Category Archives: Puget Sound

Parking proposed for Manitou Beach Drive

A view from along Manitou Beach Drive. (Kitsap Sun file photo)

The city is proposing a “small parking area” on Manitou Beach Drive, making it easier for residents and guests to enjoy the city-owned waterfront property.

While there are views of Puget Sound and Seattle from the shoreline, Manitou Beach Drive is a narrow two-lane road without shoulders.

The city owns .13 acre of waterfront land across the street from 9865 Manitou Beach Drive, according  to the county parcel search.

The city owns about another acre next to 9865 Manitou Beach Drive, where six parking spots are being proposed.

A public meeting Wednesday night will help identify how many parking spots are needed or wanted for access to the waterfront, said Mark Epstein with the city’s capital projects coordinator.

The public meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 280 Madison Avenue.

Manitou Beach Parking Alternative--six stall

Help us rank the top 10 Islander stories of 2014

The tugboat Pacific Knight helps maneuver the state ferry Tacoma to the Bainbridge Island dock after it lost power while making the 12:20 p.m. sailing from Seattle to Bainbridge on July 29, 2014. MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN

We are asking readers to rank the top Bainbridge Islander stories from this past year in a survey. The top 10 will be posted on this blog.

You can take the survey here.

If you need to refresh your memory on a story,  they are listed below in no particular order with links:


Derelict tugboat to be towed Friday from Eagle Harbor

The historic tugboat Chickamauga will be towed out of Eagle Harbor Marina at 6 a.m. Friday. Photo / Ethan Fowler
The historic tugboat Chickamauga will be towed out of Eagle Harbor Marina at 6 a.m. Friday.
Photo / Ethan Fowler

By Ethan Fowler

Special to the Kitsap Sun

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND – The derelict historic tugboat Chickamauga is set to be towed out of Eagle Harbor Marina at 6 a.m. Friday, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday afternoon.

The abandoned tug, which sank in the harbor Oct. 2, leaked oil and diesel fuel, and was raised by a crane Oct. 10, will be towed to Boat Haven Marina in Port Townsend.

DNR took custody of the tugboat — the country’s first full diesel-powered tugboat when it was built in 1915 — on Jan. 16 after the owner didn’t to remove the vessel from Eagle Harbor Marina. The state attorney general’s office also filed three criminal charges against the owner on Jan. 15.

“Hooray! We’ll probably have cheerleaders with pompoms to wave it goodbye,” said Doug Crow, harbormaster of Eagle Harbor Marina, of the news the tugboat would be towed away Friday. “It’s a major step in our history. Now I wish the (state) attorney general lots of luck prosecuting the owner for abandonment, pollution and stealing moorage from the marina.”

Documentary on Bainbridge liveaboards screening at film fest

A documentary film about Bainbridge Island’s anchored-out liveaboards is set to screen at the Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival on Nov. 2 at 10 a.m.

Island filmmaker Mark Davis worked on “Against the Tide” for years, filming numerous city meetings and interviewing people on both sides of the liveaboard debate.

Here’s what Davis has to say about the film:

“Set amidst the spectacular beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the urban backdrop of Seattle, Washington, this poignant and timely film reveals the unique lifestyles of the mariners and misfits who live illegally aboard their boats in Eagle Harbor, the scenic gem of Bainbridge Island. Long a refuge for liveaboards with limited means, or just those wishing for a simpler way of life, Eagle Harbor is a state-owned body of water surrounded by an affluent community, torn about whether to let them stay or drive them out.

When the state of Washington ruled that people anchoring in public waters could only live aboard their boats in the same location for 30 days, the members of this decades-old community became guilty of criminal trespass. Against the Tide follows the story of the liveaboards who refuse to move their homes… a behind-the-scenes look at the struggle of vulnerable persons defying homelessness with alternative shelters.”

Bainbridge joins Marina Day celebration Saturday


Bainbridge Island is one of three Kitsap cities hosting National Marina Day festivities Saturday. Similar Marina Day  recognitions will take place across the country this weekend.

Events are scheduled at Waterfront Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. One unique activity planned for Eagle Harbor is an “anchoring with a local” workshop. Boaters will partner with an island mariner to learn how to anchor in 30 feet of water.

blog.marinaBack of Beyond Outfitters will offer a free “small boat mess-about” all day. There will be a rodeo for small non-motorized boats, demonstrations, and canoe tours of the harbor. Participants can bring their own craft or rent one on-site.

Other Marina Day activities will include free vessel examinations, a flare demonstration, sailboat rides, ROV hull inspections and rigging lessons.

Eagle Harbor also welcomed a special guest this week. MV Lotus (pictured above) is anchored off the Harbour Marina. Lotus will be on hand this weekend and on June 15-16 for the Bainbridge Wooden Boat Festival, according to the Lotus page on Facebook. Lotus was launched in 1909 and has plied Puget Sound and the Inside Passage for more than a century.

(Tad Sooter photos)


Readers share Puget Sound orca photos

Reader David Moore submitted this photo of a whale breaching by his sailboat Monday.

Reader Chris Beamer Otterson snapped this picture of an orca passing President Point near Kingston Monday. 

Dori Johnson contributed this shot of a mother and calf she took from Fay Bainbridge. 

Thanks to Chris and Dori for sending in photos. If you have a whale pic you’d like to share, please email Tad at or upload it to the Bainbridge Islander page on Facebook.

You can see our whale photos from Monday here and read Chris Dunagan’s piece on orcas in Puget Sound. The orcas belong to the resident J, K and L pods according to whale experts. This was the farthest south the orcas have been spotted this season.

Orcas take a cruise past Bainbridge Island


Orcas swim south through Puget Sound between Fay Bainbridge Park and Ballard at about 3 p.m. Monday. (Tad Sooter photos). Here’s Chris Dunagan’s story on what the whales were up to.

A large pod of orca whales put on a show off the east side of Bainbridge Island Monday — albeit a show best enjoyed with binoculars. The whales appeared to be cruising midway between the island and the mainland.

The Orca Network relayed reports of the whales off Point No Point late in the morning. They were spotted off Jefferson Head and Fay Bainbridge Park at about 1 p.m. By 4 p.m. the whales were between Elliott Bay and Eagle Harbor, and still swimming south. Facebook users reported seeing the whales from the 4:40 p.m. Seattle ferry.

Though they stayed far from shore, the whales caused a stir along the waterfront. A few families enjoyed whale watching with binoculars from the beach at Fay Bainbridge in the afternoon and a float plane (left) zipped low overhead, making a bee line for the pod. KING5 even followed the whales live with a helicopter for a while.

If nothing else, it was a good excuse to head for the beach on a spectacular October day.

If you snapped some whale photos Monday, please share them with us. You can email Tad at or post them on the Bainbridge Islander page on Facebook.

Body of diver recovered near Bainbridge

The body of a state Department of Natural Resources diver was found today after a three-day search off south Bainbridge.

Here is the Bainbridge Island Police Department statement:

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, July 27, 2012 – Bainbridge Island Police confirm that today at approximately 1:20 pm, the body of missing diver David Scheinost was recovered. On Tuesday afternoon, while working as a diver for the Department of Natural Resources, Scheinost failed to surface and presumably drowned off Bainbridge Island. The cause of the accident is still being investigated.

Representatives from the Bainbridge Island Police, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, United States Navy, Coast Guard and volunteer divers searched for Scheinost for the past three days. A submersible, owned by Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, located the body of the 24-year-old Puyallup man while searching the area he was last seen diving. Pierce County marine officers will be assisting with the further evaluation of the accident.

The family of Scheinost has been notified.

“I believe I speak for all rescue personnel involved when I say we are all very saddened by this tragedy,” said Commander Sue Shultz.

Bright red blooms in Murden Cove

Reporter Tad Sooter took some dramatic photos of algal blooms off Murden Cove on Monday. A few nearby residents told Tad the blooms were the brightest they’d seen.

Here’s what he learned about the blooms:

Algal blooms that turned water off several Bainbridge shorelines bright red this week pose no risk to humans or shellfish, according to Kitsap County Public Health District officials.

Environmental Health Specialist Shawn Ultican said the dramatic blooms are caused by Noctiluca, a harmless plankton. Noctiluca blooms are common this time of year and are spurred by sunlight and nutrients in the water, he said.

The rusty-red blooms spread down Manitou Beach and into Murden Cove on the east side of Bainbridge on Monday. Ultican said blooms were also reported in Port Orchard Passage.

Because of their color, Noctiluca blooms are often wrongly associated with harmful “red tide,” which causes paralytic shellfish poisoning. Red tide is caused by different plankton species and isn’t noticeable in the water, Ultican said.

For more information on beach closures and shellfish advisories, visit
–Tad Sooter

In the above photo, Stephanie Bowen and her 2-year-old son Alex take a look at the bloom that spread across Murden Cove on Monday.

See more of Tad’s photos below.

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Low tide reveals remnants of Bainbridge mill town

The lowest tide I’ve ever seen at Blakely Harbor revealed some interesting remnants of the Port Blakely mill town that bustled in the harbor a century ago.

On Wednesday, a rarely-seen blanket of water-logged lumber was visible on large portion of Blakely Harbor Park’s beach. Not sure why it forms a zig-zag pattern. Any ideas?

Head down below to see a few more low-tide curiosities.

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Sewage concerns close Blakely park’s beach

UPDATE: Most of the sewage was contained in a nearby wetland. The city and sewer plant operator plan to pump out the sewage on Monday. Click here for our latest story on the spill.

Public health officials are warning people to steer clear of Tani Creek and Blakely Harbor Park’s beach after sewage leaked into a wetland near the Fort Ward sewage treatment plant.

Here’s our report from yesterday.

The wetland, which sits next to a public trail, connects to Tani, which flows into Blakely.

The state Dept. of Ecology warned that “contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.”

The Kitsap Public Health District has taken water samples from Tani and Blakely to see how far the contamination spread from the wetland. Results were expected today, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until Thursday afternoon for confirmation the sewage spread beyond the wetland.

Sewer district board member Sarah Lee estimates between 3,000 and 5,000 gallons of partially-treated sewage leaked from a hole in a 40,000-gallon tank.

The cause of the hole is not yet known, but it doesn’t appear it was punctured or damaged by force.

The health district isn’t sure how the mess will be cleaned up – if at all. The sewer district pumped out some of the sewage from their grounds on Friday, shortly after the leak was discovered.

On Monday, the health district discovered the sewage had traveled out of the treatment plant property and into the wetland, which is down-slope of the plant.

It appeared much of the sewage was caught and partially contained by a “log jam” in the wetland, according to health district water specialist Stuart Whitford.

Water test results will guide next steps. Cleaning the mess could include pumping out portions of the wetland. If the testing shows relatively low levels of contamination, the health district and Ecology officials may take a hands-off approach.

I’m off for the next two days, so look for environmental reporter Chris Dunagan’s followup story on the testing results.