On two of my earlier trips I had neglected the area between Rich Passage and Restoration Point. This left a tiny sliver unexplored at the south end of Bainbridge Island — and a chance to visit the park at the site of historic Fort Ward.
For half a century, starting in 1903, the fort stood guard at the narrow pass leading to the Bremerton shipyards and other important installations. After spending another fifty years as a state park, it is now part of the Bainbridge Island park system, and a stop on the Cascadia Marine Trail. There are 4300 feet of shoreline, a path that can be part of a loop for hikers and joggers, a boat ramp, and campsites.
I finally got there early in June, and set out on a short trip that was notable for its wildlife encounters. First, a seal surfaced quite near me, possibly distracted by the teeming, unattainable aquaculture in giant pens nearby.
Then I paddled around a rocky little point with a ruined structure where perched a good-sized Bald Eagle. A photo from the other, sunlit side shows it to be a juvenile, despite its bulk. That’s Blake Island, by the way, between us and Mt. Rainier.
I saw an adult perched on another structure on my way out, and on the trip back there were two, probably the parents. They posed patiently as I paddled by, but moments later I heard a lot of loud, high-pitched chirping behind me, and then watched them being chased away by a crow. Our northwest crows are not particularly large, but they do possess considerable self-confidence.