LunaSea Kayaking

Last night was a full moon here in Seattle, and a few of my kayak buddies and I thought it would be cool to observe it from our boats. In a major upset, the evening was almost crystal clear - temps in the 20s, but little to no wind. We launched near Gasworks Park on Lake Union and paddled towards the University of Washington.

As we turned into the Montlake Cut, the moon revealed itself gloriously, making a river of light on the water and a silhouette of the Montlake Bridge in the air (Click to enlarge):

Usually the Cut - a short canal connecting Lake Union with Lake Washington - is rocking and rolling with motorboat wake, but last night it was our private reflecting pool.  We paddled through it and into a bayou-like area near the Arboretum.  There we consternated several herons, who squawked and took to ungainly flight, as well as several beaver, who slapped their tails on the surface of the water to show their displeasure.

We stayed pleasantly warm despite the water droplets from our paddles trying to freeze on our decks.  Visually, it could have been a balmy summer night.  GPS tale-o-the-tape here (which also includes the car trip down to the lake, due to user malfunction).


  1. What a beautiful shot! We did the whole kayak-from-Aqua-Verde in the much more sane month of July (and much lighter hour of… DAYTIME!) and loved it (, but it looks like you had quite the adventure.

    We drove east on Woodinville-Duvall Road last night at about 8:30 and I could NOT believe how big and bright the moon was!


  2. beatriz:

    Whoa, that shot turned out really well. The light trails on the water are amazing.

  3. What a beautiful photo. It looks like one of Whistler’s Thames paintings.

  4. Phil - it was awesome paddling with the group last night. Might I impose and snag that pic for my blog too? Any other shots worth publishing? Of course I’ll slather the page with credits and praise for the photographer. SWEET picture. - Bill

  5. Phil, that’s some spectacular photo! The light trails on the water looks to me like they were painted by a very talented impressionist artist…well, I suppose in a sense they were. Extraordinary! Congratulations!

  6. Ms. Lea:

    Wow! What an incredible evening with Nature! Beautiful Photo!

  7. May:

    For a weird coincidence, there was a full moon here, too, in southern Europe!
    But I wasn’t as smart as you and forgot to take a photo.
    Well done. It must have been a wonderful experience.

  8. Phil:

    Carol - the advantage of the calendar and the hour for this trip was - no motorboat traffic!

    Beatriz - I totally planned that!

    Dick - I’ll have to look those up. There was one Van Gogh painting that came to mind, though.

    Bill - Done, and thanks.

    Springer - the only real control over the image I had was to try to get the moon centered under the bridge. The rest was up to chance. There’s usually a focus problem if I’m bobbing up & down in dim light. Plus, I was out with some strong paddlers, and every time I stopped to take a photo, I’d have to paddle like hell to catch back up.

    Ms. Lea - Thank you.

    May - I wondered if someone would call me on that bit of astronomical exceptionalism!

  9. Great photo! Not that night, but you have probably seen me at Gasworks with my son, waving to all the people in kayaks.

  10. Phil:

    Thanks, Nora! As often as not, we’re the people walking through Gasworks - it’s one of our favorite urban-hiking destinations.