Low Tide Walk: Bainbridge Ferry Terminal Aug 18 2020

This summer I booked off 3-5 day chunks for every low tide. This adventure is the first in a series of three during my last opportunity this year for a good daytime low tide. I picked Bainbridge Ferry Terminal to start with because it always provides an amazing experience full of creatures and I wanted to kick off our last hurrah on an exciting start!

I had two companions for this expedition, which proved to be helpful as we were able to make many more discoveries than what would have be possible with only one set of eyes. The lowest tide of the day would be at 11 am, clocking in at a -1.9'. We set off on the 7:45 ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge. Typically I like to get started two hours before the lowest tide. We arrived with time to spare and grabbed coffee before heading down to the beach. We headed down Harborview drive, next to the ferry, where we took a path from the left of the road that took us to the water. From here we wasted no time getting underneath the dock to our right, largely ignoring anything on our way there. You do not have the luxury of taking your time during low tide, so it pays to head to where you know the interesting stuff is first.

Underneath Bainbridge Ferry Terminal

Initially heading under the dock it appeared a bit spooky and uninhabited. When you get under the dock you won't necessarily see anything. It's a bit dark and creepy, which makes it uninviting. Fortunately my past experience here helped me push through that wee bit of discomfort. Soon after entering we needed to use our phones as flashlights to avoid stepping on organisms as there were creatures everywhere.

The plumose anemones hanging from the dock beams were our first encounter. These are literally in your face as they dangle at eye level. You have to be careful to not hit them with your head!

Pretty early on we came to a row of concrete post stubs with water pooled inside them. I knew that these were little treasure chests so we bee-lined for them, carefully avoiding underfoot anemones. Sure enough we were not disappointed, each taking turns holding the light for one another as we looked inside the posts.

There were numerous ochre stars lounging in the water inside the posts or hanging out on the side. It was interesting to compare the stars in and out of water- they appear to take on a somewhat fuzzy look when submerged!