A HUGE thanks to long time fellow Woody Boater Ron stevenson for supplying a real boat story. As in BOATS. In the water doing what boats are supposed to do. No dogs,No club yapping, Babe complaining..
JUST BOATS! AHHHHHHHHHH- Take it away Ron!
MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!
If you hear this on your Marine VHF channel 16, someone is in trouble! We here on WoodyBoater are trying to get Matt out of trouble! And we want more stories about boating, so here is my attempt (hmm, use spell check or not?)
In this case Mayday times three represents an effort to keep some type of Opening Day of the Boating Season alive in Seattle. The crème de la crème of yacht clubs here is the Seattle Yacht Club. They started Opening Day activities in 1928, you do the math. This is a week long event, filled with activities, registrations, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, parties, adult beverages, flag raising, awards ceremonies, Husky crew races, people being people, we look forward to it every year. The climax at the end of the week is the U of W crew races, and the boat parade which is about 200 vessels going through the Montlake cut, between Portage Bay and Lake Washington. Observing boats start tying up, and anchoring days ahead, there can easily be another 200 watching.
There is always a theme, we decorate boats to win prizes in your class of entries, a great time is had by all. Except when there is a pandemic. No official on the water Opening Day. Instead there was a virtual Opening Day, much easier, no permits, no Homeland security screening (for real, boaters can be dangerous?).
But a nameless person across Portage Bay at the more blue-collar Queen City Yacht Club came up with the idea of a “Linear Cruise”. Hey, if a bunch of boats are cruising the same same direction at the same speed, around neighboring Lake Union and leave at the same time, and you don’t have to register, you don’t need a parade permit do you? Or get permission from the Coast Guard?
Cruising around lake Union, 40 or so boats turned out. “Elsa” is owned by PNW ACBS guy Erik Larsen. Yes, the same family as Larsen Boats.
So at noon on Mayday (aka May 1st) a bunch of boats showed up. Including some from the PNW chapter of the ACBS, there was more wood with some amazing Classic Yachts from their association the CYA. And many more came out just to have fun! Let’s go boating! Right?
Steve and Molly Snider own “Badlands” a 1963 26′ Century Raven
“Marian II, a 1928 42′ Lake Union Dreamboat owned by the Classic Yacht Association Commodore Diane Lander.
The MV “Malibu”, designed by Ted Geary, built at Blanchard Boat Company in Seattle in 1926, is 100 ft long. Our ACBS chapter had the honor of being hosted by the owner for a monthly meeting aboard this stunning 100 point showboat.
Seen in the parade was the “Honey Bee” a 1951 42′ Ed Monk design for the Ed Reinell boat building family. This was a boat that started my lust for a wood cruiser many years ago…
(she goes faster downhill)
But we started, and will end with a boat ride out to dinner Friday nite, aboard a 1932 28′ special built launch for the University of Washington crew coach. Captain Kirk Knap saved this boat from the burn pile many years ago. The Scripps powered “Conny” is the same boat that was used to train our guys to win the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Hopefully some of you have read the book “The Boys in the Boat” or seen the PBS American Experiences film.
Here is the trailer: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/boys36/
If not, you need to see it or read it, it’s a great WB story in itself!
Kirk was the lead boat Saturday morning hosting dignitaries and officials to the race course, and his boat was used to give out the awards after the races. BTW our Huskies, both men and women won most everything!
Come to Seattle next year the first Saturday in May for Opening Day! Let’s go boating!
Opening Days featured before in WB: