state ferry under tow in Elliott Bay is M/V Walla Walla, headed for the Vigor shipyard on Harbor Island. This is the ferry that ran aground on Bainbridge Island in April. That problem was attributed to contaminated fuel. But that’s not why it’s going in for repairs. This is because of recent propeller damage, Washington State Ferries spokesperson Ian Sterling tells WSB. The most-recent WSF weekly update explains:

Following a significant shudder felt aboard Walla Walla Friday, we sent divers to inspect the ferry’s propellers and they found damage to one of them. The vessel will need to go into dry dock so the prop can be replaced. If no other issues are found, the boat is expected to be out of service for up to four weeks. Until it returns, plan for reduced vehicle capacity on some routes.

Also currently at Vigor is M/V Wenatchee, for conversion to hybrid-electric.

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, headed home

September 24, 2023 2:56 pm
|    Comments Off on SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, headed home
 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle news

Thanks for the texted tip! The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is in view from West Seattle, southbound, six weeks after it headed out. says it’s been headed home to Bremerton since leaving San Diego six days ago.

HEADED FOR HARBOR ISLAND: M/V Wenatchee, making state-ferry history

(Photo courtesy “Boating Motes”)

Also seen in Elliott Bay – Washington State FerriesM/V Wenatchee, under tow. It’s arriving at Vigor on Harbor Island to make history as the first WSF vessel to be converted to hybrid-electric. (That’s also where the ferry was built 25 years ago.) The Wenatchee’s propulsion system also will be updated during the conversion. When it’s complete next year, it will return to service on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route, and M/V Tacoma will head to Vigor for its hybrid-electric conversion.


(Photo sent by “Boating Motes”)

Thanks for the photos and tips! That big gray boat seen in Elliott Bay off West Seattle a short time ago is the Military Sealift Command vessel USNS Fisher (T-AKR 301). MSC ships like this are basically cargo ships for the military, though their crew is civilian.

READER REPORT: Scenes from tonight’s Sunset Paddle for Maui

Thanks to Al for sending photos and a report from tonight’s Sunset Paddle for Maui, a West Seattle on-the-water fundraiser organized by Alki Kayak Tours. Al told us via text, “15 boats, 21 people, at least 6 sea lions, and one gorgeous sunset…”

If you couldn’t join the paddle, here’s one way to help Maui fire survivors – the Maui Strong Fund.