TACOMA, Wash. — Sean Ottenbreit of Freedom Boat Club says the best way to explore the South Sound is right IN the South Sound. And you can do so without even owning a boat.
Freedom Boat Club has a location in Tacoma, but members have access to boats all over the world. There's a one time fee to join and monthly dues.
"You hop on a boat, you get out there," said Sean, "You feel like you're a million miles away from whatever you were doing before you got out on the water."
The boat we took out on Commencement Bay is the Glastron 259 with an outboard, which glides across the water at over 40 miles per hour. Ten passengers fit on board and it has room to sleep for four.
While exploring the South Sound waters, you may run into some wildlife. We found some seals lollygagging off Dune Peninsula. They have to work hard to hunt for lunch, but boaters don't.
Lunch is served right to your boat when you dock by Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor. "It's probably the number one destination for our boaters," said Sean.
You can also opt to tie up your boat on their dock for free for up to four hours. The fish and chips may be the most popular item on the menu, but the Tides classic pizza is a good bet too.
After lunch, head into the Narrows for more sightseeing. Just below Point Defiance Park, keep an eye out for the 80 homes on private Salmon Beach -- all only accessible by a huge staircase.
As you go under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, know that hundred-pound octopuses are believed to be living deep beneath the surface.
Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island is one of 40 marine parks in the state. "It's a great escape on the weekends, in particular, the summer," Sean mentioned.
Owning a boat can be a lot of work and people are busy with work and their lives. Freedom Boat Club allows members the opportunity to explore the waters without a hassle.
"This way you can hop on there, go after work, go for an evening cruise," said Sean, "You don't have to clean it, don't have to take care of it. Next time you want to go boating you come down."
Because everyone can use a great escape.