West Seattle, Washington
That’s actually a screen grab from a video clip that we considered too short to use but the scene was irresistible — After the Seafair Pirates came ashore (first round of photos in our first report here), we wandered up to the street-side spot where their land vessel Moby Duck was parked east of Alki Bathhouse, and watched (and videotaped) as they mingled with fans and even brought a lucky few onboard their “ship.” More pirate pix ahead, including video of the scalawags hoisting a young fan onto Moby Duck (which is a modified DUKW amphibious craft), but first, we have video of the actual landing, as the everpopular U.S. Army Mechanized Landing Craft came ashore, preceded by cannon fire, of course (and a bit of a jolt as the vessel hits the beach):
More ahead, including the Moby Duck scene at streetside, the seawall crowd, pix of Pirates and fans, and the fireboat putting on a show:Read More
Thanks to Susan Grossman of Singing Pixel Photography (who contributed the Space Needle lightning shot the other day) for that shot from Harbor Ave. And thanks to Amy, who answered the request in the comment thread from last night’s Alki post, and sent these photos of that unusual sight in the sky:
(Now the obvious question before we launch an extensive round of Googling … what exactly is that? Hang-glider with pontoons? Ultralight?) ADDED LATER: A look at neighborhood chaos after dark, further northeasti – this is from Meredith:
She wrote in part, “… the FUN went on for about 2.5 hours. You can see the pileup. The pedestrians, the family getting out at the road closed sign. The silver SUV (Lexus LX, I think), just parked there as the driver walks away. This left the incoming traffic STUCK between Admiral and Grayson, Grayson St. traffic couldn’t get out, and no emergency vehicle could get into the area AT ALL if needed.”
At Don Armeni, parking restrictions kick in at 4 pm this afternoon, according to that sign and others. Not far away, parking is OK until mid-afternoon along California Way and Ferry Avenue, which have these signs:
Closer to the Alki business district, you’ll see no-parking signs which are actually for Saturday’s Seafair Pirates Landing extravaganza. (But don’t forget, as we’ve mentioned repeatedly, Alki and Harbor Avenues are going to be off-limits to all drivers but residents by late afternoon tomorrow – click here to read details.) More holiday coverage in the hours to come, and on our 4th of July events/infopage. Meanwhile, the lowest tide of the month bottomed out about an hour and a half ago; we surveyed the scene off Beach Drive across from Me-Kwa-Mooks:
Huge thanks to Joe Follansbee, a West Seattleite and tall-ships expert who took and sent those photos of the beauties sailing past Duwamish Head this afternoon — we got a couple tips (thanks to those tipsters too) but couldn’t get down to get pix in time, then were thrilled to receive these from Joe. He says the first is “the Lynx out of Newport Beach, Calif. Itâ€™s a replica of a War of 1812 privateer.” Second is “the Lady Washington, a replica of one of the first American vessels to visit what would later be Washington State.” (Seen in a WSB film favorite, “Pirates of the Caribbean”!) Third is “the Hawaiian Chieftain, which was inspired by 18th century South Seas trading ships.” (Joe is communications director for the last two.) All of course are headed to Tall Ships Tacoma (complete info on that here), along with the U.S. Coast Guard square-rigger Eagle, which we covered yesterday (here and here) and is seen below in a photo from before its departure this morning (thanks to JayDee for this pic taken from the Water Taxi):
Fog and low tide don’t mix very well. Just ask the two guys who are sitting in that powerboat right now, waiting for the tide to come back in so they can get back out on the water. Thanks to the person who called to let us know about this; we walked out to ask the stranded boaters if they’re OK, they said yes, “we just got lost” while heading out on the first day of crab season (not-yet-deployed baskets were stacked in their boat). Onlookers (like the person standing by the boat’s stern) are also checking on them; meanwhile, ferry foghorns are sounding just offshore, and it looks like the fog’s pulling back. (The tide bottomed out about 20 minutes ago, so they shouldn’t be stuck too much longer. Tomorrow at 11:39 am, by the way, the tide’s almost as low as the mega-low tide in early June, so boaters – and tidewalkers! – take note.)
(USCG Eagle, photographed from Duwamish Head viewpoint, added 4:49 pm)
We are continuing to update the “West Seattle bank robbery leads to downtown gunfire” story. Also, we are at Duwamish Head watching for the Coast Guard tall ship to come into view. (3:45 PM UPDATE: Looks like it’s coming around Magnolia now; 4:24 PM UPDATE, well in view now – though its sails aren’t up – and fireboat is out too.) But we are working on other news too, starting, in this post, with the big news from Starbucks – 600 company-operated stores to close this year. So far, NO LIST AVAILABLE – but this “message from Howard” just posted at starbucks.com after a 2:30 pm conference call says that all stores will know “by mid-July” if they are staying open or closing. (A commenter at starbucksgossip.com claims word’s due tomorrow.) The earlier news release says more than two-thirds of those that will close are stores that have opened in the past couple years.
You just might see this from West Seattle shores as the vessels head toward Pier 66 this afternoon: The Coast Guard Academy “tall ship” Eagle (photo above) — billed as “the only square-rigger in U.S. government service” — making a one-day Seattle stop on its way to Tall Ships Tacoma (no public tours here, alas), accompanied by a three-boat Coast Guard Heritage Fleet. This USCG media advisory has details on the ships and says Eagle will arrive around 3:30 pm. (You can also read more about this Heritage Fleet here.) 3:45 PM UPDATE: We are at Duwamish Head and not seeing the ships yet. Two USCG choppers are flying together toward Magnolia Bluff, though, so maybe it’s soon.
WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli sent that stupendous shot – airshow-practice season! – and the next two wonderful water scenes:
The riders crowding the top deck of the Water Taxi no doubt had a view of Mount Rainier today, but nothing like this one sent by Scott (who lives in West Seattle but happened to be “above Enumclaw” at the time he took this:
Those are the “beauty shots” – more photos coming up in a bit from some of the events/activities around our area today. (Thanks to Christopher and Scott, and to everyone who sends pix, video, and info … email@example.com, any time.)
Thanks to JayDee for sending that view of a state ferry and cruise ship on Elliott Bay, photographed from the 4:40 pm Water Taxi run. A few hours later, we captured this view from High Point Pond:
Good birdwatching at the pond – besides the two Canada geese on the pond in the photo, down by the water’s edge we saw two baby ducks and their mom (photo didn’t come out, unfortunately) and abundant barn swallows.
Per this TV story, West Seattleite Tom Milne kayaks to work – 13 miles each way. Sounds like he saw the same humpback JoB reported in the WSB Forums the other day. P.S. Kayakers and would-be kayakers may want to check out the annual Eddyline Demo Day this Saturday at Alki Kayak Tours at Seacrest (9 am-3 pm)
Thanks to Kevin McClintic of Arbor Heights for sending us that photo taken from downtown (with West Seattle in the background), which he captioned “When the Water Taxi Grows Up.” Yes, that’s the Elliott Bay Water Taxi dwarfed by the cruise ship Golden Princess as it headed off for another weeklong Alaska cruise late yesterday afternoon. Back on land, thanks to Jim Edwards for this shot:
That’s the long-shuttered 76 station on Roxbury, which has been cleaned up in recent months, and this would seem to be potential confirmation it’s gearing up to reopen. Might soon be another stop on our weekly West Seattle Gas Price Watch surveys (archived here) – next one coming up late tonight. ADDED 12:12 PM: Another photo just in – came in on our phone so we’re not sure who sent, nor do we have the kids’ names, but this appears to be another lemonade stand (with baked goods AND “saxophone entertainment” per the sign and the instrument at left!) on Alki – raising money for the Obama campaign:
Can’t recall ever seeing a campaign bake sale. (Glad to see kids getting excited about politics so young; your editor was 12 when she discovered her mom wasn’t registered to vote, and made a deal – “you register, Mom, I’ll do the research to help you figure out who to vote for.” About seven years later, Mom belatedly completed college … as valedictorian … with a degree in political science.) 12:41 PM UPDATE: Thanks to JanS for enlightening us to the fact this is a nationwide event (as were yesterday’s nonpolitical charity lemonade stands); they’re listed online here – the Alki one doesn’t appear to be registered, though the one at The Junction is.
The banners are up for the Seafair Pirates‘ Landing, two weeks from today (July 5th; event details here, including freebies for kids). Further down the beach, we couldn’t get out of the car in time for a full view of that last sunset moment (that’s a picnic-shelter roof in the center of the pic), but it was a beauty:
High tide and sunset were almost concurrent tonight – this table has high tide at 8:56 pm; the sun finished slipping behind the Olympics at 9:01 (by our clock). One more interesting stat (hat tip to The Weatherman, where we found the link) — the “length of visible light” is 17 hours, 20 minutes (scroll down this page to “astronomy” section). And another Alki note – in the WSB Forums, JoB reports seeing a whale (believed to be a humpback) off Alki Point today!
Thanks to Dave Gould for that photo of the last sunset before summer arrives. Solstice is 4:59 pm our time tomorrow. Next photo is more about what you don’t see than what you do see:
That’s the view from the railing to the south of the ramp going down to the Elliott Bay Water Taxi dock downtown, if you didn’t recognize it. The small wooden float at the center with the upside-down boat had two visitors this afternoon while we were waiting to catch the WT home from our City Hall visit — they were gone before we could pull out the cameraphone, but we wanted to mention them: two otters! (Just in case you were still feeling sad about the one killed over here last weekend, looks like they have friends/relatives in the bay; hope the two we saw don’t try crossing Alaskan Way …)
Photos to share, and mention — first, a Father’s Day fireboat display off Beach Drive, photos at BDB. Next: a garden sighting:
As WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli observed in the note with that photo, it’s difficult to catch hummingbirds on camera – but he finally “caught” that one. Next – what’s missing in this picture?
Wendy Hughes-Jelen says tai chi is what’s missing – she can’t believe nobody’s doing it at High Point, and she has already gone to great lengths to find someone to launch outdoor sessions by the pond you see in that photo shared by Wendy. Read all about it at her blog, which includes how to reach her if you’d like to get involved with the tai chi quest. Last but not least – a photo Jerry from JetCityOrange actually sent a few days ago:
On Thursday morning, he e-mailed us the photo and this note:
Appeared overnight as one goes from Harbor Ave/Avalon onto either bridge around Nucor. Street art or vandalism? You decide.
Was it tide-related trouble, a resident’s boat, or just a temporary stop? A WSB reader who wishes to be anonymous sent that photo and this question:
I was jogging through Lincoln Park late this afternoon with cameraphone in tote and snapped a pic of a beached sailboat at the south end of the park, toward the ferry terminal. The boat appeared to be anchored in the water on side and tethered to the drift wood from the other. The name of the boat, barely visible in these pics, is “Cheeky Bosom.” I’m 100% serious about that. Anyone know the story of what happened? I didn’t see an owner of the boat anywhere.
(2 more photos added 3:55 pm – scroll down)
11:51 am today was Seattle’s the lowest tide of the year (tomorrow’s almost as low, 12:39 pm; here’s the chart). Here’s a couple of pictures that were taken more or less at the tide’s lowest point today.
From Lowman Beach:
From the bottom of the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest:
ADDED 3:55 PM: Thanks to “K” for e-mailing these photos (and noting “it was great to see everyone out there”):
You know, it’s a lovely day outside FOR FEBRUARY! and the worst part is that the cold temps coincide with the lowest tides of the year (tomorrow’s the lowest – as noted yesterday). Photographer Bob Bollen braved the elements and took some shots at Alki during low tide this morning.
So put on another scarf, stick the coffee in the microwave one more time, and enjoy.
As reported here a few hours ago, we’ve got very low tides at midday all week – bottoming out on Wednesday with the lowest tide of the summer. The field trips weren’t waiting for that – the photo above shows Eastside kids swarming Constellation Park (buses parked nearby bore the names Issaquah, Bellevue, and Newport). We stopped by Lowman Beach, too, where these birds perched on tide-exposed infrastructure for an eagle’s-eye, er, seagulls’-eye view:
(WSB photo taken at Seacrest, May 2007)
If you can get out and get to the beach at midday, this week brings some excellent chances for low-tide walks. Here’s the chart; today the tide bottoms out at 10:19 am at -2.8; tomorrow, 11:04 am, it’s -3.8; then Wednesday, it’s the lowest tide of the summer, -4.1 at 11:51; Thursday is almost as good, -4.0 at 12:39 pm; and Friday it’s -3.4 at 1:38 pm. On Wednesday and Thursday, you’ll even have a chance to consult an expert, as the Seattle Aquarium will have its beach naturalists out at Lincoln Park and Constellation Park (south of Alki Point), 10:30 am-2:30 pm. (But almost any place on the West Seattle shore is a great place to see what is revealed at low tide — our other favorites include Cove Park just north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock and Seacrest, where the pilings beneath the pier host a nice array of starfish and other sea life, as shown in our photo above.)
Hadn’t heard of this till it turned up in tonight’s Orca Network “sightings” e-newsletter (subscribe here) — the state has launched a Flickr page to collect photos illustrating the problems facing Puget Sound, and is inviting contributions. As the intro text on that page aptly puts it, “One of the reasons many donâ€™t know that Puget Soundâ€™s health is failing is because we donâ€™t often see what the problems are. We take its on-the-surface beauty for granted.”