Home Nautical News Making Waves, July 2021

Making Waves, July 2021

by Randy Woods

Kenmore Air Celebrates 75 Years with Special Scenic Fare

One of the most beloved peripheral businesses serving the boating community, Kenmore Air (kenmoreair.com), is celebrating its 75 years in operation with daily scenic seaplane tours of Puget Sound through the end of September. To commemorate the airline’s anniversary, the half-hour roundtrip tours are being offered at the special discount price of just $75 per seat.

The scenic flights leave hourly, between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., taking off and landing at the Kenmore Seaplane Terminal on Lake Washington. The flights, using Kenmore’s restored de Havilland Beaver and Otter seaplanes, will offer spectacular views of Seattle, the University of Washington, Shilshole Bay, and Discovery Point. The fun will continue even after the weather turns this fall. Kenmore will offer 75th anniversary flights on Tuesdays, Wednesday, Saturdays, and Sundays through the month of October as well. 

In addition to the regular passenger service it provides to boating destinations like the San Juan Islands, Victoria, B.C., and the Inside Passage, Kenmore also offers scenic flights over Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and the Olympic Peninsula.

While visiting the Kenmore terminal, passengers can also wet their whistles at the recently opened Stoup Brewing Taproom (stoupbrewing.com/kenmore) right across Bothell Way on the site of the former Seaplane Kitchen. In addition to dozens of micro beers on tap, Stoup Kenmore offers a selection of appetizers, pizzas, salads, and sandwiches for hungry fliers.

U.S. Coast Guard Looking to Expand Seattle Base

With the need for Arctic ice-breaking missions becoming more acute over the next decade, the Seattle waterfront is expected to see an expanded and renovated presence by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

As the hub of the USCG’s Pacific Northwest and Arctic operations, Seattle is slated to expand the Guard’s existing facilities at Terminal 46 on the south end of the waterfront, but the final plan has not yet been decided. Currently, the Guard employs about 900 people in District 13, which covers the Pacific Northwest region, and berths three vessels: heavy icebreaker Polar Star, medium icebreaker Healy, and cutter Mellon.

According to a statement posted in the Federal Register (federalregister.gov), the USCG plans to add another three icebreakers to the Seattle fleet, along with as many as four cutters over the next 10 years as operations ramp up in the polar regions. These new berths will require more dock space and maintenance facilities, but the Port of Seattle has voiced concerns about how the plans may interfere with ongoing plans to expand bulk cargo operations adjacent to the USCG’s current 23-acre space. 

The expansion is being proposed in three potential scenarios:

  • The acquisition of 54.1 acres, mostly from the 87-acre Terminal 46
  • A smaller 21.5-acre land purchase from the Port of Seattle, including five acres from Terminal 46 and 13.5 acres from Terminal 30
  • A 24.25-acre expansion, mostly from Terminal 46

All three proposals involve the removal of five buildings, the construction of two new buildings for administration, the realignment of parking and road access, and upgrades to the Guard’s communications, electrical service, and other utilities.

After the 45-day public comment period that ended in June, an environmental impact statement process will be underway for the chosen expansion project. That process is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022.

Puget Sound Yacht Clubs on the Move

Two of the more prominent yacht clubs in the Puget Sound area are making progress in their endeavors to create new headquarters. The Everett Yacht Club (everettyachtclub.com) will be moving to the South Marina in the Port of Everett, while Seattle’s Corinthian Yacht Club (cycseattle.org) has made great strides in the refurbishment of its floating hub.

A new 30-year ground lease and building transfer between the EYC and the Port of Everett will allow the club to relocate their clubhouse and moorage dock to the Port’s South Marina. The EYC, formed in 1907, recently vacated the Central Dock building, which it had occupied for more than 50 years, and will create a new clubhouse by renovating an existing South Marina building. The lease also includes 150 feet of moorage space near the building. The EYC project, in the works for five years and expected to cost nearly $1 million, will be a multi-floor indoor/outdoor space to be used for member meetings, club gatherings, and training courses. The renovation will also feature a “Crow’s Nest” kitchen and bar, a new elevator, and access to the marina’s Commodore Plaza.

The target opening date for the new facility will be sometime in 2022, EYC said. As part of the deal, the Port will market the EYC site as a waterfront restaurant opportunity. The Central Dock building, however, is slated for demolition next year.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, the CYC clubhouse project began last September with a haulout to Lake Union for dry dock work, followed by an incredible float trip back home to Shilshole in February. Since then, the rest of the project has continued to move along at a good clip, reported CYC co-director Stuart Burnell. The crew has made improvements to the shower facilities, replaced the wood supports for the lower entry door, and repaired the steel hull, he said. Other completed renovations include new windows and exterior doors, a replaced exterior skin with a new weather barrier, and new roofing materials. Next, a team of CYC volunteers will begin work on fixing up the interior, including new carpeting and flooring, electrical upgrades, soundproofing in the ceiling, improvement to the bar, and fresh coats of paint.

CYC Courtesy of Jack Connick
Courtesy of Jack Connick

Partial Return of Seafair Will Still Be Muted

Shiver me timbers! Seafair (seafair.org) will be returning to the Seattle area this summer, but don’t expect much cannon fire from the pirates. There will still be quite a few lingering limitations or cancellations of large public events from the region’s pandemic restrictions.

First the bad news: This year, organizers said there will be no live performances of the HomeStreet Bank Cup hydroplane races, the July 4th fireworks at Gas Works Park, the Milk Carton Derby at Green Lake, or the Blue Angels air show. This is all terribly disappointing to anyone who loves the annual traditions of the citywide maritime festival. But the good news is that some events will still happen, partially in person and partially online. 

For example, those interested in the Milk Carton Derby are encouraged to create their floating contraptions at home and enter them online for a chance to win prizes. The hydroplane races and air show will also be simulated online, with boat drivers competing from home and Blue Angel pilots available for interviews with fans.

The Seafair Triathlon (July 25) will be held in limited fashion on a course in Sammamish State Park, while the 5K Torchlight Run (July 31) can be done virtually or in-person. From Aug. 2-6, Fleet Week will be virtual, but it will include more than 100 maritime-related activities online. The Torchlight Parade series, to be held in July and August, will be an expansion of last year’s modified version, featuring Seafair caravans that will move through various neighborhoods each week through a nomination process.

Rendezvous Roundup

After a long 2020 hiatus, the best summer parties of the year are returning from pandemic lockdowns. Here are some of the most prominent rendezvous this month. Covid caveat: Be sure to check ahead on all rendezvous websites for updates on any last-minute restrictions, roll-backs, or cancellations due to pandemic protocols.

July 9-15

Salish 100

Multiple destinations around the Sound

This weeklong “roaming rendezvous” allows all kinds of boats to join in and involves trips of 10-16 nautical miles per day with overnight stops in seven ports, from Olympia to Port Townsend, Washington.
More Details: nwmaritime.org/salish100

July 15-18

Chris Craft Rendezvous

Port Orchard Marina, Port Orchard

Chris Craft owners and their families are welcome to join for four days of fun, camaraderie, and an appreciation of classic boats. Between 60 and 80 boats are expected to attend, so please visit the website for the latest details and availability.

More Details: portofbremerton.org/chris-craft-annual-rendezvous

July 16-18

Signature Yachts All Fleet Rendezvous

Port of Poulsbo Marina, Poulsbo

Starting with cocktails, appetizers, and socializing on Friday evening, the weekend’s activities consist of a Captain’s meeting, educational events, afternoon sailing, and the infamous “CSR Marine Bow Thruster Blender,” topped off with blueberry pancakes on Sunday.

More Details: Contact info@signature-yachts.com for more information, or call 206.284.9004

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