From the south end of Lake Union, kayakers and paddle boarders can head north toward Gas Works Park to see the century-old former Seattle Gas Light Company plant. From there, they can head east and wind through Portage Bay on the way through Montlake, then cut over to the Washington Park Arboretum and Lake Washington. If they turn west instead, they can cut through a canyon of city buildings until reaching Ballard Locks and Puget Sound, where they may arrive in time to see the sun hang just above the Olympic Mountains.
Moss Bay Rowing, Kayaking, Sailing and Paddle Board Center's team facilitates adventures like these by renting man-powered water vessels by the hour, day, or week. Rentals afford paddlers and sailors the chance to explore Seattle's sheltered waterways, which are held to a 7-knot speed limit. Moss Bay's staff also leads small-group and private lessons in rowing, kayaking, and sailing, and coordinates guided tours including excursions designed for kids and adults.
The Electric Boat Company sets customers loose on Lake Union in trusty, battery-powered Duffy boats. Set-sailors steer their own 21-foot craft while traditional lake chanteys spill from the sound system, which includes a CD player and an iPod jack. Other passengers can lounge on leather seats in the cabin area, whose windows can be kept open to invite in the breeze or fully closed to avoid being poked by a marlin. Before a trip, guests can pack a cooler with snacks, pick up forgotten ice and drinks at the on-site snack shop, or satisfy appetites at lakeside restaurants.
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Now in its 32nd year, the Lake Union Boats Afloat Show gives guests the chance to check out hundreds of seaworthy craft, including sailboats, yachts, and trawlers. The more than 50 brands of yachts on display will include Bayliner, Westport, and Sunseeker, with roughly 30 vendors of insurance, maintenance, and other supplemental services on hand to help boat owners protect their investment. Attendees will also get to climb aboard and inspect the 64-foot Ocean Watch—which circumnavigated the Americas for a year in support of oceanic health—and discuss the epic voyage with the crew, as well as take part in interactive activities.