There are boat people and there are people without. Unless you slink around the docks in lust, it can be hard to meet the folks with the boats.
Lucky for us, there is the Electric Boat Company, which I’d not heard of until this spring when we were having dinner with our pal, Carol, on her recently constructed barge. That night, the lake was swarming with these little cute Duffy Boats with the brightly colored and scalloped canopies and I hatched a plan for summer: a fancy summer picnic with pretty people.
Located midway between downtown and Fremont on Westlake, the dock was already getting festive with fancy-dressed friends when I arrived to take the helm. A brief two-minute lesson on driving the boat and a warning to avoid getting caught in the shallows of Gasworks Park or the milfoil of Portage Bay, and we were off! First stop, Carol’s house! It took about three tries to line up for the docking, but then we were aboard waiting for the tomato tarte tatin to come out of the oven, gathering the flatware for dinner, and admiring the stunning view of Seattle at play.
We opened the wine, slacked the lines and then headed to Portage Bay for a bob-about and dinner. What might you see if you rent an electric boat? Drawbridges, houseboats, crew teams, herons, float planes, paddle boarders, kayaks, fishing boats, and sunsets. It’s a great way to see why so many people think there’s not a better place to live.
With dinner complete, we made the trip through the Fremont Canal into Salmon Bay, heading under the Ballard Bridge. As I no longer have a boat and live in a house without a view, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a truly stunning sunset, and last night’s was amazing, all the more so to be having cake from Bakery Nouveau with your friends while it was happening.
I recommend renting these boats for at least three hours if you want to take your time around the lake. Split 10 ways, it comes to about $30 a person. If you can find someone with a ukulele to bring along, you ought to. The boat company will provide coolers and ice for a small charge, but they don’t have chilled French Rosé, so you’ll probably want to pick that up too. The boats have an adaptor for you iPod, if you’ve got a festive mix of music to play and your helmsman will look better in a pretty hat. Finally, someone ought to bring some poetry or something delightful to read to your guests. We turned to a new favorite, Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac.
“The road is long and the fight unending, but there are victories and visions of hope and height, and chief among these is you.”
The Electric Boat Company
2046 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 102