Have you ever played with Google Earth? I like to use the satellite feature on Google Maps to explore the areas I plan to paddle in. If I put it on maximum magnification and crawl around the shoreline I can imagine I'm already there, paddling on a sunny day. Google Earth even let's you zoom in and tilt the camera angle to ground level to get a look at what the landscape would look like if you were standing there. I imagine a time in the near future when this technology renders images so accurate there would be no reason to leave your computer. Here are a few pics I took:
1) Boats and kayaks on Lake Union in Seattle. In his book, Kayaking: Puget Sound, the San Juans, and Gulf Islands Randel Washburne writes, "Lake Union has perhaps the highest year-round density of sea kayaks, perhaps nation- or even worlwide." So it was a good bet that I would find some kayaks there.
2) The public boat lauch at Wollochet Bay -- compare it to the picture of Moonlight Dancer in my Fox Island Circumnavigation post. Pretty cool, huh? All that's missing is the kayak.
3) The Tacoma Narrows Bridge, or should I say, the Tacoma Narrows floating bridge. Obviously, Mt Rainier is missing from the background. It must be too distant for Google Earth to bother rendering it. In real life it's hard to miss.
4) If you move a little closer, Mt Rainier comes into view.