The Everett Rowing Association has been catering to novice and veteran rowers alike for more than three decades. Founded by Martin Beyer and Lynn Dykgraaf in 1982, the association helps aquatic enthusiasts of all levels hone their rowing skills. Newbies can enroll in a variety of introductory classes—some for adults, others for youth—that teach paddling basics as well as the little-known second verse to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Advanced rowers, meanwhile, can try out for the competitive Masters Team or the junior team for student-athletes.
A descendant of fishermen and boat captains who have called the area's coastal waters home for more than a century, Captain Arch regales visitors with nautical stories while showing off his fleet of rental boats. Watercraft ranges from electric Duffy boats to sailboats, which allows the captain to equip renters for adventures such as fishing, waterskiing, or leisurely scenic floats. Beyond rentals, Arch's crew arranges guided trips, including visits to Blake Island, or beverage and appetizer cruises fortified with local wines, smoked salmon, and waiters imported from France.
At the Lake Union Boats Afloat Show, nearly 200 new and previously owned sailing and powerboats from more than 60 brands stretch along 25,000 square feet of floating dock. During the show, aquasplorers can board vessels from makers such as Westport, Bayliner, and MasterCraft to tour cabins, kick anchors, and sniff sails. Boats of note at this year's show include the sleek Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379 sailboat and the IS 48, a yacht with a tailgate transom design and an interior of native hardwoods and contemporary furnishings.
Since 1962, owner and U.S. Coast Guard–licensed captain Terry Buzzard has gotten to know the San Juan Islands and surrounding miles of water pretty well. Having hauled mail for the Post Office, salvaged wrecks, assisted in oil spill cleanups, and ferried passengers throughout the San Juan Islands, he has built quite a resumé of seafaring. This relationship with water isn't so surprising considering he began boating at the age of 3 when he was allowed to pilot a single-horsepower boat by himself with his trained rescue dog, Rusty.
Regardless of the actual job he's performing, Terry is always drawn to whales. By 1978, this fascination lead him to chartering trips specifically for whale watching, especially toward the schools of orca that made the region their home. Looking back, he's pretty certain his boat was the only one in the area at the time dedicated to the thrill of witnessing some of the world's largest and most beautiful animals. Today, the waters are spotted with various boats filled with passengers snapping pictures of the great aquatic beasts and shouting ululations whenever one smacks its enormous tail against the water, takes a playful leap, or belts a Mariah Carey song.
Terry's boat, the 110-foot Island Caper, provides generous sightlines to all passengers via its spacious outdoor deck and ample indoor viewing areas, and is decked out with a 34-speaker sound system. In business for 50 years, Island Mariner Whale Watching also employs a seaplane to help spot whales and guide tours. With his chief navigator––a 5-year-old airedale terrier also named Rusty––Terry is right out there amid the excitement, ferrying whale watchers and sharing his life-long passion.
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 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.