A guide to Seattle's Opening Day boat parade, events
Here's a roundup of what's happening and when for Saturday's Opening Day of boating season yacht parade and Windermere Cup crew races.
8 a.m. — Parade boats assemble in Portage Bay.
8:45 a.m. — U.S. Navy Band concert on the lawn at Seattle Yacht Club, 1807 E. Hamlin St.
8:50 a.m. — Commissioning ceremony, SYC lawn
9:40 a.m. — Parade course closed to boats. Montlake Bridge closed to auto traffic (approximate)
9:50 a.m. — Official VIP boats parade to moorage
10 a.m. — Muckleshoot Canoe Family demonstration
10:05 a.m. — Dragon Boat exhibition race
10:20 a.m. — First crew race begins
11:35 a.m. — Women's Windermere Cup race
11:45 a.m. — Men's Windermere Cup race
11:50 a.m. — Crew competitors parade back through Cut
Noon — Opening Day boat parade begins
12:20 p.m. — Awards ceremony for crews at Conibear Shellhouse
2:30 p.m. (approximate) — Boat parade ends
3 p.m. (approximate) — Montlake Cut reopens to all boat traffic
4 p.m. (approximate) — Montlake Bridge reopens to auto traffic
6 p.m. — Trophy presentations, SYC lawn
6:30 p.m. — Closing ceremony, lowering of colors
If you get caught boating out of season, is it just a ticket or is there jail time?
OK, so you're new to Seattle. We'll stifle the snickers.
When you hear about Opening Day of boating season, which happens this coming Saturday, know that it is all according to custom. It's not like hunting season, which has real rules.
The ruling factor is tradition — and it's a long one — based on the fact that messing about in boats is a whole lot more pleasant when it's sunny and warm than when it's raining and cold. So boating season here starts the first Saturday in May (sunshine not guaranteed).
Since 1920, Seattle Yacht Club has led the way with an annual "official" Opening Day boat parade through Montlake Cut, the narrow canal that connects Portage Bay and Lake Washington.
This year's parade starts at noon Saturday, with more than 200 boats registered, from modern superyachts to the saltiest Northwest classics. Starting the day's events will be a procession at 10 a.m., before crew races, of Muckleshoot Tribe canoes.
The parade theme is "Salish Sea Treasures," with many boats to be decorated accordingly, reflecting the marine life of the Washington and British Columbia waters officially designated in 2009 as the Salish Sea.
Fire boats will spray water, and boats carrying the University of Washington band and Washington State University's alumni band will set the musical tempo for the day.
It's a free event for spectators, with rowing teams competing in Windermere Cup crew races from east to west in the Cut preceding the boat parade (see www.gohuskies.com/sports/c-crew/spec-rel/windermere-cup.html).
If you go by car, bus, bike or foot, you may watch from the shores of the Cut. (Bring a blanket or lawn chairs, a picnic and possibly an umbrella.) Parking is available at nearby University of Washington lots — for $15 in Lots E-20 and E-21, or $7 in Lot E-1. Note that Montlake Bridge closes to auto traffic between around 9:40 a.m. and maybe as late as 4 p.m., and remains raised during the boat parade.
If you go by boat, Windermere Cup organizers and volunteers for the Seattle Yacht Club plan to have log booms for moorage in place on the east end of Montlake Cut by noon Thursday. Spots on the log boom were reservable in advance with a donation (the reservation deadline has passed). Space remaining on the east end of the log boom will be open free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.
To be part of the parade, book passage on the historic steamship Virginia V, departing from South Lake Union at 11:30 a.m. Saturday; $75 with buffet lunch, live band and a cash bar (www.virginiav.org or 206-624-9119).
This year's Windermere Cup, the 25th year of the event, pits University of Washington rowers against England's Cambridge University, along with Stanford University and the University of Oklahoma. Local rowing clubs and other Northwest schools also compete in races that start at 10:20 a.m., with the last race at 11:45 a.m.
— Brian J. Cantwell
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.