In March when a Seattle Port Commissioner joked about a “flotilla of kayaks” poised to oppose plans for oil exploration in the Arctic, he may have made inevitable the protests launched recently from the West Seattle shoreline.
Some of us had greeted the Polar Pioneer on its arrival, but for many paddlers today was the first opportunity to get close to the giant rig. A well-organized protest launched from Jack Block and from Seacrest Park, a bit further up the coast. Here’s a picture of some of the early entrants at Seacrest. (Our objective can be seen on the skyline beyond the water taxi dock.)
Jack Block was the center of land-based demonstrations and a close-by launch site for some beginners. There were lots of boats at Seacrest, including rentals from the local Alki Kayak Tours and other operators; loaners carefully matched with borrowers; paddlers who hailed from at least as far as Oregon; and services like valet unloading organized by Greenpeace and other organizations. Here’s a picture of some of the kayaks parked at Seacrest:
The two groups met north of Terminal 5 to unfurl some banners and chant some slogans before proceeding into the West Waterway for a better look. The object of our attention can be seen in the right third of this picture: