A Sunny Sail on Lake Union

I grew up in the heat of the Midwest, where the humidity and heat blast you the moment you step outside, and the air-conditioning blasts you the minute you go inside, and mostly that contrast is so painful you usually stay indoors. I think I might have chosen differently if I had a boat.

Seattle is in the middle of a heat wave. Midwesterners scoff at our heat waves — after almost a decade here, I consider any day over 80 a scorcher — so when we’re facing 90-degrees, and little to no air conditioning in anyone’s home, the only thing to do is get on a boat. Another tip for living in Seattle: If you make friends with someone with a boat, KEEP THAT FRIENDSHIP AT ALL COSTS.

I have stumbled across such a person. The last time we made a sailing plan, it was raining, and we decided to be troopers and go anyway. This time, no one had to be convinced to go.

The rest of Seattle might have been slowly melting Saturday afternoon. We were perfectly comfortable, and beyond happy on the boat. There was a light breeze, the sky was bright blue and the lake was refreshingly cool. Before we jumped into Lake Union, I asked my friends if they had any floaties. I think this request was concerning to them. Not to worry! I learned all about swimming for this week’s Fit for Life column ! I clarified that I like a noodle so I don’t have to work as hard in the middle of a big lake. They improvised by tying a life jacket to a rope and letting it drag behind the boat, which you will spot in many of the pictures below. The side benefit was if you held on while the boat was still moving, it felt like we were tubing, even if other boaters might have thought we needed a rescue. We’re fine! Nothing to see here!


It’s super fun being dragged by a sailboat! Really!


My sailing host gets in on the fun.


Nothing compares to the view from the middle of Lake Union.


Jane was our sailing mascot.


Houseboats along the Ship Canal. And a life jacket floatie.


This photo is tilted because of the boat, not the photographer. The finger, however, could be user error.


One day I will ride the Duck.

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