I went to dinner tonight with my friends Bill and Dave in Ballard northwest of the city. Afterwards we went to the ‘Locks’, marked A on the map. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (also called the Ballard locks) are a complex of locks that sit at the west end of Salmon Bay, part of Seattle’s Lake Washington Ship Canal.
The locks and associated facilities serve three purposes –
* To maintain the water level of the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union at 20–22 feet above sea level (Puget Sound’s mean low tide).
* To prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound with the fresh water of the lakes (saltwater intrusion).
* To move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice versa.
The first picture shows the canal with a sailboat lifted almost to the fresh water level (there is one set of locks for small vessels, and another for large ones), the second picture is the view out to the lakes. The third picture from Wikipedia shows a ship going out from the freshwater lakes to Puget Sound. The final picture shows some artwork right there. I will have to go back on a sunny day and take better pictures but it’s a little late. (Aw). The salmon has made their run through the ladders at the Locks, the boat traffic is now winding down, and winter is slowly approaching.