Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 28

Portage Bay - Just as I take the first few strokes of the paddle, shoving the canoe through the last of the lily pads into open water, an osprey slides down from the sky and drags its feet in the water before climbing away out of sight.

I head west instead of into the more familiar marshes of Union Bay, preferring today to paddle next to the curving steel hulls of the ocean going fishing boats and derelict coasters that define the working shoreline. I find some comfort a working shoreline, though not as much as in a natural shoreline, but there is reassurance in the use, something that is lacking in the yacht parking lots and banks of houseboats.
I turn back at Foss Tugboats, which is in Salmon Bay. This spot was once saltwater, before the Chittenden Locks were built. I came here through the Fremont Canal, which was once a narrow tumbling creek. I pause to watch an old guy building an aluminum work skiff for a purse seiner. It is an impressive one man job. Machines, welding equipment and a crane, the work all done within 15 feet of the water. One guy.

The sun burns through the marine clouds as I get back into Lake Union. The canoe is just cutting along in the smooth water so nicely.

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