Sailor rescued from the waters off Shilshole

Updated: Fire crews responded to Shilshole Marina this morning for a report of a man in the water, separated from his sailboat.

The sailor was rescued by another vessel nearby, according to Seattle Fire. He was then transferred to the fire boat on scene. He did not suffer any injuries.

The sailboat that was in trouble is beached near Anthony’s, according to the scanner.

This is second time in less than a year that a Good Samaritan has come to the rescue at Shilshole. Last November, a man was rescued by fellow boaters nearby after his fishing boat sank. The rescuers were honored by Seattle Fire.

(Thanks to Silver for the scanner updates).

Christmas Ship to light up Shilshole Saturday

The Argosy Cruise Christmas Ship will parade in the waters off Ballard on Saturday as part of its annual festivities.

The first sailing runs from 2:30 to 5 p.m., and the on-board choir will perform at the Ballard Locks at 3:40 p.m. and Golden Gardens at 4:20 p.m. Here’s the route map.

The second sailing will run from 7 to 9:15 p.m. — this is the most popular event with holiday lights in full display — with choir performances at Carkeek Park at 7:30 p.m. and Shilshole Bay at 8:40 p.m. Here’s the route map.

The lead boat is sold out for both sailings, but as of this writing, there’s still room on the follow boat for the first sailing. Ray’s Boathouse is also taking reservations for dinner.

Argosy Cruises donates part of the Christmas Ship proceeds to The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy, an annual program that raises money for several local charitable organizations.

The Christmas Ship event has been a Northwest tradition since 1949.

Shilshole Marina home to a piece of history

Nearly two years ago, a sailboat named Orion began its journey north from San Diego to Seattle.  Only, it didn’t make it all the way.  Almost 200 miles into the trip, after poor weather revealed a leaky deck and eroded fuel tanks made it impossible to go on, Orion’s captain Kevin Campion loaded her onto a big rig, and Orion made the rest of the trip north on the back of a semi-truck up Interstate 5.

Photo by Kris Day

“She was over-height, over-weight, over-width, and over-length,” laughed Campion, remembering the nail-biting trip north from Ventura, California. Campion is founder of Deep Green Wilderness, a floating classroom aboard Orion.  “It wasn’t quite the glorious return to the northwest we’d planned,” Campion said, smiling.

Orion’s Captain Kevin Campion

Boat designer Olin Stevens built Orion on City Island, New York in 1934.  The first owner was Rudolph Schaefer, of the F & M Schaefer Brewing Co. in New York.  Orion was named Edlu back then, and she won the famous Newport Bermuda Race the same year she was put in the water.  Her design shed a new light on boat construction.  Orion was built lighter than most yawls in the 1930s, and surprised the sailing community with the way she danced over high waves and raced through high winds.

Now, nearly 80 years since her first sail, Orion lives at Shilshole Marina in Ballard.  In the spring and fall, Campion offers chartered trips around Elliot Bay and up to the San Juan Islands.  During the summer, Orion can be found with groups of high school students on-board, learning how to sail and studying the ecology of the Salish Sea.  This year, Campion will take groups of high school students out for two weeks at a time, where they’ll learn about the ecology of the Canadian inland waters and new regulations concerning the endangered southern resident orcas in the San Juan Islands.

“I strongly believe in the power of a sailboat and the sailing experience to inspire people, whether it’s students or adults.  It’s a powerful thing to learn how to sail a boat like this,” said Campion.  “You go to sea on a boat, and you become part of a crew of people, and you learn about the boat and you learn about the ocean and you leave the boat a different person.”

Kris Day, First Mate on Orion

Campion wants his program to be more than just a summer camp.  Indeed, the research the students do on board will be presented to a policy-maker after the trip.  He said the end goal for the students is to create their own research project that they’ve designed with the staff’s help.  “Whether that’s a research paper, or a photo-journal, or a radio story of what they did, they will present that data to the public and to policy-makers,” Campion explained.

“She is a working piece of history, and a tangible piece of history. It’s cool for a high school student to come on board, and be able to be a part of that,” Campion said.

Photo by Kris Day

For the next two months, Campion is offering Tuesday night sunset sails and ongoing charter sails.  Those interested in the sunset sails should contact Windworks, at 206-784-9386. 

Plaques dedicated at Leif Erikson Plaza

A large crowd gathered in the shadow of Leif Erikson Sunday afternoon to celebrate the addition of nearly 1,700 names etched in the plaques on the plaza.

“This statue surrounded by runestones tells a story of those immigrants who left their homeland in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Gael Tarleton. “The legend of Leif Erikson did not start here, but his legacy of sailing the seas does live on here.”

The names were etched in plaques on 13 basalt stones shaped in the footprint of a ship. Each stone depicts a Viking-inspired motif.

Families searched the plaques for names of their relatives, snapping photos. Leif Erikson Plaza as designed by Seattle artist Jay Haavik.

The Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle and the Seattle’s Icelandic Men’s Chorus entertained the crowd at the dedication.

Families paid $125 to add a Scandinavian ancestor’s name to the plaques, with part of the money going to the new Nordic Heritage Museum, which will be built along Market St. between 26th and 28th Avenues. Kristine Leander, president of the Leif Erikson International Foundation, presented a $10,000 check to Eric Nelson, CEO of the museum. “We’re in the midst of fundraising,” said Nelson. “Hopefully if all goes well, we’ll be breaking ground sometime around the middle to end of 2012, and opening up for 2014.”

Here’s a two minute video of the festivities. By the way, the Leif Erikson International Foundation is accepting memberships to help provide a replica of the statue in Vinland, the Viking settlement in Newfoundland, where Leif Erikson camped more than 1,000 years ago.

Listing barge off Shilshole

Updated: John sent us this photo of two barges filled with sand off Shilshole, one is obviously tilting listing.

“You can’t tell from this picture, but that front loader is being operated, not just sitting there,” he writes, describing the heavy equipment on the barge that’s tilting listing. We spoke with Petty Officer Molle with the US Coast Guard who tells us the barge is redistributing sand into the water.

Husky Coach Steve Sarkisian live from Ballard

The Huskies pulled off what may be one of the greatest upsets in school history last Saturday when they beat the third-ranked USC Trojans. According to a Seattle Times poll, fans say this win was bigger than the “Whammy in Miami.”

The winning field goal was kicked as the final seconds ticked off the clock and then in a blink of an eye the field was swarming with Dawg fans. As the Huskies prepare for their first away game of the season at Stanford, first-year Coach Steve Sarkisian will be answering fan questions tonight at Anthony’s at Shilshole. The 950 KJR Husky Coach’s Show will air live from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Play-by-play guy Bob Rondeau and KJR’s Mike “Gasman” Gastineau will sit down with the coach and talk about last week’s big win, the upcoming game and everything else Husky Football.

Shilshole’s missing sea serpent

No, there’s not a big sea serpent swimming around off Golden Gardens (although that was a fascination years ago), but Kim from Seattle Daily Photo noticed that the metal sea serpent sculpture is missing from the Shilshole jetty. “There are only jagged pieces sticking up in the places it was anchored into the jetty,” she writes, showing this photo she snapped (larger view here)…

After a little investigation, the mystery is solved. A few concerned residents took the sculpture down to refurbish it, says our contact at Shilshole Bay Marina. And it will be replaced soon. Meanwhile, workers at the marina have just finished construction of 22 new docks, part of the Shilshole Bay Marina Renewal and Replacement Project (details here.)