Oh I Do Love To Be Beside The Sea (sorta)......

Seattle Travel Blog

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Pike Place Market from our dorm window

So, Seattle, home of Dark Angel, Frasier, Gray's Anatomy and Starbucks.


Saturday was spent orientating ourselves with the place (we wandered about randomly). We walked through Pike Place Market, a lively and bustling, mainly fish based market that is right by the harbour front. The market is set atop a hill, so the further you enter the market the more you discover, each set of steps you come to leading you down into another level with endless shops full of trinkets and toys for you to explore.

Kayaks
We then wandered up to where the Space Needle is located, which is only a few blocks from our hostel. It stands in the middle of a small amusement park, which houses a ferris wheel, a carousel, assorted gift shops and the science fiction museum/experiance music project.


The next day we decided to sign up to one of the hostels activities, namely kayaking! It was $25 and normally only runs in the summer months but because its been unseasonably hot (everyone is calling it an 'indian winter') they decided to offer it. We caught the bus over to West Seattle and were picked up by the owner of the tour. He drove us down to the waters edge and outfitted us with some rather lovely and unflatteringly shapeless pieces of lifesaving equipment before running through the techniques that we would need to firstly stay in the boat and secondly to actually direct/move the boat.

I am Action Woman!
This involved us getting in the boat on dry land and going through the motions of moving the rudder and paddling. Rachel and I were placed into a two (wo)man kayak, with Rachel in front being the pace setter and me behind controlling the rudder via peddles under my feet. We had a large rubber 'skirt' attached round our chest which, when seated in the kayak, covered the hole into the kayak and prevented water entering.


After our lessons we all had to grab our kayaks and haul them down to the dock where one by one we hesitantly entered our kayaks and starting bobbing about on the water. After everyone was safely in the water we rowed along the bank, behind some huge tankers that were moored along the bank as this is where a lot of the wildlife likes to hang out, they are buffered from the waves by the bulk of the great ships.

The view from the water
We scared up nothing greater than a few water birds so the guide took us a bit further out, expaining all about the history of the docks and how it used to be just mudflats before it was filled in with earth and made into the busy working docks it is today.


We then turned round and began fighting our way against the tide further out to the mouth of the river. I being my normal competitive self wanted to be at the front all the time and was harassing Rachel to paddle faster (so much for her being the pace setter huh) and as we drew near to the lead boat with the guide in we though we saw our event organiser (Aleshia) from the hostel pointing at something as she had her hand out over the side of the boat and seemed to be leaning over. Much to our dismay, as we drew nearer we discovered that what she was actually doing was vomiting quite profusely.

Wild Sea Lions!!
We both stopped paddling terrified that we would suddenly see a huge chunk of vomit drift past us. Thankfully we were far enough away that the tide kept the contents of her stomach away from our horror stricken eyes. The guide said he was going to take her back into shore to let her off and led us to an area where we could safely hang about until he got back. As we were paddling Rachel kept trying to tell me something but the wind kept stealing it from me, but then I heard it, the unmistakable bark of a sea lion! My head shot up from where it had been hanging down, intent on paddling and scanned the area, sure enough there they were , maybe two hundred yards away, sunning themselves on a platform were a group of about eight sea lions. It was amazing, we didnt get to go any closer as they were wild and could easily capsize our puny kayak with their weight, plus they are protected by the state and you are not allowed legally but just to sit there on the water, being tossed about by the current, in THEIR element was fantastic.
Where Did That Oar Go?????
These were wild, sea lions, free to roam where ever they wish, exactly how it should be in my opinion.


We spent about two hours on the water in total and by the end my shoulders were on fire from fighting the current but it was completely worth it as we had an amazing time and would do it again in a heartbeat. We then came back and had a fantastic free meal. The hostel provided dinner 3 nights a week, oh yeah!! Sunday was taco night, with two options for meat, chicken or mince (which I skipped over) and copious amounts of veg & salad with bean sauce. It was gorgeous and I was stuffed! I couldnt even manage seconds!


Unfortunately yesterday, shortly after I woke up I developed a bad migraine and had to spend the whole day in bed, with frequent trips to throw up. Rachel was great, looking after me and making sure I had everthing I needed during what must have been a very boring and somewhat gross day for her.

RachelSpencer says:
Yes boring and yes gross.. but I did get to the next level on Mario!
Posted on: Feb 26, 2008
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Pike Place Market from our dorm wi…
Pike Place Market from our dorm w…
Kayaks
Kayaks
I am Action Woman!
I am Action Woman!
The view from the water
The view from the water
Wild Sea Lions!!
Wild Sea Lions!!
Where Did That Oar Go?????
Where Did That Oar Go?????
Seattle
photo by: diisha392