Jetty Island had been on my list of outings to take for a while. Apparently it's a nice place to hike and see birds. But you have to make reservations on the ferry and I'd never quite gotten around to doing so. So when a friend emailed with an opportunity to go with them and someone they knew, who'd already made reservations, I happily said we'd join them.
We had reservations for the 10:15 ferry, so needed to be there about 9:45. Google said it'd take 30 minutes, so we left an hour early since I had never gone before and had no idea what to expect from the traffic (most morning traffic would be heading south into Seattle, but there is a Boeing location north as well, so hence the playing it safe). Turned out there was no traffic, so we made it there just after 9. We managed to kill an hour by paying for parking (only $3 for the day - not bad at all for Seattle area!), using the restrooms and checking out a sculpture near the dock.
In the end there were some empty seats on the 10 am ferry, so we got to go over on that one. The ferry ride lasts all of two minutes, but the kids still enjoyed it.
Mal looks grumpy, but he wasn't. He hadn't eaten before we left, so hence the bagel munching here. He had excitedly climbed onto the bench on the ferry only to look down and see the water and decide that seat was a little too scary. So I held him in my lap instead.
We didn't hike around the island on this visit, but instead spent the day on the beach. It was low tide when we got there. There was a sign posted about ghost shrimp at work and to be careful of sinking sand. As you walked out closer to the water, sure enough, the sand was full of little holes. As you stood on the sand you would slowly sink into it. It was a very weird feeling. As long as you kept moving things felt pretty normal. Sinking into the sand wasn't too big of a deal for big people, but it did cause Mal to fall over once. Apparently the sand doesn't drop off for a long ways; it was really disconcerting to see Gareth wading out incredibly far. But I think the deepest in he went was up to his waist. The water was incredibly calm in the morning, so Mal surprised me by wanting to play in the water. Usually he wants to stay safe on the beach, but with the water being so warm and not very deep at all, he loved playing in the water today.
The little kid in the background of the picture of Mal was no bigger than him, maybe even a bit smaller, to give you an idea of just how shallow the water is for quite a distance here.
After a couple hours we managed to get the kids to come back to the beach for some food. Then Gareth got to try out the kite he got last Christmas. He'd tried one out at a beach gathering at the end of last summer and loved it. Ever since getting his kite he's been begging to use it. I'd hoped to try it out long before now, but with moving and all we just haven't had the opportunity.
The kids all took turns flying the kite. Whoever wasn't flying the kite would try to catch the kite's shadow. The wind was perfect and they were able to get the kite quite high. After an hour or so of that it was back to what was left of the wet portion of the beach now that the tide was coming in to play with the sand and water some more. There were more waves by now, so while Mal was willing to go in the water still he didn't want to go out as far or without holding my hand. The kids were all disappointed when it was time to go, but the grown-ups wanted to avoid traffic getting home. Malcolm fell asleep almost instantly on the drive home.
Definitely an outing that will have to be repeated, both to check out the nature walks and for the beach. The beach never felt crowded, which was surprising to me. I suppose having to take the ferry, not being right in Seattle, and the limit of 60 passengers per ferry ride helps to keep it that way.