Topic: Elliott Bay
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August 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM
Did you see my last post? Above is another sketch of the soon-to-open West Thomas Street pedestrian overpass as it zig-zags over Elliott Avenue West.
I can’t imagine how frustrating it must have been for lower Queen Anne neighbors to live so close to the waterfront, yet not being able to access it without having to walk to the Olympic Sculpture Park or the Helix bridge.
July 8, 2011 at 10:10 PM
Sketched July 5, 3:27 p.m.
People come to this long pier at Terminal 86 to catch all sorts of marine life, depending on the time of the year: lingcod, rockfish, Dungeness crab, salmon and squid.
Terry Stroud is one of about a dozen regulars. There’s also Ken, Cris, Rich When they catch a big fish, they snap a photo and put it up on the “wall of fame” inside the pier’s shelter. “We are like a big family down here,” said Stroud, who once caught a 29.5-pound lingcod.
They like pier 86 because it’s not as crowded as other fishing spots in the city. At the Spokane Bridge, it’ll be “elbow to elbow” when salmon arrive in late July. The busiest time at this pier is actually in October and November, Stroud said. People fish for squid at night, and the Happy Hooker Bait and Tackle Shop stays open until midnight.
With lingcod season over, Stroud wasn’t expecting to catch anything, much less a 21-armed sea star with a bright-orange golf ball lodged in its mouth. “I told you the water was polluted,” said Stroud with a laugh. He used his tweezers to extricate the golf ball and handed it to me. “That’s your lucky ball.”
Stroud and his friends Cris Tabadero and Ken Bridges may be the regulars at pier 86, but they’re not the only Seattleites drawn to this relaxing spot just a couple of blocks from downtown.
Marty Bumstead, of Green Lake, and his friend Brian Neyenhouse, of Queen Anne, had decided to spend the glorious summer day –Mount Rainier was glowing– teaching their kids to cast their lines with their toy fishing poles. Call it “pretend-fishing,” said Neyenhouse, father of Maggie, 5, and Dylan, 3. Bumstead, father of Zoë, 8, and Ava, 6, (the only kid I managed to get on the sketch) said he usually does the real fishing in Alaska but there are a lot of fishing opportunities in Seattle. He mentioned Golden Gardens and Salmon Bay as good fishing spots. The two stay-at-home dads said being here with their kids is as good as urban fishing gets.
I always think of fishing as a sport that requires a lot of patience. You have to wait in the same spot until a fish bites the bait, don’t you? But then I saw how Jeff Zhou does it. The 21-year-old from Beacon Hill kept changing spots and casting his line multiple times. He tries to keep the bait moving so other fish think that it’s alive and get hooked. Zhou used to fish catfish and tilapia with his uncle in China before moving to the United States. He said he’s been coming to pier 86 for about six years, especially at night and during the squid season.
Coming up: Once a month, I explore Seattle-area communities following readers’ recommendations. Where should I go next? Send me your ideas via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Have a great weekend!
July 1, 2011 at 7:38 PM
Sketched June 28, 11:46 a.m.
It’s all in a day’s work for Seattle’s newest superhero.
OrcaMan stands tall on a West Seattle dock, ready to jump on his Jet Ski to chase ferries, wave at the passengers and scoop up litter polluting our beautiful bay. “OrcaMan! OrcaMan!” shout some kayakers who spot him and his trademark fin.
In the real world, the man behind the whale is Howard Garton, a 50-year-old Magnolia resident who works as a brick mason building chimneys and turrets that adorn million-dollar homes. The Jet Ski enthusiast gets in the water every other day by 7 a.m. and goes full bore around Puget Sound for a couple of hours. He came up with OrcaMan five years ago because “we need someone to energize Seattle.”
Garton is so engrossed in his character that he’s working on a comic book about it. His Vietnamese potbellied pig, Lady Bonita, who was napping in Garton’s truck when I met him this week, even appears in the story as OrcaMan’s sidekick, OrcaPorca. In the book, though, he rides an electric Jet Ski.
OrcaMan stands as a reminder to get out and enjoy this beautiful region, says Garton. “We can go skiing, water skiing, canoeing, mountain climbing … we are so fortunate here.”
You don’t get to sketch a superhero every day. Here are more drawings:
OrcaMan on his way to chase the Bainbridge ferry. “That’s the one I attack the most,” he said.
“For some reason I don’t get tired,” said Garton. “Life is too short not to be really fun.”
Garton showed me samples from his comic book while OrcaPorca napped in his truck, the same one he uses for his business as a brick mason. In the comic book story, OrcaMan travels the oceans tracking environmental damage. A big challenge comes his way when his arch-enemy, Corodius Krunchenviener, a.k.a. Drab Meister, kidnaps the inventor of the W.O.R.M., a Weather Optimizing Redistribution Machine that can control climate changes. Garton said he’s been working with a Capitol Hill artist on the comic book for about 15 months. There are thousands of fans waiting for it to be published, he said.
Garton’s OrcaMan gear sits on the back of his truck next to his masonry tools and buckets full of bricks. He said he modeled his fin with foam he purchased at Friendly Foam Shop in Capitol Hill.
Can you spot OrcaMan?
Send me your photos or sketches and I’ll share them back via Twitter or Facebook. Happy Fourth of July weekend!
More information about OrcaMan at www.orcaman.org.
May 20, 2011 at 8:14 PM
Sketched May 18, 12:38 p.m. [Sketch location on my Seattle Sketcher Google Map]
The highlight of my exploration of Port of Seattle parks this week (see previous post) was Jack Block Park.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I got here. An observation deck 45 feet above the shoreline offers the closest view of the city skyline from West Seattle. You can also see container terminals and hear seals from a 250-foot-long boardwalk.
Hank Fridal, out with his Boston Terriers, said Jack Block is perfect to bring guests from out of town. They are amazed, he said. “Living so close to this, you can’t ever have a bad day.”
Sketched May 18, 5:13 p.m. [Sketch location on my Seattle Sketcher Google Map]
Better known than Jack Block but still hidden behind the Terminal 86 Grain Facility is Elliott Bay Park. It was renamed as Centennial Park last April as part of the Port’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
A “Get to Know Your Port” 14-mile bike ride is coming up June 5. The ride ends at Bell Street Pier but if you have some energy left, I’d suggest taking your bike on the West Seattle Water Taxi –I like to call it the Water Bus– and make your way to Jack Block Park. You won’t regret it!
For more information about centennial events and history of the port visit portseattle100.org.
Coming up: The City of Kirkland is redrawing its boundaries with the annexation of Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate. That’s where I plan to be sketching next week. Do you live in these neighborhoods? Send me your story and sketch ideas via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Have a great weekend!
January 14, 2011 at 7:18 PM
Sketched Jan. 11, 8:38 a.m.
Before I rode the West Seattle Water Taxi, I pictured a small boat that a handful of people might catch on a whim to ride across Elliott Bay. But the word taxi doesn’t do justice to this service. Water bus seems more fitting for a scheduled boat that carries up to 150 people and accepts the Orca card ($3 adults).
More than 30 commuters arrived at Pier 50 as I waited to board the Rachel Marie, which returned to the water this week after repairs following a crash into the sea wall last September. That’s only a fifth of its capacity and less than the summer ridership, which averages 800 commuters daily. Many people may not be aware this is the first year of continuous service through the winter.
Sketched Jan. 11, 7:57 a.m.
Rachel Marquardt, a commuter on her way to Alki Beach, has been riding it for four months because the bus “takes forever.”
Sketched Jan. 11, 8:58 a.m.
Rob Hill has taken it for more than five years and now also brings his bike on board to finish his 1-hour commute pedaling all they way to Eastlake Avenue in Lake Union.
Sketched Jan. 11, 9:25 a.m.
Captain Neal Amaral said more people will opt for the 10-minute ride as the viaduct comes down and traffic gets worse. “People will start riding us,” he said.
The West Seattle water taxi does five round trips from Pier 50 in the morning (between 6:30 a.m. and 9:10 a.m.) and five in the afternoon (between 4 p.m. and 6:40 p.m.). For more information visit www.kingcounty.gov/watertaxi
Sketch-worthy Seattle. Where should I take my sketchpad in 2011? Do you know of a good sketch story waiting to be drawn? I’d love to learn about it. You can send me your suggestions to email@example.com or via Facebook or Twitter.
July 16, 2009 at 4:02 PM
10:13 a.m. [View larger]
Fishing activity on Elliott Bay was quiet this morning, but with the opening today of hatchery Chinook salmon season, that won’t last. This Saturday, 400 to 500 boats are expected to take part in the Elliott Bay Salmon Derby, the only derby in the U.S. where you can fish salmon in a major city, explained Dwight Jones, general manager of Elliott Bay Marina.
For fishermen, the beginning of the season is a bigger day than Christmas, so it’s no suprise people will be getting up very early. “Anglers will be launching their boats early, in the dark. Salmon like breakfast better than lunch and dinner,” said Tony Floor, 61, the director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association, which organizes this and other salmon derbies throughout the Puget Sound. Floor says the Elliot Bay Salmon Derby “represents the reincarnation of king salmon fishing in downtown Seattle.”
The $40,000, 20-foot Stabi Craft boat I sailed in this morning will be raffled off at the conclusion of all the salmon derbies in September in Edmonds. “It’s like a BMW of fishing boats,” said Floor. At the steering wheel was Bill O’Brien, facilities manager at Elliott Marina, who described it as “rugged but sporty.”
Since it was my first time on a fishing boat I had no idea what to expect. At the end of the half-hour ride I was left wondering what the Honda Civic of fishing boats would be like. I may be able to afford that one, but I better learn how to fish first.
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