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Whatever Floats Your Boat

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Gabe got a $25 Craigslist canoe with somewhat dubious claims of hull integrity. Before trusting his gear and personal safety to the craft on an upcoming overnight trip, Gabe figured to test the boat in waters closer to home. I couldn't pass up the possibility of watching a slowly sinking boat, and so agreed to join in on a quick outing. There are lots of urban paddling options in Seattle, but none so close to the heart of the city as Lake Union.

We unloaded the boats at Waterway 18, an easy-to-miss green patch on Northlake Way.

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From there we meandered along the North shore of Lake Union. The lake and shoreline were both bustling with activity. Gasworks Park was full of people, there were numerous kayaks and paddleboards on the water and a steady stream of Duck Boats, sailboats, and Argosy tour boats as well. Lake Union is a busy place, with a lot of cool stuff to look at: houseboats, dry docks, new fancy yachts and old beat-up sailboats, the undersides of bridges and the crowded docks of rowing clubs.

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We didn't paddle very far, and we didn't stay out very long, but we had a nice afternoon on the water. That's one of the nice things about urban paddling -- it doesn't take a lot of time or planning to get a solid dose of water time. My 13 year old son was curious and engaged the whole time, and liked getting up close to some of the big boats. Paddling Lake Union doesn't even require your own boat, as there are several places to rent boats and all the necessary equipment. Check out Northwest Outdoor Center, Agua Verde, and Moss Bay, for example.

It turned out Gabe's $25 canoe keeps the water out pretty well. That bodes well for an outing we have planned in a couple of weeks in a more remote locale. Watch this space for a trip report, and for more real things.

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