Looks Can Be Deceiving

At work, I spend a great deal of time watching boats float by on Seattle’s Lake Washington Ship Canal. After a while, you start thinking of it as just another road. It’s water, but it seems solid. Slippery, yes, but solid.

Until it doesn’t. It’s a transit system, but people swim in it, and jump in it. People fall off paddle boards with a screech. Dogs leap in after balls. Fish jump out of it, and back in. Raptors dive in and pluck those same fish out. Occasionally a vessel sinks. People drown.

The one time I had the opportunity to take a kayak on it was very unsettling. Suddenly the whole depth thing was very, very, real. That, and if I wasn’t careful, I could actually get wet. What a concept!

It’s hard to remember how deep the water is, because all you deal with, usually, is the surface. (Before you ask, it has an average depth of 32 feet. But I had to look that up.)

You stop thinking about what lies beneath. The truth is, you can never be completely certain what’s down there. We humans do not enjoy uncertainty.

Looks can certainly be deceiving. But that’s mainly because most of us never bother to delve deeper. I think we’d all be much better off if we did.

Ship Canal

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9 thoughts on “Looks Can Be Deceiving

  1. Angiportus

    Last time I looked it up on Google Maps, the satellite view, I saw what seemed to be a bunch of sunken boats. Sure wasn’t expecting that. I was looking for drydocks, and I did find some of those. They’re supposed to sink, but anyway.
    And then there was the time I read in the paper of something BIG surfacing and grabbing a duck. That was 30 or so years back.
    I think there’s polarized glasses you can get that cut down reflections and so on so you can see fish. I saw a nice big one once w/o using said glasses, but it wasn’t big enough to have nailed that duck. Makes you wonder what-all’s down there.

  2. Somebody

    It would be fascinating to see what is hidden at the bottom of the canal and lake, but it’s not likely to ever be exposed in the same way that a canal in Paris was. It was ‘cleaned’ about three years ago, and previously in 2001. So much junk ended up in their canal in just those 15 years.


    Maybe someday there will be sunken treasures discovered beneath your drawbridges.

  3. The government locks of the ship canal (Ballard Locks) has their annual clean-out in November each year, where they empty the two locks, one at a time, and clean them, and for sure there is stuff down there — mostly glasses, cameras and cell phones. As for Lake Union itself, it is deep enough to conceal ship wrecks and there is plenty of stuff down there! Here is a map to some of the wrecks: http://www.lakeunionhistory.org/Shipwrecks_Map.html

  4. Pingback: Treasure Hunting – The View from a Drawbridge

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