I met Carrie and Kevin at the University of Washington Water Activities Center, just south of Husky Stadium, where we rented a canoe and paddled around the 520 bridge and Arboretum area. In all the time I lived in Seattle I never did this, so they offered to take me along with them.
We picked up our canoe, lifejackets, and oars, and rowed across to the bridge. The water traffic in the area is high, as the WAC lets out right before the Montlake Cut, which connects Lake Washington to Lake Union. Lots of motorboats use this to get to the Ballard Locks and then out into Puget Sound. Today was a sunny, warm day so it was crowded.
It was pretty tough to paddle in a straight line, we certainly could use more practice. We zig-zagged our way into some small channels where we looked for birds. One group of ducks literally came chasing after us, hoping for food! We had some preztels we crumbled and fed them for a few minutes.
We also saw some turtles napping on a log, warming in the sun. I wished I had a zoom lens because we couldn't get any closer without spooking them.
After circling around a small island, we pushed east along 520 towards a sculpture I've seen hundreds of times from the bridge: the Nellie Cornish Sculptures (this article mentions them in the last paragraph).
We had to row through a dense field of lily pads to get there - they made an interesting scraping sound as our metal canoe slid over them.
I tried to get a nice macro close up of a lily flower, but it was challenging. First there was the gentle movement of the boat from drift and waves. Then, my leaning over to get the camera close to the flower would unbalance the canoe. I had to hurry to take this photo as the boat was rotating slightly and the flower would be in shadow soon. At the same time, I didn't want to rip it from its stem to take the picture at my leisure in the canoe.
After this we crossed back to the north side of 520 to gawk at the homes along Sand Point, and then made our way back in after a nice two hour canoe trip.