With the full moon still high in the sky, we left early for our voyage home.
It was too stormy to go down the Straights of Juan de Fuca, so we took the inside route, Saratoga Passage.
After many hours, the Locks came into sight.
The Hiram M. Chitteden Locks are a complex of locks which prevent the mixing of salt water from Puget Sound (the south end of The Salish Sea) with the fresh water of Lake Union and Lake Washington. These locks maintain the water level of the lakes at 20 – 22 feet above sea level. Through these locks (there is a small lock and a large lock) boats can move from the lower sea level up to the lake level, and visa versa.
To make the transition, boaters enters the locks and work with the lockwall attendants to secure their vessels to the side of the locks. Through these locks every type of boat travels, from kayaks to giant fishing boats heading to the Bering Sea.
Beneath the locks is a system of pipes which allows the chamber to be filled with water (to rise up from sea level to fresh water level), or to drain via gravity out to the Puget Sound (to lower boats from lake level to sea level).
We entered the locks and tied up to the port side.
This complex is a popular tourist attraction, it includes a fish ladder, where one can watch the salmon action underwater through glass; there’s also an English garden.
In front of us, the closed gates held back the fresh lake water, 20 feet above us.
When both doors were closed, water flooded into the chamber to allow us to rise up to the lake level.