Monday, December 3, 2012


Little Big Town's Pontoon video was the number one music video on Country Music Television's (CMT's) chart this summer. It has 9 million views and is fantastic.
LBT’s performance of Pontoon on a pontoon boat on the stage "rocked the house" on June 6 at the 2012 CMT 2012 Music Awards. This was Little Big Town’s (LBT’s) debut of Pontoon on national TV and for a standing-room-only audience at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
My new Happy Hours "Pontoon" video featuring this hit song “Pontoon” with Little Big Town was uploaded June 6 and has 135,000 views from 127 countries!
If you missed my appearance on KING 5 Evening Magazine on 7/16 click here.
Pontoon boats are sweeping the country but are just starting to get popular in the PNW. The new generation of pontoon boats uses modern multi-hull technology to create the best performing and most comfortable boats of their size and price. We have used our pontoon boat, Happy Hours, more than any of our friends have used their comparable in size single hull boats. Our boat is ready to board and can be used at the dock as a living-room/cocktail-lounge or quickly launched to enjoy the lake in comfort and luxury.
Dear family and friends – If you missed going out with us this year, please call or email early for an outing next year. We love sharing our fun experiences!

Friday, November 30, 2012

2012 Summer on Lake Washington


2012 summer in Seattle set the record with 81 days (mid July through mid October) with less than 0.03 inches of rain. The Dykstras’ summer on Lake Washington was the best ever! We were out on our boat, Happy Hours, 53 days with family and friends. Comments from out-of-towners include, “Our most memorable day in the Seattle area.” Comments from locals include, “The best day of our summer.”
This is our second year with the boat and its reputation has grown. The number and length of visits from relatives and out-of-town friends increased. The grandkids learned to water ski behind the boat. Everyone loves the water slide! We’ve relaxed viewing the Map of the Stars, just enjoying the lake, going to waterfront restaurants and sunset rides. We viewed houses for sale and sold with Realtor friends and their clients. We’ve had slow rides pulling the big tube and higher-speed extreme tubing and water skiing.
Because the boat has flat decks and a fabulous stereo system, we’ve had wonderful dance parties on the boat. We've had fantastic party times on the boat with the flotillas at Boating Opening Day, the 4th of July on Lake Union, Seafair, and in the party coves of Andrews Bay, Meydenbauer Bay, Fairweather Bay, and Cozy Cove. We took the boat through the locks to Poulsbo and it performed beautifully in the Sound. We joined the Rainier Yacht Club which is known as “The Fun Club” and had a lot of fun with the club members and activities. I have 3,873 pictures and movies taken this year and I am in the process of editing them. The best of the summer are up on a new Happy Hours 2012 Picasa web album. Because of all the above, my golf scores are up and I am way behind in posting to this blog. I will be catching up!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hunts-Yarrow Points Mansions Index

The following mansions are in earlier posts in this blog along with information about the mansions and their owners. Click on the highlighted heading to go to the respective posts.
South to North

North to South
Southwest to Northeast

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Boat Sales Up – Seattle Area

Seattle Boat Show 2012
The Marine Industry Association announced (5/16/12 Sport Fishing Magazine) the first jump in annual boat sales and boating participation since 2006. 2011 U.S. retail sales for boats, accessories and services jumped 6 percent to $32.3 billion, according to the organization’s latest Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract. In addition, boating participation increased 10 percent to 83 million (or 34.8 percent of adults, the highest since 1997). “The data signals the beginning of a recovery for the U.S. recreational boating industry,” the NMMA press release states. 2012 sales are running ahead of 2011.
Seattle area boat dealers are also seeing a major increase in sales and activity. The fastest growing segment of the recreational boating industry is pontoon boats. Pontoon type boats have evolved dramatically over the past years. They have come from spartan, low-performance, low cost water transportation and fishing platforms to high performance trimarans with a flat deck, very comfortable seating and luxurious features. These are the most versatile, stable and economical runabout boats. The top-of-the-line trimaran design provides outstanding performance with reduced water resistance and low fuel consumption. These boats are perfect for activities ranging from high speed (up to 50 mph) water sports (water skiing, tubing, etc.) to relaxed cocktail cruising and dock parties.
Dykstra’s Happy Hours
My boat, Happy Hours, is a new super-luxurious Avalon tri-toon boat. It includes an upper deck with seating, a sunbathing area and a water slide. The main level includes luxurious seating for 14, 2 drink and appetizer tables, multiple cup and drinking glass holders, a wine and storage cellar, a privacy (porta-potty) station plus a wet bar with a blender, an electric wine and glasses rack and a refrigerator. We, our family and our friends are having fantastic great times with it.
Avalon Paradise Sandbar
Tom’s Boats, the area’s leading pontoon boat dealer stated: “The increase in sales this year is amazing. It’s across the board from $14,000 easy to trailer runabouts and fishing boats to the $90,000 deluxe party and water sports boats.” He is currently showing over 50 listings on

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cruising Puget Sound through Ballard Locks to Lake Washington

You enter Lake Washington from Puget Sound through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, commonly called the Ballard Locks. There are two locks and pleasure boats can use both. There are numerous stories and rumors about problems and difficulty with the locks but these stories are overrated. I have been through many times with both novice and experienced (with the locks) captains and never encountered a problem. A larger boat requires two people that are alert and have basic common sense to handle the lines and engine. You need two 50 ft lines if you are going through the large locks. One person can handle a small boat that usually ties to the side of a larger boat inside the locks. I have been through the locks alone on my ten foot WaveRunner.
Adjacent to the Locks is the dam that controls the level of the fresh waterways. The dam includes fish ladders. The locks and dam are open to the public and are a popular tourist stop. There is public parking and access on both sides of the canal.
After passing through the locks you travel through the Lake Washington Ship Canal to Lake Union. The canal takes you past much of the area’s historical and modern boating and boat building industry.
Fisherman’s Terminal and Salmon Bay are on the south side of the Ship Canal just east of the locks. Fisherman’s Terminal has a lot of commercial activity and a marina for pleasure craft. You may see here some of the boats used in TV’s popular “Deadliest Catch.” The Terminal also has guest moorage for its shops and restaurants.
After Fisherman’s Terminal you pass under the old Ballard and Fremont draw bridges. On the east of Lake Union there are an additional two drawbridges. The vessel clearance without opening the bridges ranges from 30 to 46 feet. Tall vessels navigating these waterways should be familiar with Seattle’s DOT “Bridge Openings” website. A vessel may request an opening during daytime operating hours (which vary) with a one long and one short whistle signal.
On the northwest corner of Lake Union you pass the famous “Sleepless in Seattle” floating home.
Lake Union and Portage Bay are known for their floating home communities. The largest of these communities are on the northeast end of Lake Union.
Lake Union offers fabulous views of the Seattle skyline and the Space Needle. At the south end of Lake Union are numerous excellent waterfront restaurants with guest docking.
Bill Gates keeps his floating helipad in a marina in southwest Lake Union. The helipad motors to the shore of his Medina mansion and convention center when he wants to use it.
On the north end of Lake Union is Ivar’s Salmon House with guest docking for up to twenty vessels. This is a popular place to dock and enjoy some refreshments and the view. Dale Chihuly’s Studio is adjacent to the east. The studio was much more interesting before it was remodeled.
After Lake Union you pass under the I-5 Bridge and another drawbridge into Portage Bay. This is the home of the Seattle Yacht Club and Queen City Yacht Club. Next is the Montlake Cut. The University of Washington borders the north shore of Portage Bay and the cut. The cut was completed in 1917 and had the most expensive construction cost of the canals that connect Lake Washington to the Sound. The opening of the cut lowered Lake Washington nine feet. Prior to the cut, LW water exited at the south end of the lake where the Cedar River now flows into the lake.
You enter Lake Washington in Union Bay and into the largest open section of the lake. State Route 520 Floating Bridge is to the immediate south. The bridge crosses the lake near the north-south center. The north end of the lake is less populated than the south end.
The University of Washington Husky Stadium is adjacent to Union Bay just north and across the water from SR-520. Many fans go to the UW Huskies home football games by boat and have “sailgate” parties on the water. These parties were featured in a 12/28/11 Seattle Mansions post.
The two floating bridges crossing Lake Washington were built in 1940 and 1963 and promoted development of Mercer Island and the area east of the lake known as “The Eastside.” The northern 1963 (state route) 520 bridge, also know as “The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge,” at 7,578 feet, is the longest floating bridge in the world. This bridge connects Seattle to Medina and points east. The west end of the bridge is in Madison Park, a Seattle neighborhood, and the east end is in Medina, the heart of Billionaire Row. The vertical clearance for boats is 45 feet at the west end and 75 feet at the east end of the bridge. Looking at the center of the bridge you see two wide sections. The outside sections are floating and the roadway is suspended between these sections. This part of the roadway can be lifted by the floating outside structures and the roadway in between floats under the raised roadway creating a drawbridge opening for large ships and barges.

(This is the second chapter [go to next chapter, “Cruising Seattle’s LW Emerald Coast”] of our “Lake Washington Cruising” article/series. The chapters are being posted in reverse order. When all chapters are posted they will be in order in this blog with the first chapter at the top. You can read and print an abbreviated pdf version of the entire article/series.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cruising Seattle’s Lake Washington Emerald Coast

The northeast shoreline of Seattle on Lake Washington is known as the Emerald Coast of Seattle, the Emerald City. Seattle’s Lake Washington Emerald Coast neighborhoods are Madison Park, Harrison/Denny Blaine (commonly just “Denny-Blaine”) and Madrona. The Madison Park neighborhood includes the Seattle LW waterfront from the SR-520 Bridge to the north edge of the Seattle Tennis Club (p25 LW 130 Homes). Denny-Blaine is to the immediate south and includes the Seattle Tennis Club and the waterfront past the McCaw mansion on p38 of LW 130 Homes. Madrona is the next waterfront to the south. It includes Rob Glaser’s 3 lots and 2 mansions and the last (southern most) Seattle mansion in the book. That mansion belongs to Peter Rose and is on p40 of LW 130 Homes.
These are the prime Seattle neighborhoods. Before the floating bridges were built this was the area for the mansions of Seattle’s movers and shakers. Now the area is a diverse mix of old and new money along with some medium priced housing. There are many fantastic mansions, in addition to the shoreline, on the hills and surrounding the Broadmoor Golf Club. The Golf Club was founded in 1924 and overlooks Union Bay. The gated entrance to the Broadmoor Club and community is less than one mile from Madison Park’s waterfront park.
Madison Park (The Park)
Downtown Madison Park is one block inland
Madison Park pier/dock
Judge John J. McGilvra was the pioneer-founder of the Madison Park area in the 1860s when he acquired 420 acres in this area. A street is named after him. McGilvra built a road through forest from Seattle to his property and named it Madison Street after President James Madison. McGilvra set aside 24 acres for a public park at the end of Madison Street. The neighborhood was the home of “Madison Park” and assumed the same name.The Madison Park commercial district starts one block inland and covers about ten square blocks. It is an eclectic community of about 60 businesses including restaurants and coffee shops with sidewalk patio seating and various independently owned shops.
Reed Estate (left) and Washington Park Tower (right)
The 23 story Washington Park Tower is our landmark. It and the adjacent condos are to the immediate south of Madison Park (The Park). Washington Park Tower has 53 condominiums and was built in 1969. This is the highest residential building on Lake Washington.
At the Washington Park Tower Dock
The five waterfront homes south of here are in an exclusive gated community of nine homes. This is the 8 acre Reed Estate where Howard Schultz lives and where Gary Reed grew up. It was established in the early 1900s by Gary’s grandfather, Mark Edward Reed. It was that era’s version of the current Gates and Allen estates. It was subdivided in the 1940s into a private gated community of nine homes. The only homes here of the 1940s era are on LW 130 Homes pages 20 and 22. When the property was subdivided one of the mansions was cut into 3 pieces and barged to Mercer Island. It is the house on page 72 of LW 130 Homes and in the 2/16/12 post. The mansions (Schultz, Reed, Diamond, Alvord et al.) on Madison Park’s waterfront are featured in the 4/22/12 post.
Entrance gate to the Reed Estate nine home community
Mansion on Mercer Island that was barged from the Reed Estate
Denny-Blaine Waterfront with the Seattle Tennis Club in the foreground
Viewing Denny-Blaine in the spring
Denny-Blaine and Madrona have many fabulous old mansions with gorgeous grounds on the waterfront and on the hills above. Plus there are many newer modern mansions. The mansions (Ackerley, Horowitz, Ragen, Keister, Chesnut, Moll et al.) on north Denny Blaine’s waterfront are featured in the 4/20/12 post. The mansions (McCaw, Kurt Cobain, Blume, Robbins et al.) on south Denny Blaine’s waterfront are featured in the 4/19/12 post. The mansions (Glaser – Rose et al.) on Madrona’s waterfront are featured in the 4/14/12 post.
View from Denny-Blaine looking east
Rob Glasers Madrona 3 lot and 2 mansions compound
Where President Obama had lunch in 2010

(This is the third chapter [go to next chapter “Cruising NW Mercer Island”] of our “Lake Washington Cruising” series. The chapters are being posted in reverse order. When all chapters are posted they will be in order in this blog with the first chapter at the top. You can read and print an abbreviated pdf version of the entire series.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Madison Park Waterfront Mansions

Schultz, Reed, Diamond, Alvord et al.
The 23 story Washington Park Tower is our landmark. The building has 53 condominiums and was built in 1969. This is the highest residential building on Lake Washington. It is very unlikely any more lake-front buildings close to this height will be built in the future because of zoning regulations. The residents enjoy incredible views. The three upper floors have two 2,200 sq ft, two bedroom units on each floor. The estimated value of each of these units is $2.2 million.
This mansion was featured in a Seattle Mansions 4/19/10 post. The listing price was $12.8 million. The home was purchased by Frederick Beau Gould and Julie Pigott Gould. Frederick is a Seattle attorney. Julie is active in numerous local charities with other members of the Pigott families. The former owners, Jack and Carol Briggs, were also active in charities and the home was featured as a wonderful site for many fund raisers. The home has a pool, two kitchens and three fireplaces. From the Ewing & Clark listing: “The home is wonderful for entertaining inside and outside. Inside there are large entertainment rooms with French craftsmen detailing. The outside features the pool, beautiful, well-maintained landscaping, sculptures and fountains.” The mansion has 7,470 sq ft of living space on 0.7 acres with 135 feet of waterfront.
This is the mansion of Howard D. and Sheri Schultz. Howard, his $21.7 million 2010 pay-package and the mansion were featured in a 11/3/11 Seattle Mansions post. Howard is the Founder, Chairman, President and CEO of Starbucks. The first Starbucks roasted and sold coffee beans and opened its first store in 1971. In 1985 Howard founded a new coffee and espresso company which, in 1987, acquired the original Starbucks’ assets and its name. Starbucks now has more than 15,000 stores throughout the world with $10 billion in annual sales. Howard was the lead investor of a group that purchased the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA from Barry Ackerley in 2001 (4/15/12 Seattle Mansions post). Howard’s group sold the team to Oklahoma City in 2008. The mansion and the one in the previous paragraph are in an exclusive gated community of nine homes that are on the property of the Reed Estate. (More information on the Reed Estate and Gary Reed is in the next paragraph.) Howard drives through the Estate’s gate and then another gate to his property. His mansion and property, with 16,880 sq ft on 1.8 acres with 248 ft of waterfront, are the largest in the Estate's community.
William G. “Gary” Jr. and Victoria Reed moved from their Medina home (LW 130 Homes page 100) in 2009 to this mansion. The Reeds and their mansions were featured in two 10/1/10 Seattle Mansions posts. This first post features his former Medina mansion that he sold for $22 million and the second post features this mansion. The new mansion has 7,700 sq ft on 0.7 acres with 60 feet of waterfront. The 8 acre Reed Estate where Howard Schultz lives (see previous paragraph) is where Gary grew up. It was established in the early 1900s by his grandfather, Mark Edward Reed. It was that era’s version of the current Gates and Allen estates. It was subdivided in the 1940s into a private gated community of nine homes. The Seattle Times labeled Gary “the most powerful Seattle business leader you’ve likely never heard of.” He is or has been on the Boards of Microsoft, Paccar, Safeco, The Seattle Times Company and Washington Mutual. Mark Edward Reed who joined Simpson Logging in 1897 was named president after the company’s founder, Sol Simpson, died in 1906. The Reed family bought out the Simpson family and the company is now one of the largest private, family owned companies in the state. It is now Tacoma-based Simpson Investment Company. Gary served as Chairman from 1971 to 1996. Gary’s nephew, Colin Moseley, who lives in the neighboring Reed Estate, is now Chairman and the fourth generation of Reed/Moseley family management.
$6.7 Million Sale 10/16/10. The mansion was listed for $7.9 million by Wendy Lister, CBBain. From the listing: “Beverly Hills glamour at waters edge. A curving wall of glass captures the constant change of reflections of water and sky ~ every turn an adventure of extravagance used with great restraint. Exquisite details with powerful moments of drama. Lavish master suite ~ his and her salons. French doors in the guest house cabana open to the black bottom free form pool. Significant entree for strong art collectors. 120' frontage. Brilliant azure lake hues...Bellevue city skyscape...Cascade mountains.” The sellers (the home was custom built for the family) were Joel and Julie Diamond. Joel is Chairman and CEO of Diamond Parking and is the son of Josef Diamond who was known in Seattle as the father of self-serve parking lots. Diamond Parking, founded in 1922 by the Diamond family, is the world’s oldest parking company and operates over 1,000 locations throughout the western United States. The purchasers were Ellsworth C. and Eve Alvord. Ellsworth is with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in their Seattle office. The Seattle Center Eve Alvord Theater is named after her. The Alvord family members are well known Seattle area philanthropists. The mansion is on page 23 and is 6,420 sq ft on 0.4 acres with 120 feet of waterfront. Ellsworth and Eve Alvord also own the mansion on LW 130 Homes page 26 that is about 0.2 miles south of here and three properties south of The Seattle Tennis Club.
The Seattle Tennis Club is just south of Madison Park in Denny-Blaine. The Seattle Tennis Club was founded a few blocks north of its present site as the Olympic Tennis Club in 1890. The name was changed to Seattle Tennis Club in 1896 and it moved to its current site in 1919. An $11.5 million renovation was completed in 1999. The club sits on 8 acres and offers its 3,000-plus members 19 tennis courts (including 6 indoor hard and 3 outdoor clay courts), a fitness center, squash courts, locker rooms, several dining rooms, banquet facilities, pool, beach, boathouse and pro shop. The club is popular for society wedding receptions. A non-equity membership is about $20,000 and monthly dues are about $250 plus a $100 per month dining minimum. There is a waiting list for memberships. Many members are the fourth generation of family members. This is the most expensive and prestigious tennis club in the PNW.

The tour of Seattle’s Emerald Coast waterfront mansions continues with north Denny-Blaine, south Denny-Blaine and Madrona posts.