Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Point Defiance Bald Eagles Up Close

Despite the spectacular water views from many homes in Ruston, most residents do not own a boat and rarely get out on the water. The views from a boat are just as spectacular, especially around the pristine bluff of Point Defiance. Local residents and out of town visitors alike now have a way to enjoy that water view with a new tour boat operating out of the boathouse (near the ferry dock and Anthony's restaurant).

Boat owner Stephen Spring moved his Harbor Tours business to the area after the 4th of July from Westport. Although tours are winding down for the season, he will still be operating on weekends through the end of the month (except this coming Saturday).

Spring bought the 28 foot vessel named KYC-1 at auction when Knickerbocker Yacht Club went out of business. He wanted something that needed only one person to operate, but that could hold several passengers. When business slowed in Westport, he decided to move to Commencement Bay. There were additional costs for setting up operations along Ruston Way, so Spring was glad when Metro Parks welcomed the tours as part of their expanded promotion of Point Defiance Park.

The regular tour route heads from the boathouse to Salmon Beach and back. The bluff is home to several bald eagles and the waters there are playground to many seals. It’s a slow trek that takes over an hour. Stephen gives a nice talk about the history of the area and is available for group tours if you have out of town guests. A longer tour is also available heading the other direction around Commencement Bay.

The Salmon Beach tour is only $15 for adults, $9 children - plus tax. Call Harbor Tours for more details at (360) 463-0522.

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