Greetings from Seattle

Saturday, August 1, 2015

SeaFair Friday on Lake Washington

Friday morning we met with our usual suspects for breakfast, but left early to go watch the air show practice and the hydroplane qualifying on Lake Washington.

We parked in the airport garage, with a $10 all day coupon I printed from the internet, rode the Link light rail to the Columbia City station, then boarded a Metro free shuttle bus that took us to the entry gate at the Lake.  By now it was about 11:00.

 We found a spot on the bank of the lake in the shade, planted our camp chairs there, and parked ourselves on them. Except for about a half hour of walking around during the day, that's where we stayed, and just sitting around in the shade felt great.

The weekend will be busy with an air show each day and small and big boats racing.  For those days there is an entry fee.  Friday is air show practice and boat qualifying, and it's free.  That's when Tom and I go. 
 Sean Tucker in his little red stunt plane, the Oracle, is amazing.  He can make that plane stand on it's tail, stall, then free fall into a dive. 

 We were a little confused at first when this jet team appeared, knowing that the US Navy Blue Angels would be preforming. But this beautiful precision flying team is The Breitling Jet Team, from France, flying L-39 Albatros planes. 

 When the Navy did arrive, it got much noisier!  First the Raptor F-22 put in a demonstration,
 and then the Harrier Jet AV-8A showed off both it's speed and it's ability to stop in the air, hover, and fly backwards, all with a tremendous amount of force and noise.  I love this plane!

 Fat Albert is the Navy Blue Angels'  C-130 cargo plane.  He had to show off too.  

 And then it was time for everyone's favorite, the Blue Angels, thunder in the sky!
The solo pilots pass at high speed within inches of each other
 and fly inverted and "dirty" with landing gear down.

 After the air show we braved the hot sun for a short walk to the food concessions and display area. These Unlimited Hydroplanes are retired. 
 Out on the lake, two vintage hydroplanes took to the water for a demonstration run. These old boats were wooden, open cockpit death traps, but their piston engines were wonderfully loud - thunder on the water. 

 Today's unlimited hydros are fiberglass, with jet enclosed cockpits and helicopter turbine engines.  They whine rather than roar. 
 But they still throw up great rooster tails.

 The pits are a busy place when the hydros take to the water. 

For many of you faithful readers, that is far more than you want to know about air planes and race boats, but for many Seattlites, this stuff is just way cool!

Jill, Jake and the kids will be on the lake shore on Sunday for the real thing, along with several hundred thousand other plane and boat nuts, or people who just like to party on a hot August day.  I'll watch at home on TV, with lunch on the patio. I've had my fix for this year.  


  1. Being an Air Force Family we have enjoyed the Thunderbirds many times. The Blue Angels were in Fargo last weekend...we didn't go it was way to hot!
    I saw a fancy racing boat once on one of the lakes I think they called it a cigarette way would I ever ride in that thing:)

  2. My mouth would have been wide open watching this show. Great post.

  3. Wow! Wow! Wow! I didn't even have to go there to get the full effects without the thunderous noise. Thanks for the great pictures, Linda. I loved it! :-)

  4. Amazing antics in the air and on water. If I'd been there, my heart would have been in my throat.

  5. Great post, Linda. I could feel the house shake after seeing your pics of the Blue angels. I do love the older thunder boats. Of course that is what we grew up with. Lucky you guys for being right there.

  6. Never been to an air show but would like to. Would love to see a Harrier in action. I rode in one of those earlier, noisy hydroplanes and felt assaulted by the end. They will beat you to death.

  7. I have been to see a few air shows. I love that the sky was so blue to showcase this one.

  8. Awesome action photos, Linda! We've been to the Chicago Air Show and it's fun and loud, but usually so hot.

  9. What a beautiful place for an air show. I LOVE an air show. One of my favorite times ever was being at an air show at Seymour Johnson AFB with my son-in-law Todd who was an F-15 pilot. I was right up there in the clouds with those fighter jets! Your pictures are great!

  10. What a fun way to spend the day. You captured some great shots. That is not easy. We live so close to the Air Force Academy. It is only a few miles away. We see many flyovers during graduation time. They are so exciting. I try to catch the planes through the lens of my camera, but it is not easy. Nice job.

  11. I enjoyed looking at your images. I am from the midwest and it's always neat to look at images from different parts of the states. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Awesome, Love to watch the Blue Angels, harriers, and hydros. We used to watch the hydros from the boat on Lake Tahoe, great fun. Thank you for the great pics.

  14. Beautiful photos of a fun day.
    I love your header picture, by the way. Very colorful flowers.

  15. Just delightful stuff. What fun to have it all at once like that. Here we have thunderboats one weekend, tall ships another, and an airshow another weekend. It's way too hot for me out on the tarmac, but I will cheerfully go down to the bay for the sailing ships.

    Yes, love all of this, thanks.

  16. Glad you and Tom found a place in the shade to enjoy this fun tradition! Sounds like practice day is much more enjoyable than the actual event.


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