The “Happy Hours” is our new boat. It is the first of its kind in the Seattle area. It is a new top-of-line super-luxurious 26 ft Avalon pontoon boat. Waypoint Marine in Ballard is our dealer. This is the perfect boat for the Pacific Northwest or anywhere where you want versatility, quality and performance. It is a luxury deck and party room on the water at the dock, floating or motoring. These are our adventures and experiences. See the 6/12/11 post for free rides and dock parties.

Happy Hours on Lake Washington

Happy Hours on Lake Washington

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Arnold Palmer – The 1964 Masters

I’ve been away from blogging due to health problems. Things are looking up and I hope to be back with more posts, mostly about boating on Lake Washington. This is a temporary diversion from boating but it is one of my life memories.
I said when I worked as a volunteer at the 2015 U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay that this was one of my most memorable experiences related to golf. What was my most memorable golf experience? The 1964 Masters!
I was 22 and worked as a volunteer at the 1964 Masters played at the famed Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta GA. Arnold Palmer, “The King,” was the winner and this was his last Masters and Major golf tournament victory. (I, of course, did not know at the time this would be his last. And for those of you who have been on another planet most of this year, Palmer passed away at the age of 87 in 2016.)
My assignment for the final round was working with one other person on the leaderboard on number 13. This leaderboard was isolated on the hillside in the azaleas and woods across the green from the crowds. It provided a fantastic view, for the two volunteers, of this hole which is one of the most famous in the golfing world. It is the last of three holes in Augusta National’s famed “Amen Corner.” Following the 1964 tournament this scoreboard blight was removed.

Palmer and David Marr were the last group. Nicklaus was in the previous group. Palmer birdied 13 and the roar from the crowd was incredible.
The Masters had rules and decorum for the volunteers and my volunteer partner and I could not just bail when Palmer finished the hole. We waited the proper time, closed our station and then we bailed. We crossed hole 14 to 15 and watched Palmer birdie that hole to another tremendous roar. We followed Palmer in. There was a loud standing ovation for his every step of the way.
Palmer was the King. I started golf in the early 50s at about the same time Palmer and TV exploded on the scene. He is credited to doing more than anyone else to advance and popularize golf. There was a void in having a golf super star after the Hogan-Snead-Nelson rivalry of the 40s. The fans loved Palmer’s swagger, hitching of the pants and go for broke shots. None of these traits came across as cocky or offensive because he exuded charisma, sportsmanship and being a people’s person. TV helped and he made golf for TV.

My story starts in 1963. I graduated from UC Berkeley as an engineer and went to work for DuPont at the Savannah River Project, a 320 square mile U.S. government nuclear facility. I lived in Aiken. Aiken and the Project were in South Carolina, a short distance across the border from Augusta, GA. I joined the Aiken Golf and Country Club. (It is now The Aiken Golf Club.) There was no initiation fee and my dues were $8.33 per month for unlimited golf. I asked some fellow members about the Masters. I was advised to volunteer and request the scorekeeper group. I did that and the next week a large box came to my doorstep. The box contained my volunteer assignment information and clothing plus guest and parking passes. There was no charge like there is today for volunteers.
And - - - about a month following the Masters there was a tournament at Augusta National for the scorekeepers. I got to play Augusta National!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Seafair Patriots 2013 Seattle

The Patriots replaced the Blue Angels this year for Seattle’s Seafair airshow main attraction. Today, Friday, 8/2/13, was the first performance called a “practice.” The Patriots were great in spite of performing in the rain and heavy cloud cover. These photos were taken from our dock on the west side of Mercer Island about one mile south of the I-90 Bridge.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Opening Day – Boating – Seattle

Opening Day - Boating on Saturday, May 4, 2013, is the official opening of Seattle's boating season. It is sponsored by the Seattle Yacht Club and includes many kinds of water activities. It will include a morning of crew races staring at 10:20 am and the grand Opening Day boat parade starting at noon. Participating yachts will be decorated to illustrate this year's theme for Opening Day, "Hawaiian Magic." The crew races are west to east through Montlake Cut and the boat parade is east to west through the Cut.
  Seattle has historically celebrated important occasions with water festivities. The Elliott Bay Yacht Club, the forerunner of the Seattle Yacht Club, held a regatta including several classes of boats in Elliott Bay for the Fourth of July, 1895.
  The first SYC Opening Day took place in early May 1913 with a parade and a regatta in Elliott Bay. The first Opening Day parade through the Montlake Cut was in 1920 after the Seattle Yacht Club moved to its new (and present) facilities in Portage Bay.
  Over the years, events such as the University of Washington crew races have become a part of the day's traditional festivities. Many spectators watch these popular races through the Montlake Cut from the shore, boats or TV. Opening Day 2013 marks the 29th anniversary of the Windermere Cup.
  Seattle Yacht Club's Opening Day has become the nation's largest regional celebration of water, spring and the opening of boating season. Opening Day in Seattle is a family and party affair. A huge spectator fleet lines the start of the crew races and the end of the boat parade from Montlake Cut east into Union Bay and Lake Washington. Spectator boats are also decorated (optional) and families and friends spread blankets on the shoreline and spend hours watching and picnicking.
  On 5/7/11 Susan and I launched our new boat, “Happy Hours,” and, with our wonderful crew, we proceeded to Seattle’s Boating Opening Day celebration and boat parade. Tom’s Boat Shop and I entered Happy Hours in the parade. The Opening Day theme was "Salish Sea Treasures" and we received the Alaska Airlines Trophy for 1st place in our class (Decorated Commercial). Last year, with very stiff competition, we placed third. We are entered again this year. We hope to see you there!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pontoon Grammy

“Little Big Town tonight [2/10/13 in Los Angeles] won the first GRAMMY of their ten-year career. Their number one single, and one of the biggest country hits of the summer of 2012, ‘Pontoon’ landed them the GRAMMY for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
The four bandmates (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet) all appeared in person, waving and smiling broadly as they walked down the aisle to the stage.
‘Woo-hoo!’ shouted Kimberly Schlapman, clearly giddy about their win. ‘We wanted one of these for so long!’
‘This is such a longtime coming for us,’ echoed Phillip Sweet. ‘We’re so thrilled!’” (From CBS Los Angeles 2/10/13)
My Happy Hours "Pontoon" video filmed on Lake Washington and featuring this hit song “Pontoon” with LBT was uploaded June 6 and has 182,000 views from 143 countries!
Little Big Town's Pontoon video, with 10 million views, was the number one music video on Country Music Television's (CMT's) chart last summer. It is fantastic.
LBT’s performance of Pontoon at the 2012 CMT 2012 Music Awards on June 6 "rocked the house." 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. They performed on a pontoon boat on the stage.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seattle Boat Show 2013

800 Occidental Ave So, Seattle - CenturyLink Field
Hours: Mon-Thur 11am – 8pm
               Fridays     11am – 9pm
               Saturdays 10am – 8pm
         Sunday 1/27   10am – 6pm
         Sunday   2/3   10am – 4pm

This is the biggest boat show on the west coast. The show features more than 1,000 yachts and boats plus the latest accessories and supplies. There are more than 200 interesting boating and fishing seminars. 
Dykstra Seminars – W 1/30 - 6:15 - Yellow Room and F 2/1 - Noon - Red Room
The 1/30 seminar title is “Pontoon Boats in the PNW: Pros vs Cons.” Pontoon boats are sweeping the country but are just starting to become popular in the PNW. The new generation of pontoon boats uses modern multi-hull technology. But what are the drawbacks? We will present the pluses and minuses.
The 2/1 seminar title is “Cruising Lake Washington: Navigating the Locks, Where to Dock, Anchor, Party and Dine!” Lake Washington is a fabulous boating destination but is often overlooked by salt-water boaters. There is great anchoring where you can swim in 75ยบ fresh water. We will discuss the many things to see and do including viewing the fabulous mansions on “The Map of The Stars.”
The Boat Show’s main location is indoors at the CenturyLink Field Convention Center. In addition the Show has exhibitors showing large yachts in the water at South Lake Union. There is free shuttle service between the two locations. 
I will be exhibiting at Captain’s Nautical Supplies, booth Concourse 2240 and will be there most of the time. I will occasionally be at Tom’s – Avalon Luxury Pontoon Boats, booth North 161. I bought my new Avalon (Avalon video) luxury pontoon boat from Tom at 2011’s show. I recommend you stop by and see some of the perfect boats for the PNW.
Go to Dykstra Boat Show pdf for more information including hours, directions and a map. Call my cell – 206-931-6065 for show passes.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


LBT’s performance of Pontoon at the 2012 CMT 2012 Music Awards on June 6 "rocked the house." 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. They performed on a pontoon boat on the stage.
Little Big Town's Pontoon video, with 9 million views, was the number one music video on Country Music Television's (CMT's) chart this summer. It is fantastic.
My Happy Hours "Pontoon" video filmed on LW and featuring this hit song “Pontoon” with LBT 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!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2012 Summer Boating in Seattle


We were out on our boat, Happy Hours, 53 days this summer with family and friends. 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! 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!