All Season Charters' quartet of captains share the wheel of the company's single 50-foot, all-purpose boat, Annie A. The ship serves a variety of purposes, ferrying passengers as they hunt salmon with the firm hand of Captain Amy at the tiller or spot whale flukes with the eagle-eyed guidance of Captain Michael. It holds up to 20 people, providing ample railing-space for scenic views, as well as the comfort of a galley with free coffee. The captains, for their part, charter their vessel out for any kind of oceanic excursions, such as sea burials or hunts for that message in a bottle you lost.
A group of rowers founded Sammamish Rowing Association (SRA) in 1996, meeting at Idylwood Beach Park in Redmond before each of their journeys across the water. Eager to grow SRA, it wasn’t long before the crew took notice of an abandoned boathouse in Marymoor Park, languishing on the banks of Lake Sammamish. Its ceiling was rotting away, and its oar racks were emptier than a child's pockets after a candy-shop spending spree—but that didn’t deter the passionate rowers or their vision. They put in a bid for the building, formed a strong subsequent partnership with King County Parks and Recreation, and set to work renovating the vintage structure to make it fit for public use.
Ever since, SRA has introduced adults and youth to the benefits of rowing. The sport's fluid, low-impact motions tone muscles all over the body, and the collaborative nature of the sport nurtures sportsmanship and camaraderie. The association's future is bright: members are building a new boathouse scheduled to open in the summer of 2013.
The Electric Boat Company outfits customers with Duffy electric boats and sets them loose on beautiful Lake Union for self-guided watercraft fun. The Duffy cruisers hold as many as 10 guests and are equipped with two tables, beverage holders, and a sound system that connects to both the on-board CD player/radio and personal iPods. Clad in leather seats, these 21-foot floatables can be fully enclosed and heated, meaning boaters can make a sporting day on the lake regardless of the weather's moody inclinations. After a 15-minute registration and procedures lesson, captains of all skill levels can dock and sail across the waters of Lake Union and the river Styx. Set-sailors can pack a cooler with snacks and congealing chemistry projects, pick up forgotten ice and drinks at the on-site snack shop, or satisfy appetites at one of 12 restaurants accessible by boat, including Ivar's Salmon House, McCormick & Schmick's Harborside, and Chandler's Crabhouse.
Avid surfers and owners of Surf Ballard, Andrew Drake and Jim Simpson fit their customers out with all the equipment necessary for surfing and standup paddleboarding on Puget Sound and have earned a Best Sporting Goods Shop of 2010 title from viewers of King 5. The outfit rents boards, paddles, wetsuits, and booties to customers in search of fun and exercise, no matter their skill level or ability to casually utilize the lexicon of surfers in a college admission essay. Surf Ballard also serves as home to the Washington Surf Academy, which teaches novices and veterans alike how to surf properly, and WASUP Yoga, which allows participants to assume yoga poses on standup paddle boards. Surf Ballard is open Wednesday–Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Alki Kayak Tours and her sister store, Mountain to Sound Outfitters, equip guests with all the tools necessary to delve into Puget Sound’s surrounding wilderness regardless of season. Authorized dealers of goods from outdoor brands including Rossignol, Nordica, Snap Dragon, and Boardworks SUP, Mountain to Sound Outfitters’ knowledgeable equipment masters can outfit expeditions bound for skiing trips to Mount Rainier or full-contact LARPing in Olympic National Park. Alki Kayak Tours keeps adventures moving with vehicle rentals ranging from kayaks and paddleboards to fishing boats and bikes. Guided sea-kayak and paddleboard tours meander through Puget Sound during warmer months, introducing adventurers to the Emerald City’s fragile natural beauty and the mindful guides’ various methods of preserving it.