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Old 02-04-2013, 09:07   #1
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Ballard locks Seattle opening day?

My crew would like to change our plans to Opening Day. Traffic in the Locks is supposed to be bad, but we would be going out instead of in. I've always avoided the Locks on that weekend. Anybody seen how bad the traffic actually is?
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:41   #2
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Re: Ballard locks Seattle opening day?

We came through two weeks ago this morning and had to use the big locks. We were the only boat there - but they still made us wait an hour in the turnaround basin by the railway bridge for some unknown reason.

We think the big locks are easy if you have big fenders but definitely prefer the small locks.

Dhillen
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:08   #3
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Re: Ballard locks Seattle opening day?

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Originally Posted by Dhillen View Post
We came through two weeks ago this morning and had to use the big locks. We were the only boat there - but they still made us wait an hour in the turnaround basin by the railway bridge for some unknown reason.

We think the big locks are easy if you have big fenders but definitely prefer the small locks.

Dhillen
I have lots of experience in the locks, have most always sailed boats moored on the lake. Coming back into the lake on a Sunday afternoon in the summer can be a 3 hour wait to get into the large locks and take an hour to load boats in. Worst I ever waited, our club had a trip scheduled for when the large locks were closed for maintenance. Waited 8 hours to get into the small locks finally at midnight.

Really hoping to convince my crew Opening Day at the locks is a bad idea.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:48   #4
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Re: Ballard locks Seattle opening day?

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
My crew would like to change our plans to Opening Day. Traffic in the Locks is supposed to be bad, but we would be going out instead of in. I've always avoided the Locks on that weekend. Anybody seen how bad the traffic actually is?
I've seen it from the locks a few times as a spectator, last time was 2010. There is definitely a reason they call it "The Greatest Show on Earth"!!! I wouldn't take my boat near there on that weekend, but at least you'd be going against traffic.

Frank
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:07   #5
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Re: Ballard locks Seattle opening day?

Best time on a weekend to go through the locks is after dark, but we had to make it past the Montlake Bridge before 11PM.

Pre cell phone days....
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:38   #6
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I've never been through the locks on a fiberglass boat........but have been through on a 100' tug several times. There is no amount of money, desire, or pride that would get me near them on an event weekend!!!!!
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Old 02-04-2013, 13:13   #7
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Re: Ballard locks Seattle opening day?

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Best time on a weekend to go through the locks is after dark, but we had to make it past the Montlake Bridge before 11PM.

Pre cell phone days....
Pre cell phone days there was a phone at the dock at the UW to call the attendant. Back then there was one attendant after 11 that stayed at Fremont. You called him and he drove to all the bridges you wanted open. Now Montlake is under different management and has its own 24 hour attendant.

I like starting my weekend Friday night, usually drive right into the small locks. Only problem is the railroad bridge attendant. One night I sounded the horn 3 times, called on the radio twice over a half hour period. Last time I called he said why didn't you let me know you were there, there's a train coming now. 15 minutes later, no train, commercial fisherman comes in from the Sound and the bridge immediately opens.

I've had to wait more than once for him.
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Old 02-04-2013, 14:01   #8
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Re: Ballard locks Seattle opening day?

Oh dear! We have to take our boat over to CSR from Lake Union on April 30th. We don't have to go through the locks, just under 2 draw bridges. When is Opening Day?
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Old 02-04-2013, 14:06   #9
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Re: Ballard locks Seattle opening day?

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Oh dear! We have to take our boat over to CSR from Lake Union on April 30th. We don't have to go through the locks, just under 2 draw bridges. When is Opening Day?
May 4th

Opening day is just in the Montlake cut, so just bridges on the lake that day might be at most a 10 minute wait.

Opening Day Week - Seattle Yacht Club
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Old 02-04-2013, 14:17   #10
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Re: Ballard locks Seattle opening day?

Thanks John! Thank goodness we'll be ahead of the crowd.
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Old 02-04-2013, 15:27   #11
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Re: Ballard locks Seattle opening day?

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I've had to wait more than once for him.
At least once, I had to wake him up.
He even admitted to having been asleep when I hollered at him as I went by.
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