What’s surprising, perhaps, is that the rough seas were in Lake Washington and our crossing was just the normally quick jaunt across the lake!
We had just left Carillon Point heading West for the Montlake Cut when the skies darkened and the winds started picking up. Before we knew it, and while we were in the middle of the lake, wave action had increased dramatically. Two to three foot waves with wind-blown white-caps surrounded us. Later we’d learn, via Cliff Mass, that 30-40 mile/hour winds had blown through the area.
We actually had to head North, away from our intended destination to align ourselves against the wave action to reduce roll (and discomfort). As we got closer to shore we were sheltered a bit and could approach Union Bay (near UW) more easily.
Impressive clouds near the 520 Bridge
Storm activity North of Seattle
Thankfully, by the time we had made it to the Cut we were sheltered from the fetch of the lake and waters were calm all the way through to the locks and even into the Sound on our way to Winslow.
Calm waters and a setting sun as we approach Winslow / Eagle Harbor
Leaving Lake Washington Friday was fun but also thrilling and, probably, the roughest waters we had been in outside of being in Puget Sound.
We’re into the second week of May and only a few days past the official start of the boating season and we’ve already logged several short trips on the MV/LAIKA – two of which took us through the locks to Winslow (Bainbridge / Eagle Harbor).
Busy large lock as we prepare to head into Puget Sound
Our most recent trip took place Sunday, the day after official opening day festivities, which we decided to skip. While Lake Washington was certainly quieter on the day we traveled, there were still a large number of boats rafted to the log boom near UW and a fairly decent sized flotilla of cruisers and sail boats traveling with us toward the locks.
Cathia and our friend enjoying the sun inside the lock
Weather was in the upper 60’s and sunny. Water conditions were mild and our cruise to Winslow was fast and uneventful. Once we cleared the locks we pushed the boat to our cruising speed of approximately 27 knots and 3,800 RPM and made it to Winslow by 1:30PM.
66 footer "Neptune's Car" takes up most of the small lock
We left Bainbridge by 4PM and made it back only to participate in a fairly large queue waiting to head back into the lake. Several commercial vessels were traveling at the same time which increased our wait time by about 45 minutes.