On a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon, a girl's thoughts turn to water. The cool splash off the sound, the wind across Lake Washington, the rocking

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Best Way for Penny-Pinchers to Get on the Water

University of Washington's Water Activities Center

On a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon, a girl's thoughts turn to water. The cool splash off the sound, the wind across Lake Washington, the rocking feeling that carries you to sleep after a day spent adrift. But with the housing market crashing, gas stations handing out loan applications to get a fill-up, and 600 Starbucks stores locking out their desperate customers, who can afford a yacht, or even a dinghy? The University of Washington's Water Activities Center is here to help. Canoes and rowboats are available seven days a week to scratch your watercraft itch. At $7.50 an hour, it's cheaper than going to a movie with friends, and supervisor Chris Delaune says your dog is more than welcome to come aboard. The Arboretum is a short paddle away, and life jackets are provided. Come early on the weekends, Delaune says. "If it's a sunny weekend day, we generally run out of canoes."—Laura Onstot

 
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