Yvette becomes a Commercial Pilot!!

Commercial pilot!  (photobombed by the Space Needle)

Commercial pilot! (photobombed by the Space Needle)


Hey, everybody,

It’s been a really busy summer – a dog hasn’t had any time to write a blog, in fact! But we wrapped up summer in the most exciting way – our dear Yvette is now a Commercial Pilot!

That means that when you come to our place to take a scenic flight, Yvette will now (most likely) be your pilot!

This is really special, you guys. Yvette learned to fly here at Seattle Seaplanes: she took her first flight lesson with us, and she stuck it out for her Private license. She went on to get a land plane rating, too, but her heart is (and has always been) with seaplanes. She’s part of our family, and that makes me extra proud.

My dad is very proud of Yvette

My dad is very proud of Yvette

If you’re curious about what it takes to become a Commercial pilot, or what the differences are between pilot certificates, here are the specs. Basically, you start as a Private pilot, gain some experience, then do some advanced training and bookwork (which Yvette aced, by the way) for the Commercial.


So, come see us!  And congratulations to Yvette!


We love each other


Toby James

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Happy Birthday to Me!!!

I'm the one with the blue collar

I’m the one with the blue collar

Hey, everyone!

Guess what?  On May 21, I am 10 years old!

Here’s a picture of me with my brothers and sisters when we were just a few months old. I’m the one not looking at the camera, ‘cuz I was a little shy. I’m not shy any more!

I’m writing this the day before my birthday, so I don’t know what Mom and Dad (and all my Seattle Seaplane family) might have in store for me.  Hope it’s tasty!!  <doggie grin>

You know, “dog years” and “people years” are measured a little differently. According to Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer“, I’m about 53 in human years.  Or, according to some other calculations, I would be in my mid-60s if I were a human.

What I know is that I feel great!  And I have a great life.  I’m happy to be starting another decade!

Come see me – I’d love to see you!  And I wish you well on  your birthday, too (hey, how about a seaplane ride for your birthday, or somebody else’s?  Hmm… there’s a thought!)


-Toby James


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Beloved visitors….. and water therapy

Athens and Toby

My friend Athens…. my friend Yvette’s mother!

Hey, everyone!

It’s starting to get busy down here at the lake. And we’ve been lucky – we’ve had visits from some wonderful friends.  And, I’ve started water therapy for my arthritis!

First things first: Yvette’s mom, Athens, came to visit us recently. She’s been here before, and it’s always great to see her. She went on a scenic flight with my friend Kit, and just raved about it afterwards!  Athens is a really talented woman.  She has a couple of web sites, athensabell.com and homegrownhighways.com – check ’em out!  Lots of pictures, videos, stories, musings, about life, beauty, gardening, banjos (yes, really!!)  You’ll enjoy the trip!

Next up: one of Kit’s friends from way, way back — all the way to junior high! Kit and her friend Candie went to the same junior high school, senior high school (go, Rangers!) and college (Go, Saints!)

KW and CC

For the purple and the gold team!!

Candie has worked for many years at their school, Carroll College, and was in town on college business.  Kit took her for a ride around Seattle.



Now, about that water therapy…..  well, I hate to admit it, but I’m getting older, and with age comes a bit of arthritis.  My “parents” found a clinic here in Seattle where they do hydrotherapy with dogs to help ease arthritis.  So, about once a week, I’m off to the pool for exercise and a massage!

Toby Swim

Dad’s starting to call me “Johnny Weismueller”

I do like it, despite what it looks like here, haha! And they told me that I’m the strongest Doberman they’ve ever worked with.  Not that I’m bragging or anything…..

So, why don’t you stop by and ask me how my therapy’s going?  And take a scenic ride like my friends Athens and Candie?  Hope to see you soon!


Toby James

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Spring Cleaning!

IMG_20150421_150424912Hey, Friends!

It’s springtime down here at the lake.  We have baby goslings, swarming honey bees, and…  A clean Doberman!  Yvette gave me a bath, and now I’m springtime fresh. :-)

And it feels so good to roll afterwards!

IMG_20150421_151028078Come see us at Lake Union!


Toby James

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Springtime! And, welcome, Crista!

Crista giving me a scratch

Crista giving me a scratch

Hey, everybody!

We’ve had a very mild winter here on the lake. While our friends on the East coast received more than their share of snow, we’ve gotten practically none in our mountains. The flowers are all about three weeks’ ahead of schedule, and thoughts of flying are in the air!

We have a new team member here at Seattle Seaplanes! Her name is Crista, and she’s helping us out in the office. I like having a new person around to give me treats, ear scratches, outside excursions…. Oh, wait! I meant “greet our customers, check them in for their flights, answer email questions…” You know :-)

Crista has seafaring blood in her veins: she lives on a boat here in Seattle with her beau, and she comes from Cape Cod out in Massachusetts. She’s learning the ways of the seaplane here.

So, now’s a great time to stop by to see us here on the lake, and to take one of our flights! See how green the Emerald City is *this* year. And say Hi to Crista!

–Toby James

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Yvette’s on a Roll (really!) (and GO, HAWKS!)

Yvettte ASEL

Hi, everyone!

I have exciting news — my friend Yvette now has new letters after her name!  She recently traveled to California to hang out with her aunt, who happens to be a CFI and accomplished aerobatic pilot.  Yvette earned the letters ASEL, to add to her ASES on her pilot qualifications!

And, because her aunt is an aerobatic pilot, Yvette got to do all kinds of cool stuff like loops, rolls, and spins!

Yvette roll

Better to learn about what’s going on before you get in the airplane to do it!

So, I’m just so very proud of her…. and can’t wait for her to come back to Seattle to tell me all about it!

Meanwhile, there’s a little football game going on, on Sunday Feb 1.  Some of you might have heard about it….  Yvette and Toby 12


GO HAWKS!!!!   And way to go, Yvette!!


Toby James




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Yvette’s a Private Pilot!

yvette checkride

Hey, Everybody!

My friend Yvette just passed her Private Pilot Checkride!  YAHOO!!

Every checkride here is special, but this one is even more so.  Yvette started training with us a couple of years ago, and for the last year or so, she’s been working here in addition to training here. She’s an integral part of our Seattle Seaplane family, and I just couldn’t be more proud!

Yvette was even featured in the most recent issue of the Seaplane Pilots Association’s magazine, “Water Flying.”  She wrote her story for the magazine, about going to southeast Alaska, taking her first floatplane flight, and immediately falling in love with seaplanes.  Today, she’s a licensed pilot, certified to fly Single Engine Seaplanes.  Wow!

There are very few pilots who earn their initial private certificate in a seaplane.  And we here at Seattle Seaplanes are one of the very few places in the world where you can do it. Yvette saw it through from start to finish, smiling all the way.

And, what’s even more special: Yvette joins the ranks of female licensed pilots.  Of roughly 600,000 pilots in the USA, only about 40,000 are women.  Now there are 40,001.  :-)

When you’re in Seattle, stop by our place to congratulate Yvette! We are all very, very proud of her.


Toby James



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Springtime, and new ASES pilot!

Pete and his CFI, James. I'm happy for them!

Pete and his CFI, James. I’m happy for them!

Hey, everyone!

Well, spring is definitely on its way to us here in Seattle. The daffodils are blooming, the cherry trees are blossoming, the geese are honking….. yep, springtime is coming!

We have a newly-rated ASES pilot!  His name is Pete, and he just wrapped up his checkride. Pete lives all the way out in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, which is a long way away. It was fun to show him some “bush flying” in the middle of the city!

Come see us – come fly with us!  Or, come get a gift certificate for a loved one: it’s never too early to start planning for graduations, Mothers Day, Fathers Day…..  let’s do this!


–Toby James

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Come see us at the show!


Look for our Seattle Seaplanes banner... and this red sign!

Look for our Seattle Seaplanes banner… and this red sign!

Greetings, everyone,

I’ve finally caught my breath after the exciting time of the Super Bowl. I’ll bet you already know this, but I’ll say it again: The Seattle Seahawks are the Super Bowl Champions!!

Ahem. Back to flying….

So, it’s also one of my favorite times of the year: it’s time for the Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show! We’ll be there as always, in booth #630. We have chocolate!

We also have a special offer for you, if you’re a pilot who has been “kicking the tires” on getting an ASES rating. We’re knocking 10% off our usual rate of $260/hr, if you sign up at the show, and start your training by June 30, 2014. A great deal!

Alas, the trade show has a rule: No Dogs. :-( So, I won’t be there… except in spirit.

So, stop by the booth to see us!


-Toby James

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I pick the winner of the Super Bowl!

Hey, Everybody!

Greetings from the home of the 12th Man**, Seattle, Washington.

They asked me to predict who would win Super Bowl XLVIII. Both worthy teams, the #1 defense of the Seahawks (can I get a “LEGION OF BOOM?!”) vs. the #1 offense of the Broncos, with the legendary Peyton Manning at QB. It’s going to be quite a game!!

So, who’s going to win?!  Click here to find out!



-Toby James


**(with a tip of the hat to Texas A&M University, who also celebrates a proud 12th Man tradition)

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