I don’t know how it’s possible that I’ve lived in Seattle for seven years and I’ve never attended the Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival sponsored by the
Center for Wooden Boats. 15,000 Seattleites and tourists descend on the South Lake Union docks for a wonderful display of vintage wooden boats including everything from kayaks and canoes to family yachts. The festival earlier this month was blessed with beautiful warm weather and my wife suggested I take our four year-old, Jonah, who loves anything with engines (airplanes, trains, fire trucks, boats, etc.). Naturally, Jonah wanted to step foot in every single boat that was moored dockside which would’ve added up to ten or more. With all the ducking and high-stepping necessary to board and disembark from these beautiful vessels, daddy was quickly getting tired of it. I managed to bring Jonah over the the music (quite good) and the Seattle vintage vessels like a tugboat.
I love keeping great old crafts alive and the love and perfection achieved in building wooden boats deserves preservation. My only fear is that with the dramatic facelift Paul Allen is bringing to Lake Union will there still be room for a quaint old festival like this one in the Lake Union’s gentrified future?
Here are some photographs I took that day: