I wrote about Seafair last year. It’s a giant annual summer celebration in Seattle, and last year I had the most AMAZING time there, and I couldn’t wait to go back this year. Last year, my friends and I bought tickets to watch the Blue Angels and the hydroplane races from the land. It was perfect, but I remember hoping at the time that next year maybe I’d know someone with a boat so I could be on the water for it. I was envisioning a little ski boat or a small sailboat, and even that felt relatively out of reach.
So. Through a series of utterly unpredictable, sudden, and perfectly choreographed events, I watched the Blue Angels and the hydroplane races from a giant yacht this year. Like, even bigger than the one the pirates attacked. Three decks of total luxury, with bathrooms nicer and bigger than the ones in my freakin’ apartment, a fully-stocked kitchen, and a full-time crew (who were awesome).
It was pouring rain most of the day, but Seattleites still swarmed the lake, many of them spending the day soaking wet on boats without much shelter. One boat had a full band playing from it, and another had a giant blow-up penis at its bow. Every boat had its own energy, and the cumulative effect was palpable. People at the mansions on the water catapulted water balloons at the boaters. The boaters catapulted water balloons back. (Seriously, LOTS of water balloon catapults around here. Who knew?)
I got to jump off the deck of a three-story yacht into the water, through the rain, over and over again. I was the only girl to do it, but I watched the boys do it again and again and thought “When am I ever again in my life going to have the chance to do something like this?” So I just went for it, and I felt so connected and liberated in the process, and my heart raced for like twenty minutes after we finished.
The Blue Angels were incredible. At several points, you could actually see the sonic boom surrounding the planes as they approached the sound barrier. I’ve heard of that and I’ve seen still photos, but I’d never witnessed it. It’s fluid and explosive and lustrous, a wormhole opening up in the middle of the damp sky. With mach speed also comes the very strange sensation of knowing that you see something in one location while simultaneously being very sure that you hear it somewhere else, and then the striking realization that neither of these senses can be trusted especially.
The precision and sheer guts with which the pilots maneuver these planes is super-human, incomprehensible. The entire experience of watching them is humbling and awe-inspiring.
I just felt so fucking blessed all day. I kept thanking people. I kept thinking about myself at Seafair last year, and my seemingly unrealizable dream of being on a sailboat this year. If the universe had settled for what I’d asked for, I would have been cheated out of an experience that was so much bigger and more exciting than what I originally thought I wanted. It was a much-needed reminder that I’m always better off trusting the universe than struggling to engineer life to my demands. God always seems to send these reminders when they’re most needed.