Sketched Aug. 31, 2019

A Husky flag and purple and gold balloons decorate the “Goodtime II” this morning at Fishermen’s Terminal. You can guess who is about to board: college-football fans on their way to Husky Stadium for the first game of the season.

The beer-fueled “Dawg Boat” cruise, hosted by Chinook’s at Salmon Bay, is a Seattle tradition dating back to 1990, soon after the restaurant opened. It’s not the only tour boat to the stadium (Ivars’ hosts one, too) but Chinook’s prides itself  on attracting the most loyal and family-friendly crowd. Lane Hoss, spokesperson for Anthony’s, the local chain of seafood restaurants that owns Chinook’s, said a third of the nearly 400 passengers buy season tickets to ride the boat to every home game.

That may explain why so many fans I met raved about the experience. For $40 per person, you get free parking at the terminal, a free drink at Chinook’s before or after the game, live entertainment by a sports announcer from KJR-AM, and a 45-minute ride through some of Seattle’s most beautiful waterscapes, including Salmon Bay, the Fremont Cut, Lake Union, Portage Bay and the Montlake Cut.

I’m not a big college-football fan, but who could deny a good time of sailgating to a Husky game? It’s one of those only-in-Seattle experiences everyone should try at least once.