Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sailing the San Juan Islands - I'm Going Ashore!

Sailing the San Juan Islands out of Anacortes is a joy on and off the water. First, when you make the trip up from Seattle, you’ll want to stop and check out the tidal action at Deception Pass. Park near the bridge and you’ll have a great view of the straight’s rushing waters.


At Anacortes, you’ll want to sail with Windworks Sailing & Powerboating, which offers rentals and sailing lessons. If you need to grab any last-minute gear, there’s a hardware store and a grocery across the street.


You’ll want to take at least a few days to explore the islands. While only a fraction of the 450 islands and reefs that make up the San Juans are inhabited, there’s plenty of action whether you want to explore a cute downtown or whale-watch on a deserted beach. Stuart Island is a must, with its Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor. For fine dining, head inland to Duck Soup restaurant in one of the two Friday Harbor taxis. There’s also plenty of fine surf and turf restaurants in Roche Harbor.




On our last visit to the San Juans, we sailed first into Friday, where we took a couple hours to explore the fantastic Westcott Bay Sculpture Park. You might even run into a deer or two sampling the vegetation in the tranquil park. We then sailed around to the Roche Harbor side of the island, where we rented electric bikes to explore the island - including its former military sites. If you rent an electric bike or scooter, give yourselves plenty of time - you can make it all the way to Friday in short time, but to really explore you will want half a day. Just don’t be like me and use too much of your juice or you’ll find out how steep some of the hills really are. Also, be sure to spot the island’s lone camel, a guest on a llama ranch.



Spencer Spit State Park is a great place to tie up for an onboard barbecue. Take your shore boat down to the beach and check out the historical sites, small streams, and abundant driftwood. The brackish water at the neck of the spit and large Lopez Island harbors abundant life in the form of hermit crabs. Stare a while and they become as plentiful as the colorful sand.



Sucia Island is your must-stop for exploring nature in the San Juans. The lightly inhabited island has ample camping as well as tie-offs for your boat before you head to shore. You can hike the perimeter of the island and it boasts 10 miles of trails. Watch out for joggers coming down the narrow dirt trails!


On our trip, Blakely Island Marina was the last stop - the marina is surrounded by inaccessible private land, but we spotted deer on the neighbor’s lawn, and fantastic views. It also has pay showers, which you may be craving after a couple days sailing. The small marina’s draw is a little tight for bigger boats, so check the tides before you pull in to save yourself some heartburn.


The San Juans are a must for adventurous travelers, and whether you need a skipper, a sailboat or powerboat rental, lessons, or a place to store your boat, Windworks can do you right. Our host for a week-long trip through the San Juans (just about right for exploring, a little long if you’re not into sparse living) has brokered two boats through Windworks and charters them out of the Windworks slips when he’s not sailing himself.

Fair winds and good weather!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sailing in Beautiful Seattle

Seattle offers unparalleled beauty while overflowing with all of the amenities anyone could from a major city. It is the ultimate sailing destination and the crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest.

With a population of more than 600,000 people spread out over 142 square miles, there is truly something for everyone. From the famed Space Needle to the Seattle Great Wheel, a ferris wheel right along the waterfront, Seattle offers attractions that rival cities many times its size.

But the best way to step back and look at all that the city has to offer is to sail Seattle.

Before setting sail, it’s critical that everyone eats a good breakfast, and there are no shortage of amazing restaurants competing to serve the most important meal of the day.

For those staying around Capitol Hill, Barjot offers simple breakfasts made from scratch including delicious crepes and an avocado toast that comes highly recommended. For those looking for something a little more unusual, Bang Bang Cafe offers a New Mexican breakfast featuring hatch green chile flown in all the way from New Mexico for an authentic treat.

With hunger averted for the next few hours and jackets prepped for the cold sea air, it’s time for the sailing adventure to begin. For novice sailors and those still developing their sea legs, setting sail can be as easy as booking one of the numerous Seattle sailing tours, these typically cost around $50.

But for most people such a short tour will provide nothing more than a tease of the beauty and serenity offered by sailing around the coasts and waterways of Seattle in a private boat. For those invested in exploring everything that The Emerald City has to offer, Windworks Sailing provides lessons for everyone from novices to veterans looking to master sailing and also has boats available to charter to wherever beckons.

Every type of sailor will find a destination that appeals to them when sailing in Seattle and around the the city.


Some top spots include:

Poulsbo - Poulsbo is a city on Liberty Bay in Kitsap County, Washington, United States. It is the fourth largest city in Kitsap County. The population was 9,200 at the 2010 census. As a reminder of the city's early Scandinavian immigrants, downtown Poulsbo maintains a Scandinavian theme and is a popular regional tourist destination.

Elliot Bay Marina - With picturesque views of the Seattle Skyline and the Olympic Mountains, Elliott Bay Marina offers a relaxing place to moor. Enjoy two restaurants, repair facilities, 24-hour security, fuel dock, convenience store, year round events, and friendly customer service from our marina staff.

Shilshole Bay Marina - On its shores lie Discovery Park, the Lawton Wood section of the Magnolia neighborhood, the neighborhood of Ballard, and Golden Gardens Park.

Eagle Harbor - Eagle Harbor Marina is located on beautiful Bainbridge Island directly across the harbor from Winslow and the state ferry docks. The marina enjoys a spectacular view of the entire harbor along with easy boating access to central Puget Sound.

Port Madison - A deep water bay located on the west shore of Puget Sound in western Washington. It is bounded on the north by Indianola, on the west by Suquamish, and on the south by Bainbridge Island.

Port of Edmonds - The Port of Edmonds boat marina was created in 1962. It provides the only public boating access in the highly populated 30-mile stretch between Seattle's Shilshole Bay and the Port of Everett.

Suquamish - Located within the Port Madison Indian Reservation, it is the burial site of Chief Seattle and the site of the Suquamish tribe winter longhouse known as Old Man House.

Blake Island - Blake Island Marine State Park is a 475-acre marine camping park with five miles of saltwater beach shoreline providing magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle skyline. The park is only accessible by tour boat or private boat.

Bell St. Pier - The Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal anchors an 11-acre complex along Seattle’s downtown waterfront. This vibrant, multi-use property is home to Norwegian Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises, which offer weekly sailings to Alaska.

Port of Kingston - The Port of Kingston was established by the state legislature in 1919 as one of the original Mosquito Fleet landing sites. The port is located on Apple Tree Cove where the Carpenter Creek Estuary flows into Puget Sound.

After a long day at sea, a delicious dinner is a necessity, and Seattle’s fine dining options are sure to delight even the most demanding diner.

Some of the city’s top-rated restaurants include the Metropolitan Grill, Andaluca, Canlis Restaurant, and Six Seven Restuarant & Lounge.

For those on a budget, Seattle offers countless tasty choices that won’t destroy the vacation budget. While there are affordable restaurants throughout the city, many of the most popular options are located inside of the Pike Place Market.

There is no place in the world quite like the Pike Place Market and it is an important stop for anyone visiting Seattle. While its unique affordable restaurants including The Crumpet Shop, Pike Place Chowder and Beecher’s Handmade Cheese are well worth the visit, it is the entire community that has built up around its farmers market, shops and restaurants that make it such a worthwhile destination.

Monday, February 27, 2017

5 ways to use voter contact data in campaigns

Guest post by Jeff Swift, author of Digital Community Organizing

Securing relevant voter file data is one of the first steps for any 21st century campaign. You’ve got to know where the registered voters live so you can plan house parties, canvassing, and GOTV efforts.

But your data efforts can’t end there. Contact information can be the most invaluable asset a campaign has, and voter file data is often out of date or irrelevant — how many voter lists still show the number for a home phone that was disconnected 8 years ago?

Whether you’re running a small municipal race or a full statewide one, it’s worth the effort to append accurate phone and email data to your voter file. Here are 5 ways to use voter contact data to change the course of close political races:


  1. Find out how many voters are already on your email list.
  2. Discover pockets of email list subscribers in neighborhoods you didn’t realize had any supporters.
  3. Send an email to all registered Democrats in a certain neighborhood to let them know about an upcoming event.
  4. Update your voter file phone records to get accurate contact numbers, often including mobile numbers.
  5. Build their own phone banks — and SMS texting banks — for voter outreach, fundraising, and GOTV.

There’s no reason the big high-dollar political campaigns should be the only ones with robust voter contact programs. The data is out there, and is usually quite affordable from services such as Accurate Append's data append. The cost is almost always worth it, particularly when you consider how much more effective your campaign will be when you have accurate contact information for all the people in your voter file.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Service first: Constituent management software

In a previous iteration of my career, I recorded about 100 interviews about government technology. We called the program Gov 2.0 Radio. Guests ranged from execs of large enterprise companies looking to expand their government sales to rural communications officers using new tools to reach their public. We had a lot of fun with it, and when I let it go after joining NationBuilder to work on political software sales a great team took it over for a few more years.

Today I'm working with the same sort of folks I used to interview, helping them with their marketing and growth strategies. I'm convinced that constituent management software and other advanced communication and collaboration technologies can improve government at every level.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Social media matching using email with NationBuilder and Accurate Append

Campaigns are often about momentum - and no matter how well-funded or energetic your official organization is, momentum requires tapping into a larger base of supporters and engaging them with your message. Once you've tapped into that group, give them great messaging and turn them loose on social media.

I've seen this kind of organizing in practice with a brand campaign I ran at NationBuilder where just a handful of thousands of customers enlisted in the campaign were responsible for nearly half of the referral visits to our campaign pages. You don't need a lot of people, you need to identify the most passionate and give them tools. These campaign ambassadors can provide the winning edge.

So how can you find out which of your supporters are sharers? A baseline is to identify which have social media accounts - and NationBuilder automatically matches social accounts such as Twitter and Facebook to email when you import a list. If you have names and addresses (such as a voter file), you can use data append vendor Accurate Append to get email addresses for matching purposes. Accurate Append's email append can typically match at least a third of a list. (They have a phone append product, too, if you are doing phone canvassing.)

Once you've matched email and social profiles, you can use NationBuilder filters to target your email outreach and recruitment to those voters to have social accounts. Convert them and empower them to amplify your messaging.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Accurate Append and Facebook custom audiences

I've got a new Adriel Hampton home website, designed and developed by the amazing Serina Patterson of Sprightly Innovations.

I'm also working hard to build up The Adriel Hampton Group, where we work with civic tech companies on growth strategy, and with progressive nonprofits and political campaigns to provide digital engagement strategy and community building.

My colleague Candice has a new blog post up about our client, data append vendor Accurate Append. Accurate Append offers phone append and email append services - the kind of data quality you need to run Facebook custom audiences with verve.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

League of California Cities tries to kill open government bill

One of my proudest accomplishments over the past year has been the progress on SB 1002, the California Open Data Standard. I helped draft a framework for the bill along with open government advocates from around California and the world. Sadly, the lobbying group the League of California Cities is trying to gut the bill and is smearing open data advocates in the process.