It’s September and the boating season here in Seattle is just about over. And I’m ready. It’s not that I’ll stop boating, but the seasonal boaters will.I row and paddle year-round along the city’s ship canal. There’s a 7-knot, no-wake zone all along its 7-1/2-mile length, and during the summer, especially on weekends, the canal sees a lot of pleasure-boat traffic, the majority of it power boats. Most abide by the limit and trail a rolling corrugated fan of waves. If I’m paddling my kayak and taking an oncoming boat’s wake head on, I’m through in a few strokes without breaking cadence. The wake of an overtaking boat, moving along the canal about two knots faster than I’m paddling, stays with me longer and each passing crest nudges my bow toward the concrete and riprap banks of the canal. A series of sweep strokes on the shore side keeps my kayak’s delicate hull, a thin four-layer laminate of mahogany veneer, from getting stove in.

This boat's bow is pointed straight at a sign on the canal that says:"Watch your wake. Wish everybody did."

Just beyond this boat's bow there is a big sign alongside the canal that reads: "Watch your wake. Wish everybody did."

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